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The HOT Sauce Blog for Entrepreneurs

8 Tips for Building a Bankable Business

August 19, 2015 by Akira Hirai


Building a Bankable Business

When it comes to the question of applying for a bank loan to fund your startup, most experts say, don’t bother. Banks are rarely interested in funding early stage companies these days, especially since the 2008 financial crash. However, it is not impossible to secure bank funding for your startup. Give yourself better odds with thoughtful planning, diligent preparation, and the eight tips below: Write a clear, cogent business plan: Prove you have the knowledge, work ethic, and organizational skills you’ll need to make your startup a success by preparing [Read More]

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Narrow Your Focus to Prevent Overanalysis

July 17, 2015 by John Beeby


Narrow Your Focus to Prevent Overanalysis

Entrepreneurs come up with new business ideas all the time. Often, they just plunge ahead to develop the product or service without really taking the time to 1) determine if market conditions are favorable, and, if they are favorable, 2) assess the ability of the business concept to take advantage of the opportunity. We have found that by following a focused, two-step process, you can reduce risks and improve the odds of success. An entrepreneur can be easily distracted by the many, many variables that a new business must deal [Read More]

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The Art of Socializing

June 17, 2015 by Akira Hirai


The Art of Socializing

Social media is free and ubiquitous, and offers entrepreneurs an unprecedented marketing opportunity. Guy Kawasaki, in his new book The Art of the Start 2.0, calls it the best thing that ever happened to entrepreneurs, and offers practical insights on using it effectively. Here is a summary of his tips from Chapter 9, The Art of Socializing: Draft a Plan and Use an Editorial Calendar: A months-long planning project is a waste of time and agencies are a waste of money (for most startups), but you should have some kind [Read More]

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Three Social Media Hacks for the Busy Entrepreneur

May 24, 2015 by Akira Hirai


Three Social Media Hacks for the Busy Entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur, social media is your best friend (free, ubiquitous marketing!), but in a busy startup with what feels like an endless to-do list, it probably seems like just another chore. It’s absolutely a smart investment of your time to spend 45-55 minutes each day in your social channels, and the tips below will show you how you can make the most of your time: Curate content: No need to toil over original blog posts or rack your brain constructing the perfect photo meme; chances are, someone has already [Read More]

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How Much is That Invention Worth?

April 22, 2015 by Shyam Jha


How Much is That Invention Worth

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson more than a century and a half ago. He forgot to mention that if you did not patent your idea, many would copy it, have it built cheaply offshore, and probably drive you to bankruptcy. More than 4,400 patents have been awarded by the US Patent and Trademark office for variations of a mousetrap alone! In fact, according to the Smithsonian, more patents have been awarded for a mousetrap than any other [Read More]

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Reboot: The Art of the Start 2.0

April 16, 2015 by Akira Hirai


The Art of the Start 2.0

Ten years after shaking up the world of entrepreneurship, Guy Kawasaki has fully updated his essential field guide to starting a business. The result: a book that’s both a reality check and an inspiration for the hopeful entrepreneur. The Art of the Start 2.0 revisits timeless topics like fundraising, pitching, and partnering – while adding fresh insights in areas like social media and crowdfunding – with Kawasaki’s signature frank-yet-refreshing acumen. The 2.0 version of this “battle-hardened guide” to starting a business is more relevant than ever. Despite historically-low startup rates, [Read More]

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Five Tips for Bootstrapping Your Startup

March 30, 2015 by Akira Hirai


Tips for Bootstrapping Your Startup

Most entrepreneurs can sidestep the frustration and distraction of finding angel investors or lenders to fund their startups, at least in the very early stages. Here are five tips that will help you bootstrap your startup with considerably less outside capital: Start virtual: An office is often a luxury which – thanks to ubiquitous online collaboration tools like me (screen sharing), Slack (instant messaging on steroids), Skype (voice and video communication), and Basecamp (project management) – is often superfluous. If you don’t actually need a physical location for your business, [Read More]

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Six Tips for Fostering Brand Evangelism

March 17, 2015 by Akira Hirai


Tips for Fostering Brand Evangelism

Loyal customers are more than repeat business – they are evangelists for your brand. Brand evangelists not only purchase your products, they promote your company to their social networks, both on and offline, and remain faithful even when your prices are not the lowest. Converting a dispassionate customer to a brand evangelist requires purposeful, positive relationship building, and these six tips are essential: Share your brand’s story: Brand loyalty is built by fostering a personal connection between the customer and the company. Creating that connection begins with learning to tell [Read More]

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Get the Most from Your Advisory Board

March 3, 2015 by Akira Hirai


Get the Most from Your Advisory Board

Assembling a brilliant advisory board is an important first step. The next step is to get the board to measurably impact your company. The challenge is in harnessing your board’s collective wisdom during the brief times you have their attention: the advisory board meeting. Starting about three weeks before your next advisory board meeting, use the tips below to ensure it’s your most productive one yet: Arm them with information. If your advisory board is to effectively advise you, they should be well-informed on the specific topics for which you’re [Read More]

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Six Tips for Older Entrepreneurs

February 25, 2015 by Akira Hirai


Mature Entrepreneurs

You’re over 50 and looking to embark on a new professional path. What better time than now to consider starting your own business? That suggestion may seem at odds with the stereotype of the entrepreneur as a young, bullish risk taker. But a confluence of events – a volatile stock market, a scramble to rebuild retirement portfolios, and a jittery employment environment – are fueling an entrepreneurship boom among more mature individuals. In fact, of all age groups, entrepreneurship growth was highest among 45- to 54-year-olds, according to a report [Read More]

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