The nature of bootstrapping requires every entrepreneur to fill multiple roles at once. Often, one or more of these roles is outside of the entrepreneur’s previous experience and comfort zone. Whether its industry knowledge, technical experience, are core business skills that you need to build, it helps to have some tools to rely on to build a working knowledge of a new topic fast. That’s why our first ever Entrepreneur’s Toolkit focuses on learning and development. Here are some great resources to help you and your team bootstrap knowledge:
Continue reading “Entrepreneur’s Toolkit: Learning and Development”
Examples of firms retreating further into their niche seem to increase with every day of the recession. Most companies will realize too late, however, that they’ve lost the opportunity to expand their scope and increase their revenues by being there for their customers in their time of need. The reality is that being too precise or too general eliminates your opportunity to grow and forces your firm to depend heavily on only its existing clients, many of whom may be looking for ways to cut costs that might include severing relationships with companies like yours. In today’s market, companies don’t need an engineering company any more than they need a consulting firm. What they really need is a company that can offer real value by solving a core business problem, aligning that solution with the firm’s goals, and implementing it in a way that ensures its acceptance by the company’s existing culture.
Continue reading “What’s Your Firm’s Perspective?”
Times are certainly tough for startups these days, but there are a few things you can do help your business brave the storm. Here’s The Upwardly Mobile‘s list of the top five.
Continue reading “Top Five Tips for Getting Your Startup Through Tough Times”
In Sunday’s post, I mentioned that being a Purple Cow is about delivering exceptional value to your customers that exceeds their wildest expectations. It’s also about conveying that value through the kind of marketing that really lets customers know you’re something special.
Take a look at The Engine Is Red. I stumbled across this company when reading an article from my news feed about 8 entrepreneurs who are defying the risk-adverse economic faux-wisdom of the times by starting companies during the recession. Each startup has its own story, and several have very interesting ideas. But despite the fact that The Engine Is Red was, perhaps, the least original concept of the eight, it was the only company that really stood out. One look at the company’s website makes it clear that the firm is not an average design company. Marketing with most firms, the site quips, is like a one night stand; marketing with The Engine Is Red is about solving core business challenges, driving sales, and increasing profits. Red is about creating value.
In short, The Engine is Red is quickly becoming the Little Red Engine That Could.
Spend some time thinking about what your marketing says about you. In a time when most firms–even banks and insurance companies the self-proclaimed giants of experience and reliability–don’t really live up to their names, it’s time to focus on value, not tradition. When potential customers are looking at the herd, is your cow easy to spot?
Most entrepreneurs worth their salt have something interesting to say about why their company matters. In the private sector, they can tell you that their product is cheaper, more efficient, and better designed. In the public sector, they can tell you why their service is eco-friendly and provides opportunities for the underprivileged. These entrepreneurs are certainly right. But they’re also boring. You, however, don’t have to be.
Continue reading “Value is Purple”