Tag: entrepreneur

Do You Have the Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs?

Do you know what it takes to join the ranks of successful entrepreneurs?

Do You Have the Characteristics of Successful EntrepreneursAs Score Mentors we are often asked, “what does it take to be a successful entrepreneur”?

What is an Entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurship is traditionally defined as the process of designing, launching and running a new business. It typically begins as a small business, such as a startup company, offering a product, process or service for sale or hire. The people who do so are called ‘entrepreneurs‘. They are generally identified as having the…

“…capacity and willingness to develop, organize, and manage a business venture usually with considerable initiative and risk in order to make a profit.”

Twentieth century economists such as Joseph Schumpeter define an entrepreneur as an individual willing and able to convert a new idea or invention into a successful innovation.

Entrepreneurship employs what Schumpeter called “the gale of creative destruction” to replace in whole or in part, inferior offerings across markets and industries, simultaneously creating new products and new business models.

Entrepreneurs, therefore, are leaders willing to take risk and exercise initiative. They take advantage of market opportunities by planning, organizing, and deploying resources often by innovating to create new or improving existing products or services.

While entrepreneurship is often associated with new, small, for-profit start-ups, entrepreneurial behavior can be seen in new and established firms and in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. These include voluntary sector groups, charitable organizations and government. For example, in the 2000s, the field of social entrepreneurship has been identified, in which entrepreneurs combine business activities with humanitarian, environmental or community goals. Entrepreneurship within an existing firm or large organization is referred to as intrapreneurship and may include corporate ventures where large entities “spin off” subsidiary organizations.

The most significant characteristic that differentiates entrepreneurs is that they are risk takers and they tolerate uncertainty. If that were all that is required for success, then it appears that you need nothing more than to be a gambler. Obviously, more is required.

While there is no simple answer, research indicates several characteristics in addition to tolerance for risk and uncertainty that are commonly found in the personalities of successful entrepreneurs.

Successful Entrepreneurs Have:

  • Self Motivation – have the ability to wake up in the morning and immediately start working. Entrepreneurs do not waste away the day doing things that have no benefit to their business. Bosses told you what needed to be done. Now as an entrepreneur, you must know what needs to be done and take action to get it done.
  • Self Confidence – be confident in yourself, your product and your business. You need to know that your product can truly help people and that you are charging prices that are both fair to you, and your clients.
  • Behave Ethically and Morally – decide what you stand for and how you will conduct your business on a daily basis. Know before you get tempted to cross some line that could jeopardize your business.
  • Manage Time – this goes hand-in-hand with Self Motivation. You need to schedule your day and stick to that schedule. Your time is valuable. Take time to educate yourself on ways to improve your business or products. [Related: Staying Productive]
  • Sales – every business needs to develop a way to handle sales. An entrepreneur’s job is to develop the types of sales that work best for your business Constant effort should be on improving your sales skills.
  • Understand Finance – this a must if you are in business for yourself. Knowing how to balance a checkbook and keeping track of numbered invoices is all most small businesses need to do when they first start out. Remember to schedule time for your financial management.
  • Study Strategies – of successful businesses already doing what you wish to do and incorporate the best strategies into your own.
  • Value Quality – quality drive sales, which leads to business growth.

 Successful Entrepreneurs also meet these Requirements:

  • Clear, succinctly stated value proposition specifying benefits
  • Know target market
  • Strategic business plan
  • Unified, connected product line or service line
  • Competition based on a dimension other than price (e.g., quality or service)
  • Early, frequent, intense and well-targeted marketing
  • Tight financial controls
  • Sufficient start-up and growth capital
  • Corporation or LLC model, not sole proprietorship
  • One or more unique competitive advantages
  • Work experience in the start-up industry
  • Full-time involvement in the new venture

A SCORE mentor can help your through this process FREE! Click here to schedule a mentoring session.

Greater Phoenix SCORE also has classes and workshops on how to a start a business. Click here for the schedule.

Here are some free resources SCORE and the SBA.

About the Author:

Roger_RobinsonRoger Robinson, PhD has been a SCORE mentor for over 16 years. His specialties include non-profits, business planning, specifically in restaurants and hospitality, recreational and arts and Entertainment verticals. Read more about Roger here. Click here to schedule a free mentoring session with Roger or another SCORE mentor.

