Entrepreneurial DNA – What’s Yours?

You can find a good amount of misconceptions hanging around, boosted by icons like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, that you should be in your 20’s, and include a rigorous way of thinking and a huge ego. So when we talk about Entrepreneurial DNA – what’s yours?

But, as outlined by a comprehensive study carried out by a startup incubator, these people are merely outliers.

Smart companies used to go to great trouble to build their reputations – literally. They’d build plush and cozy branch offices that practically radiated that invaluable commodity, trust.

Then came other tools – deploying armies of smooth-talking salespeople to play golf with the clientele (and to smooth over any problems), or broadcasting hours of online language development and reassuring television commercials.

If none of those tactics reached the customer, the customer could literally reach for the product itself. Trust was easily built and tested at every step.

Invest in Customer Service (and cut your Advertising Budget)

What do you think would happen if you took 10% of your advertising budget and invested it in customer service? Your immediate reaction might be to think that whilst it’s a nice idea, it’s too risky to cut an advertising budget that doesn’t quite go far enough already. No Marketer in their right mind would willingly give up some of their budgets anyway, right?

I’ll be honest, I’d be a little nervous making that suggestion to my Finance Director too. But let’s just play out the thought process here:

  • It’s often cheaper to retain an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. This makes sense, as you already have the customer, you’ve just got to keep them happy. Yet, so many companies focus more on finding new business and playing the tricky – and costly – game of trying to convert prospects
  • Look at your current promotions. They’re aimed at new customers right? Sign up and get 5000 free minutes of phone calls. Transfer your account and receive a $100 bonus. When you’ve been a customer of a business for several years, how do you feel when you see a better deal being offered to new – and sometimes brand-hopping – customers? Shouldn’t you be rewarding loyalty in your customers instead?

Obsessed With Facebook?

It has been suggested to me on more than one occasion that I may be spending far too much time on social media. And they may have a point. I have five accounts on Twitter, two on Facebook, plus underused pages on Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Foursquare, and Quora. I’ve at least kept away from Pinterest.

While I do have quieter times, I just can’t help coming back. I blame my iPhone for that.

Thankfully, I’m not alone. Take a look at the infographic below from OnlineSchools.org. While some of the numbers are incredible, I can’t help but feel an affinity for my fellow obsessed social souls.

How Innovative Activities Change as Industries Mature

So it’s an equal playing field after all. Companies in mature industries can be just as creative as startups, according to a new study conducted by professors from Boston University and Harvard Business School. In “How Innovative Activities Change as Industries Mature,” Boston’s Anita M. McGahan and Harvard’s Brian Silverman analyzed the patent applications of publicly traded U.S. companies from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s.

They found innovation doesn’t decline with age. Using algorithms, the study identified an average of 75,000 to 100,000 patents per year per industry, which includes manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, retail, financial services, entertainment, and business services. This doesn’t change when you throw in “emerging industries.”

“The results surprised us a great deal at first because conventional wisdom has us believing that new companies are more creative while older companies don’t have the incentive to be as innovative,” McGahan says. The study also found that industry leaders can be “displaced” no matter how many patents they hold.

Wasted Time – How to Bust it

Time is your most precious asset, and this article includes some tips on how to avoid wasting it. So let’s take a closer look at Wasted Time – how to bust it.

In one of my earlier posts, I explained that procrastination or wasting time is the reason so many people today are unable to achieve their goals and gain financial freedom.

Many people dream about a better job, working from home or just having financial freedom yet they don’t know how to manage their time.

I think I have mentioned that I’m involved in helping people to pass the GED test so read my review of GED practice tests and classes. The GED is a high school equivalency test for people who didn’t finish high school but now are looking for new job possibilities and would like to continue their education.

The first step in this process is to get prepared for the GED by taking preparation classes and GED pre-tests. Sadly, many people waste their time and never get their GED certificate so here is how to bust time-wasting.

Success Comes After Failure [Infographic]

People are afraid of failure and this is the key reason why they will not succeed. It is a fact that most of the people who now are rich and successful experienced several failures before. To a certain degree, they all have failed in the past so let’s look at how success comes after failure.

If you examine this infographic (Courtesy of Covcell online education), you can see what kind of set-backs these famous people experienced before becoming so successful.

So you better not give up your efforts when you feel that success seems unlikely. Just keep working hard and have faith. There will be no success if you haven’t failed before. This is just a fact of life that you will need to deal with.

Mergers and Acquisitions Law – Why is Free Cash Flow important?

Last time I have discussed which methods exist to value a firm and this time I give you a small introduction in what the free cash flow is and why is it important for the valuation of the firm based on the internal data. Here we go about Mergers and Acquisitions Law – why is free cash flow important?

My intention is to highlight the main aspects of this method, which are usually taken for granted and sometimes are paid less attention to. So, let us now focus on the internal method.

Now I want to focus your attention on why we work with the free cash flows for determining the value of a firm and not with the profits the company is making when trying to determine its value.

Cash flow creates a great deal of confusion to many especially those who are new to the subject of corporate finance. People tend to think that profit is the key to measuring value creation in a company or a project, not least because such a concept is widely known. On the other hand, while many have heard of the proverb “Cash is King”, only few can explain its significance.

Why do Mergers and Acquisitions sometimes Fail to Produce Anticipated Results?

When two companies decide to combine forces in a merger, the papers are shouting about it. Why are companies in industries ranging from telecommunications to financial services to retail looking to merge? And why do mergers and acquisitions sometimes fail to produce anticipated results?

What is meant by the term M&A, Mergers and Acquisitions? And is a successful M&A more of a fairy tale than reality?  Just take a look at the following video about the 10 most disastrous mergers and acquisitions (M&As):

To clarify why M&A can fail, I mainly stress what key points one should keep in mind in order to have better chances of success and why businesses should go green if the want to be successful!

Definitions
M&A is a generic term that can be broken down and defined more technically. We talk about a merger if an agreement between equals is made to combine their operations. However consolidation would mean that a new firm is created after a merger, and both acquiring firm and target firm shareholders receive shares in this firm.

Why Entrepreneurs Hate Business Planning

Most entrepreneurship programs are organized around the development of a business plan. This is understandable because the first thing entrepreneurs are asked for when they apply for a bank credit or venture capital is a business plan. So let’s check out why entrepreneurs hate business planning.

If no business planning, what then?

They make use of opportunities which arise and adapt their approach continues to the market responses. Saras Sarasvathy, a key trainer in VentureLab International, called this the “Effectuation” approach as opposed to the usual “Causation” approach in which business planning plays an important role.

Her findings are more and more recognized at entrepreneurship support centers across the world as also shows on the website of the well-recognized French educational and research institution Educaix.

The Myth of Generation Y

Conventional wisdom suggests that Generation Y, also known as Millenials also known as Generation Einstein following the book of Boschma and Groen, are among other things Media Smart. So let’s see what it is all about, the myth of “Generation Einstein”.

“Since they were babies, they have been confronted with the media – they understand advertising and have become the ultimate experts. They only need to see the advertisement to know what the marketing strategy of the company is”.

I do not know where such ideas are founded on but my impression is that they are based more on fiction than on facts. For sure the millennials have grown in a media-dominated society but they media smartness is limited since they are heavily exposed to one medium only, namely the Internet: they watch much less TV, read almost nothing on paper (except maybe their school textbooks) including newspapers and they listen much less to the radio than their parents.