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Pop-Ups Are Better Than Ads: How To Get “A Happening” Happening Around Your Startup

January 30, 2015 by Akira Hirai


The Beatles Double Decker Pop-up Bus

Is your startup stuck in the rut between a seed series and a Series A? Have you hit a wall with your social media engagement and are now struggling to find a way to provide fresh content and experiences for your customers? Or, do people love your product but fail to recognize and remember your brand? These are all common problems for early-stage startups. The truth is, you will not produce effective marketing until you really know your customer. What are their needs, wants, and interests? There is only so [Read More]

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Looking Ahead in 2015

January 26, 2015 by Akira Hirai


Small Busines Optimism

An old saying has it that people vote with their feet. If recently released research is any indication, small business owners, entrepreneurs, and other like-minded businesspeople can expect a stampede in the new year – particularly if they follow the lead of their colleagues as well as their competitors. New research from Kabbage, Inc., an online provider of small business loans, shows that small business optimism is at a three-year high. Ninety-five percent of business owners taking part in the survey said they expected increased revenue in 2015. On an [Read More]

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Is Your Concept Feasible?

January 9, 2015 by Akira Hirai


Test the feasibility of your concept

The start of a new year brings thoughts of new beginnings. For some of us, that might mean thoughts of turning our ideas into businesses. We’ve all had “Eureka!” moments when we come up with bright ideas for that proverbial better mousetrap. If only we could build it, the world would surely beat a path to our door to buy it. A sure thing! In reality, new businesses are never sure things. In fact, most business ventures fail. And that usually means entrepreneurs go through tremendous hardship with little to [Read More]

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Rick’s Strategic Planning Process

November 24, 2014 by Akira Hirai and Rick Tifone


How to Really Do Strategic Planning

A strategic planning process, when done right, enables an organization to set priorities, focus energy and resources, and navigate a rapidly changing environment. That said, putting together a strategic plan takes significant time, energy, and resources to do it right. Rick Tifone, Principal Consultant with Cayenne Consulting, knows strategic planning. Since 2003, Rick has been providing consulting services focused on Strategic Planning, Exit Planning, Business Advisory, and Capital Acquisition Strategy. Rick has helped dozens of CEOs in software development, IT services, commercial and residential real estate, executive recruiting, medical equipment, [Read More]

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Execution Makes a Good Restaurant (and its Business Plan) Great

October 27, 2014 by Jimmy Lewin


restaurant business planning

At Cayenne Consulting we’ve written dozens and dozens of business plans and created an equal number of financial forecasts for our restaurant and hospitality clients. For the most part, we can proudly claim that our clients love our work and, equally as important, our clients’ lenders and investors love our work as well. This success has caused us to sit back and wonder if there is really a differentiating factor between the way we develop business plans for this sector and the way other plans are written. In speaking with [Read More]

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Five Agile Innovation Tips for Startups

October 2, 2014 by Akira Hirai


Agile Innovation Book

As an adviser to countless startups, I’m very interested in learning all I can to help foster innovation in rapidly shifting markets. And so, I read everything I can get my hands on – about innovation, strategy, execution, what have you. There’s a new book just out, called Agile Innovation… and I think it’s a game changer. Simply put, it’s one of the best innovation books I’ve read in years and I think its approach can elevate the art and science of innovation at any organization. The authors – Langdon [Read More]

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How to Find and Recruit a Technical Cofounder for Your Startup

September 12, 2014 by Akira Hirai


How to Find and Recruit a Technical Cofounder for Your Startup

You have a great idea for a tech-oriented business and maybe an MBA to go along with it. But if you don’t have strong technical skills, then you’re going to need to fill that gap. That’s where a technical cofounder comes in. The fact is, no responsible investor will back a tech startup that lacks tech talent. It’s simply too risky. And even if you’re not looking for funding right now, you’re going to need in-house technical expertise sooner rather than later. No doubt about it: Having a CTO type [Read More]

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E-2 Business Plan Update

September 5, 2014 by Jimmy Lewin and Akira Hirai


E2 Business Plan Update

Our clients come to us from all over the world. Many, it turns out, are entrepreneurs and investors who wish to acquire or establish businesses in the United States but are not citizens or legal residents of the U.S. In order to own and work in a business in the U.S., a foreign entrepreneur must apply for and receive an immigration visa from the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS), an agency of the U.S. Government. One of the most important requirements of the immigration authorities is that the [Read More]

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Nice Guys Finish First, and Other Lessons from “Give and Take”

August 21, 2014 by Akira Hirai


give and take

David Hornik, a prosperous and respected venture capitalist, offers a term sheet to entrepreneur Danny Shader. After extensive due diligence, Shader decides to sign with another investor. The reason? Hornik came off as too affable, too generous with his time, too much of a giver. This anecdote leads off Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, the 2013 book by Wharton professor Adam Grant. As Grant sees it, there are three types of people: givers (“other-focused, paying more attention to what other people need from them”), takers (“they like [Read More]

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First Impressions

June 30, 2014 by Jimmy Lewin and Akira Hirai


First Impressions

We recently came across a website called Visual-Signature. The founder, Zainab Gibrine, is an image consultant and corporate executive based in Dubai. The site is focused on how job seekers and others can use their image to “advance their professional and personal ambitions.” We thought there were some interesting lessons to be learned for our readers who are primarily entrepreneurs. Ms. Gibrine suggests that “appearance, nonverbal communication, and body language all play a role in your interactions with others.” Our frequent readers realize that we are not suggesting that you [Read More]

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