There is only one way to meet a venture capitalist

If you can't make your pitch within 10 minutes, however, you're not ready

There is only one way to meet a venture capitalistHow you approach a venture capitalist (VC) can be the difference between receiving a quick glance or gaining direct attention. It can be very tempting to cold call venture capital web search results or chase down a harried VC at an entrepreneur event. While those attempts may work, it's a low probability tactic and just…

Service with a smile: the simple formula for success

Four tips to transform the customer service your business offers

Service with a smile: the simple formula for successI don’t usually eat at Wendy’s, but last week I was in the Phoenix airport and I was famished. Instead of lunch, I’d escaped from the conference I’d presented at and hiked Camelback Mountain. A few hours later, I was waiting for my flight home. I’d eaten a small meal at a neighbouring restaurant with…

How to put a value on your technology startup

Attributing value is a source of countless rolled eyes, smacked foreheads, arguments and sometimes outright failure

How to put a value on your technology startupWhen a new company is launched, the odds are stacked heavily against the entrepreneur. It is stacked especially high against the tech entrepreneur. University of Tennessee Research tells us that more than half of all new businesses fail by the end of year four but only 37 per cent of technology businesses remain operable by…

Risk and reward: accept that failure is part of business success

How often does fear of failure prevent us from beginning? We dwell on the fact that others might think less of us if we make mistakes when we should plunge on

Risk and reward: accept that failure is part of business successI remember the first time I really bruised my business ego. I was 21 and had convinced a bunch of investors that my idea was the next big thing. For months I built the product, pounded the pavement and found buyers. It was really hard work and after a while I began to realize that…

Friends rarely make the best business partners

Keeping things simple just might help keep you from getting burned

Friends rarely make the best business partnersA big part of entrepreneurship is choosing your partners. Over the life of the venture you will likely spend a great deal more of your waking hours with your business partners than you will with your spouse, or any significant other who cares to hang about in a non-paid capacity for that matter. A lot…

10 powerful and simple body language tips

The amazing thing about nonverbal communication is that sometimes the smallest body language change can bring powerful results

10 powerful and simple body language tipsEvidence from psychology, neuroscience, sociology, and anthropology has given nonverbal communication new credence in the workplace. One example is a study at the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging that discovered it takes the brain just 200 milliseconds to gather most of the information it needs from a facial expression to determine a person’s…

Key to your business success: consistency and congruency

When customers know that you're going to be consistent or reliable, and congruent or true to your word, they want to do business with you

Key to your business success: consistency and congruencyLast week, I didn’t write an article. I could give you all the excuses in the world. I was travelling, I had meetings, my dog was eating my printer paper. They’re all true, but the real reason is I had a man cold and just couldn’t write. Outside of holidays, it was just the second…

All venture capitalists are not created equal

Some entrepreneurs who complain about their venture capitalists remind me of that guy who gets mad after buying a car without first performing his due diligence

All venture capitalists are not created equalMost times, raising capital is a tough haul. Endless pitching, grueling due diligence and an enormous commitment of time and money is usually required. But once in a while there is a company that rises up and grabs the attention and the imagination of a swarm of venture capitalists (VCs) in a relatively short period…

We lack the tools to manage the 21st century economy

The digital economy isn’t just another phase in the industrial era. It’s an entirely new paradigm, with new assets and a much different value creation formula

We lack the tools to manage the 21st century economyAt the recently-concluded World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a surprising number of economic papers dealt with ‘secular stagnation,’ the term economists use to describe our enduring recession. One of the more popular reasons put forward for secular stagnation is an aging population in the western developed nations. The logic goes something like this: Holding…

Who’s paying attention to the essential details in your business?

Documenting, teaching and training your staff on what they need to do to ensure the business thrives is critical to success

Who’s paying attention to the essential details in your business?I had a letter returned to me this week. I’d sent payment to a subscription service but they'd moved, unbeknownst to me. So my cheque came back. The problem? The subscription forms still contained the old address. How many other customers has this happened to? Perhaps your organization thinks you don’t need more customers –…