Posts Tagged ‘startup’

Support for Success

by Guy Ralfe on April 7, 2010

Now that I have officially started my journey as a business owner and entrepreneur, but still in the honey moon phase I can share some stark realities about starting a new venture.

Most importantly it takes guts and lots of support. At the age of 38 with a wife and two young children to support, I am leaving a secure and stable employment to relocate half way across America, to the mid-west, to start a new company in one of the worst economic environments the world has known. Making this decision consumed a lot of thinking time and with this uncertain background, produced by the media, conventional thinking does not leave you in a sane place.

I have been looking for this opportunity to begin a new business for over 6 years now, I still do not have enough guts of my own to start this – and this is why I say you need lots of support. To give you an indication of the support I am using to get this off the ground:


Business Partner –
I have a business partner that already has a very successful business in the same vertical that can provide operational expertise and contacts within the industry to minimize the lead generation and prospecting phase of starting out.
The partner approach allows for the lowering and distribution of start-up overheads, much like  an Incubation start-up.
Laws, expectations, codes of conduct, processes that can take so much time to learn and often expensive when starting out, can be circumvented.

Financial – contrary to what you may think about business, it does not all center around the business plan, it centers around the execution. You can make all the sales in the world but if you cannot cash-flow the operation then you can never think about being profitable.

Most companies will need capital to start. I have  acquired a reasonable amount of assets, which are valuable to me but they are not all seen equally valuable to my financiers. Start to think about what instruments you can use for financing before you want to begin your business.

What type of assets do you hold? –  as that affects the ratio by which banks will offer/secure lines of credit.
What is your credit score? – what can you do to minimize the impact on your credit score leading up to opening your business.

What do you need to execute your operations – transport, utilities, insurance, offices, systems, subscriptions? They all send bills regularly and all expect payment regularly.

Industry Knowledge Partners – if you are like me and are wanting to start in a field in which you are not an expert, you will need knowledge experts that can guide you through the rapids in your journey. Look to building relationships with people such as:

Suppliers

Competitors

Lawyers/ Regulatory Bodies

Accountants

Customers (though customers do prefer to deal with experts so use this avenue selectively)

Personal Support – we all have our moments when we think we are the Lone Ranger and we can do it all on our own. As I have written about before, consider the impact one decision may have on other aspects of your life.

One such aspect is your family and close friends. This opportunity wasn’t an option until it became an opportunity for my family too – and I thank them for their support.

So yes it has still taken all the guts I have to make this exciting start, my sanity could be questionable and it sure was not due to conventional thinking that I was able to choose this – it is only possible to rationalize and make this choice because of the support and help that is in place.

Guy RalfeThis article was contributed by Guy Ralfe, co-founder of Active Garage and co-author of the upcoming book ProjectManagementTweets. You can follow Guy on Twitter at gralfe.
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Week In Review – Feb 21 – Feb 27, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on February 28, 2010

The Art of getting what you want

by Vijay Peduru, Feb 22, 2010

Human brain has the tendency to avoid anything that it considers will cause pain. It reaches this conclusion based on instinct and/or past experience. This part of the brain is called the Lizard brain. The Possibilities brain seeks opportunity and freedom. When you want to work out and get in shape or in general, put in effort to convert a possibility into opportunity, your lizard brain may prevent you because it sees pain in the endeavor. You can remove this roadblock placed by the lizard brain by putting the endeavor in the right context.

Seth Godin in his brilliant book “Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?” talks about the Lizard Brain. For a brief Introduction to the lizard brain check this post , this video and this short e-book. more…

Change Management #5 – Project: Three tips to avoid creating Frankenstein

by Gary Monti, Feb 23, 2010

You can avoid creating a Frankenstein if you follow these simple steps:

1. Consider the needs of all the stakeholders when creating a scope of work including competitors and clients. Success includes your needs being met as part of the outflow of providing opportunity for others.