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How to start a business in 10 days. 24 Oct

How to Start a Business in 10 Days

What! Start a business in 10 days?!

Yes it can be done! However, you really have to be motivated to start a business.

Follow these steps from Entrepreneur Magazine and in 10 days you can have a business running.

(Whether you quit your day job right away, is up to you.)

Here’s a rundown of the steps to start a business:

  1. Create a business plan – whether on a napkin or complex software write it down!
  2. Study the market – define your target market, do some research on them and the industry.
  3. Build your brand – it’s more than just a logo!
  4. Incorporate (make it legal) – at least create an LLC to protect yourself. (No lawyer needed)
  5. Set up a lean machine – keep costs down initially
  6. Tell everyone you’re in business and have something unique to offer – spread the word!
  7. Work the media – and not just print and broadcast.
  8. Fake it to make it – think BIG!
  9. Work on your business – focus on income generating tasks
  10. Party, thank everyone and get feedback

But even BEFORE creating a business plan, attend one of the workshops/seminars that Greater Phoenix SCORE has to offer. Click here for the schedule.

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19 Profit-Watching Tips for Restaurateurs

A Checklist for RestaurateursIn the last of our series on Starting Your Own Restaurant, especially for budding restaurateurs, we pull everything together in a checklist.

Making a profit is the most important some might say this is the only objective of a business. Profit measures success. It can be defined simply: revenues less expenses = profit. So, to increase profits, you must raise revenues, lower expenses, or both. To make improvements, you must know what’s going on financially at all times.

Secrets of Success for Restaurateurs

  • CONTROL (168 hrs./week)
  • KISS – keep it simple stupid (menu / concept / etc)
  • WORKING CAPITAL / CASH FLOW

Here’s the checklist:

  1. Plan no profit first year – caveat debt service
  2. Initially request credit – negotiate for 7-30 days
  3. Try to avoid signing personally – especially not for ongoing product and supplies
  4. Negotiate all prices –insist on credit for spoiled food not seen on delivery or goes bad
  5. Good accounting system important (QuickBooks – we hold regular classes on using Quickbooks. Check out the schedule here.)
  6. Sandwich shops belong in industrial / commercial area
  7. Take out food service important potential source of income.
  8. Caveat location / competition / competitive advantage
  9. Should change menu every three months if possible
  10. Permit / license consultants available
  11. County courses available for bar employees re. Dram Act responsibilities / liabilities
  12. Employee food – 50% discount (on selected items) or special separate food free
  13. Caveat theft and waste / use of leftovers
  14. Portion control (advanced preparation) particularly for sandwiches (Subway model)
  15. Request credit on bad food
  16. Weigh / check in all food delivery – especially produce (check bottom layer of box)
  17. Caveat Health Dept. (utilize former Health Dept. employee to ensure up to code)
  18. Remember food handler’s card
  19. Advertising Resources – ValPak, local/weekly papers, Guerilla Marketing, social media, videos

 

If you’re thinking of start a restaurant or any type of business, get FREE Business Mentoring at a convenient location in the Phoenix Valley.

About the Author:

Roger_RobinsonRoger Robinson, PhD has been a SCORE mentor for over 16 years. His specialties include non-profits, business planning, specifically in restaurants and hospitality, recreational and arts and Entertainment verticals. Read more about Roger here. Click here to schedule a free mentoring session with Roger or another SCORE mentor.

 

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How to Start a Business with No Money 8 Aug

How to Start a Business with No Money

By David Spindell, Certified SCORE Business Mentor

How to Start a Business with No MoneyI was born in Brooklyn, New York. My neighborhood was the slum of Brooklyn. In my school they were trying a new system of education. They were going to let the students learn at their own pace — in other words, not to follow any school curriculum. I was learning how to go from writing print to script.

We moved to a new neighborhood and a new school. The students were reading a book a week, and doing a book report. I became the dumbest student in the school. I had to work extra hard to move ahead in life. My father was a Local 3 Union electrician. So I got into the union because it was a father and son union.

Life was extra hard for me. I was saved by my business smarts. Which I want to share with you.

I was a successful electrical contractor who ran a multi-million dollar electrical company for 35 years. I’ve had a plumbing business, a bar, a bagel store, a jewelry store and a pawn shop. I am a very diversified entrepreneur.

I was very lucky to learn all bout business, from my first partner and I want to share with you what he shared with me that made me very successful ,

And show you where you can find a partner like I had. I want to teach you how you will know to find the right answers to all your business questions. I want to give you the confidence, to know that you can be successful at any business you go in to.

You are a very bright person, you can over come any obstacle. From my experience you will learn all you need to know to become successful.

I will teach you:

  • How to find a business
  • How to fund a business
  • How to run a business
  • How to start a business with very little money,even no money
  • How to go from the dumbest student to the smartest
  • How a billionaire made all his money with out paying any taxes – Legally
  • How to get a amazing partner like I did
  • How to do the right thing
  • How to continue your success

Confidence is the key to becoming a successful entrepreneur. If you have the confidence nothing can stop you. You know how to handle any situation that could come up. I want to give you the confidence. And watch you grow into the business giant you could be.

If you want to run your own business you have to look at the good:

  • You control your own destiny
  • You can make a lot of money.
  • You are respected by your peers.
  • You have full control if your life.
  • You can help others

Hopefully, you will become a very confident human being!

Sign up for David’s class on August 18, 2016, $25.

 

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25 Jul

Entrepreneurs: You Are Not Alone

Entrepreneurs and owners of small businesses are used to doing everything – from unlocking the doors in the morning, to emptying out the trash cans, and locking up before heading home at the end of another long day. Along the way, making hundreds of decisions, often with significant potential consequences. It’s challenging, risky, unsettling, and often intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be lonely.

Every entrepreneur and small business owner will benefit from an informal team of advisors that they can call on for advice and help. As you pursue your entrepreneurial journey, seek out and invite an advisory team of business professionals to join you. Your core competency is running the business, theirs is to help you be successful.

Your advisory team should include a Lawyer, an Accountant, a Banker, an Independent Insurance Agent, and a Mentor. In addition, given the pace of technology, adding an IT guru and an On-Line Marketing expert is highly recommended.

Referrals and recommendations from friends and respected colleagues are the best sources of leads to fill out your advisory team. Once you identify one or two members, ask them who they feel comfortable working with and you’ll likely quickly assemble a talented team.

Each member of the team will be able to advise you on the many pitfalls that face small businesses, as well as help you set a firm foundation for future smooth operations. For instance, the Lawyer will counsel you on creating a legal entity for your business, but also provide guidance on the regulatory environment, labor law issues, and review of contracts (before you sign). Ask lots of questions, take advantage of free advice, but always be willing to pay for their professional services.

The Mentor on your team can play a particularly important role. Find a Mentor with relevant experience, a willingness to share, and the time needed to be available to you. SCORE is a great source of Mentors – with over 70 talented business professionals in the Greater Phoenix Chapter – and no charge for mentoring.

You don’t have to be alone in your entrepreneurial journey. Reach out to others and focus on identifying and forming a team of business professionals. Your advisory team will provide the advice and support needed to drive your success. Add this task to your “to do” list today, and then take out the trash.

About the Author:

Andy BeranAndy Beran is the immediate Past President of Greater Phoenix SCORE and has been a mentor since 2008. Andy currently owns a medical transport company in the Phoenix area.  Since purchasing the company in 2010, he returned the business to consistent profitability and growth. During his extensive corporate career, Andy held various management positions at a leading Fortune 50 high technology research, development and manufacturing company.  His positions included Group Controller and Director of Strategic Planning.  He was a proven expert in the areas of Strategic Planning, Mergers and Acquisitions, Strategic Alliances, New Business Development, Operations and Capacity Planning, Finance & Budgeting and ROI / Productivity. Learn more about Andy here.

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Who’s Your Restaurant’s Target Market?

This is the next in the series of posts on opening a restaurant. In this part we cover how to determine a restaurant’s target market, the marketing plan and location, location, location!