2. Your work must be sustainable, i.e., of good quality.

3. Provide stability, i.e., manage risk effectively.

Dr. Frankenstein driven by ego, pride and vainglory, got isolated from society and this caused him to lose direction and ultimately resulted in his downfall. more…

Growing Pains for Startups

by Guy Ralfe, Feb 24, 2010

Businesses are built around network interactions; each person in the network is a potential communication channel. As the number of people in your organization grows, the number of communication channels grows rapidly according to the formula (N * (N-1))/2 where N is the number of people in the group. This is a potential source of inaction or introducing bureaucracy. Educating the organization on this principle and providing guidance will help employees act confidently in the best interest of the company. more…

Social Media BRANDing – 5 tips to make it work

by Deepika Bajaj, Feb 25, 2010

Many companies have created digital channels like Facebook Fan pages, Twitter, SEO, etc to establish a digital presence. Now, how can they measure the effectiveness and improve? Here are some recommendations:

1. Tie social media activity to revenue growth

2. Know your customers. Don’t limit yourself based on what you know. Instead, try to find who your customers is.

3. Provide relevant content to draw the attention of your customers.

4. Put in place a mobile strategy.

5. Create strong relationships with your customers.

more…

Author’s Journey #10 – How to make the time to write a book

by Roger Parker, Feb 26, 2010

Time is not something you find like a needle in a hay stack. You need to make time for your endeavor by managing your commitments. Here are some techniques to make time to write your book:

1. Start with a plan

2. Commit to daily progress

3. Harvest time

4. Track your progress

more…

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Fundamental Knowledge to prevent and fight flu

by Vijay Peduru on December 22, 2009

flu“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

– Thomas Edision

Since the flu season is setting in, We need to take good care of our health and our family’s health. Good health is an opportunity to take care of things which we want to take care of like our startup. if we are sick, things don’t happen and just come to a screeching halt.

There are several ways to fight flu., but if we understand the fundamental knowledge, it is easier to find “solutions” to prevent and fight flu. we won’t be misguided by all the advice out there.

As many of you are aware, the most fundamental thing to know is  that the flu and common cold is caused by Viruses and there is no medicine for Viruses. (strange isn’t it!). These viruses continuously mutate i.e they keep changing their DNA Structure, so it is difficult to create any medicine for these types of viruses.  If there is no medicine, then the question arises on how to cure it. The answer is, Our amazing human body has the capacity to create the medicine by itself to destroy the virus if we let it do its work.

When a virus enters our body, our immune cells checks its memory  to see if it has destroyed this kind of virus before, if not, then it gets to work to find the right type of medicine, It keeps trying various combinations until it finds the right combination. When the body is actively working, it generates a lot of heat and this is what we commonly refer as “fever“. Once it finds the medicine, it starts killing the virus. After successfully killing the virus, it has to send the dead viruses out of the body. The body creates mucus and puts the destroyed viruses there and the mucus flows out of our body through the nose. This is what we call “Runny Nose“.  Anything we do to stop this natural flow, will inhibit our body to do its job. So, for example taking cold/fever medicines will inhibit the body too. So, unless it is absolutely needed, it is not recommended to take medications. In fact, if you ask the doctor, they will say “Take cold medicine only if required”, but we ignore the “if required” part and take them anyway. “if required” means we should take it only if the pain becomes unbearable.

Here are a few ways you can help your body fight the cold or flu when you see the starting symptoms.

1. Give good Rest to your digestive system: In our everyday life, When we focus our energy on the job at hand, we can complete it faster. If we have too many distracting tasks, we don’t do any of the things properly. In the same way, when a cold or flu virus enters our body, we have to let the body concentrate all its energy on eliminating the virus. If we take heavy food, then the body is “distracted” and has to perform both the digestion process and also has to prepare the medicine. The best option is to not eat any solid foods and take only liquids.