Target Markets

Who's your restaurant's target market? No single food-service operation has universal appeal. Focus on the 5 or 10 percent of the market you can get, forget about the rest. The main market targets of food-service business customers:

  • Generation Y. Born between 1980 and 2000, A prime target for a food-service business, Generation Y goes for fast-food and quick-service items. About 25 percent of their restaurant visits are to burger franchises, follow by pizza restaurants at 12 percent.
  • Generation X. Born between 1965 and 1977, they are concerned with value, they favor quick-service restaurants and midscale operations that offer all-you-can-eat salad bars and buffets. Offer a comfortable atmosphere focusing on value and ambience.
  • Baby boomers. Born between 1946 and 1964, boomers make up the largest segment of the U.S. population. Many can afford to visit upscale restaurants and spend money freely. Many are becoming grandparents. Offer them a family-friendly atmosphere and/or provide an upscale, formal dining experience.
  • Empty nesters. Early 50s to about age 64, typically have grown children who no longer live at home. They continue to increase as boomers grow older and their children leave home. With the most discretionary income and the highest per-capita income of all, they typically visit upscale restaurants. They focus on excellent service and outstanding food, they like elegant surroundings and a sophisticated ambience.
  • Age 65 and older, often on fixed incomes they tend to visit family-style restaurants that offer good service and reasonable prices. They typically appreciate restaurants that offer early-bird specials and senior menus with lower prices and smaller portions.

Marketing Plan – concentrate on local area

  • Generally lunch requires at least 10,000 potential customers within a radius of 1 mile
  • Generally dinner requires at least 60000 potential customers within a radius of 3 miles
  • Identify competitors
  • Loyalty programs with significant rewards
  • Direct mail
  • Churches (ads in directory)
  • Schools (fund raisers – PTO/PTA)
  • National Restaurant Association (NRA) for additional information see website
  • Door hangers
  • Inserts in local papers
  • Co-op marketing with non-competing businesses
  • Personal contacts with hotel concierges, car dealerships, large employers
  • Grand opening campaign / specials

Location, Location, Location

Where you locate your restaurant is importantChoosing the right location for your business is important. Considerations include the needs of your business, where your customers and competitors are, and such things as taxes, zoning restrictions, noise and the environment.

The better the location, the fewer marketing funds you have to spend. Your restaurant should be highly visible and located in an area with a large number of customers you’re trying to attract – don’t forget to include availability of easy parking.   Don’t make the mistake of leasing a location before you’ve got a solid business model. Don’t sign a lease until the concept and business plan is complete and you’ve reviewed it with a SCORE counselor and an attorney.

Note that not every food-service operation needs to be in a retail location, but for those that do depend on retail traffic, here are some factors to consider when deciding on a location:

  • Anticipated sales volume. How will the location and seasonality contribute to your sales volume?
  • Visibility, Signage, Accessibility to potential customers. How easy it will be for customers to find you, to get into your business. If you are relying on strong pedestrian traffic, will nearby businesses will generate foot traffic for you?
  • The rent-paying capacity of your business. Do a sales-and-profit projection for your first year of operation? Use that information to decide how much rent you can afford to pay.
  • Zoning, Restrictive ordinances. You may encounter unusually restrictive ordinances that make an otherwise strong site less than ideal, such as limitations on the hours of the day that trucks can legally load or unload.
  • Traffic density. Carefully exam of foot traffic. Two factors are especially important in this analysis: total pedestrian traffic during business hours and the percentage of it that is likely to patronize your food service business. Estimate sales potential based on pedestrians passing a given location.
  • Customer parking facilities. The site should provide convenient, adequate parking and lighting as well as easy access for customers.
  • Proximity to other businesses. Neighboring businesses may influence your store’s volume, and their presence can work for you or against you.
  • History of the site. Find out the recent history of each site under consideration before you make a final selection. Who were the previous tenants, and why are they no longer there?
  • Terms of the lease. Be sure you understand all the details of the lease, because it’s possible that an excellent site may have unacceptable leasing terms. Be sure to negotiate a tenant improvement allowance for build out costs. Caveat CAM (common area maintenance costs).
  • Future development. Check with the local planning board to see if anything is planned for the future that could affect your business, such as additional buildings nearby or road construction.

If you are thinking of opening a restaurant, we’ve got mentors who have been there and done that! Click here to schedule a free mentoring session at a Phoenix location near you!

About the Author:

Roger_RobinsonRoger Robinson, PhD has been a SCORE mentor for over 16 years. His specialties include non-profits, business planning, specifically in restaurants and hospitality, recreational and arts and Entertainment verticals. Read more about Roger here. Click here to schedule a free mentoring session with Roger or another SCORE mentor.

 

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