2. Take only liquids without any added sugars: Doctors advice to take plenty of liquids.  This means any liquid which is easy for digestion. Yes, this means Coffee and Tea are out. Some Juices have added sugars in them and need to be avoided as well. The best option is –  Take 200 or 250 ml warm water, mix four to five spoons of honey and Squeeze half a lime and drink it. This gives the needed energy for the body, The body needs about 800 calories per day when fasting  and taking the “warm honey water” about four to five times a day should be enough.

In the past three years, I had symptoms of a flu once and fought it back within a day by fasting with liquids.

Wishing you healthy holidays


Vijay Peduru is an entrepreneur in the bay area and is the co-founder of a bootstrapped startup. His interests are bootstrapping, leadership and spirituality.
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thinkingA lot of us want to start a business, but we cannot leave our full-time jobs, because we need to take care of family.. mortgage.. monthly expenses etc. Is there a way out. yes there is .. and here is the good news

According to the data from the U.S. Department of labor, three-quarters of those who start new business are also employed in wage-and-salary jobs at start-up.. and some 60% of new firms begin at home.((Source: Doug Hall‘s book – Jump start your business brain )

Some of the largest companies which started as part-time and became hugely successful are..

1. Ford motor company : Henry Ford worked in Edison Illuminating Company ( now GE) under Edison, while he worked on building cars when he was not at work.

2. ebay.com : Pierre Omidyar the founder of ebay worked for about 9 months in a full time job, while he started and ran ebay.com as a part-time business

3. craigslist.org: Craig Newmark founder of craigslist.org worked full-time for about 3-4 years .. while he ran craiglist part-time

In the last 10 years, due to advances in technology the cost of infrastructure has fallen down so low, it has become easier to start a business thereby moving a dream to reality. The problem is not money anymore, For less than $1 a month, we can start a blog, for about $5 a month we can start a niche social network

So, What is stopping you.. is it an absence of an intense desire?..

Vijay Peduru is an entrepreneur in the bay area and is the co-founder of a bootstrapped startup. His interests are bootstrapping, leadership and spirituality.
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What can Entrepreneurs learn from Ants?

by Vijay Peduru on July 31, 2009

Hard-Work-Ant

Yes, ants are tiny enough indeed to go unnoticed. However, if we pay close attention and watch them, we find that they possess numerous habits that successful entrepreneurs display. Here are three of them:

#1: Never Quit:

When you place an obstacle in their path, ants will always find another way. They will climb up, down or around to get to where they want to go. This is what an entrepreneur does, as well, when faced with an obstacle. Throughout the startup journey and especially when things do not go well, an entrepreneur overcomes the obstacles and finds a way to keep on going… even if it means redefining the problem, sometimes!  For example, PayPal changed its business model half a dozen times, before the current model became successful. Another example is Flickr, which started as a multiplayer game and ended up as a photo sharing site.

#2: Always look ahead:

Ants gather food in the summer and store for the cold winter months – They plan for known contingencies and are “looking ahead”. Similarly, an entrepreneur’s journey is strewn with problems that they can anticipate ahead of time. Successful entrepreneurs learn to anticipate what can go wrong in the future and prepare for these situations

#3: Do all you can:

Ants never cease to work. They work tirelessly to gather as much food as they can. They are absolutely focused and dedicated to achieving their goals. Entrepreneurs are not very different. They work tirelessly to give shape to their dream. Of course, it’s simply not possible to know the future; the best one can do is do their best and perhaps switch to something else… and do your best at that, if the original one does not work!

This quote from Andy grove, founder of Intel, sums it up well:
“I think it is very important for you to do two things: act on your temporary conviction as if it was a real conviction; and when you realize that you are wrong, correct course very quickly.” —Andy Grove

Special thanks to Jim Rohn, whose teachings inspired me to write this article.

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Vijay Peduru is an entrepreneur in the bay area and is the co-founder of a bootstrapped startup. His interests are bootstrapping, leadership and spirituality.
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