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The HOT Sauce Blog for Entrepreneurs

Listen Like a Leader

October 25, 2016 by Nancy Clauss

Listen like a leader

With organizations and individuals so fervently focused on the bottom line, it’s easy to ignore “softer” goals, such as listening well. “All that touchy-feeling stuff is a waste of my time,” or “I’m too busy to worry about that now,” you might say or think. Think again! A focus on listening can lead to more effective teamwork, higher productivity, fewer conflicts and errors, enhanced innovation and problem-solving, improved recruiting and retention, superior customer service, and more. As authors on leadership development have noted through the years, listening is not just [Read More]

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Embracing the Start-Up J Curve

October 10, 2016 by Akira Hirai

The Start-up J Curve

In his latest book, entrepreneur Howard Love guides fellow business owners through the predictable phases faced by most entrepreneurs. Love’s book provides a step-by-step guide for small-business owners on how to recognize and maximize on each of the phases. The Start-Up J Curve: The Six Steps to Entrepreneurial Success places the six phases on the classic entrepreneurial J-curve, so named for the inevitable early-stage challenges most start-ups take. Love dispels the “straight line to success” myth that pervades the industry, helping entrepreneurs comprehend why each phase occurs, and what they [Read More]

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4 Steps to Take Before Hiring a Business Plan Consultant

October 7, 2016 by Nancy Clauss

steps to business planning

Who among us hasn’t dreamed of becoming their own boss, of being a successful entrepreneur? Maybe you have worked as a top salesperson for many years and have faith in your ability to generate and convert leads. Perhaps you work in a small business and feel certain you could run your own, even better. Maybe love people, food, music, and drink, so the restaurant or nightclub business has always called to you. Or you have invented a better widget and want to bring your idea to market under your own [Read More]

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My Customer Experience Journey

September 29, 2016 by Shyam Jha

Shyam Jha - My Customer Experience Journey

By Shyam Jha, Principal Consultant My first job after college was as a field sales engineer at Schlumberger – an oil-field services firm. I learned what it meant to be the face of a company at a customer site. For customers like Shell, BP, and Exxon, the field engineers represented Schlumberger. We delivered a technical service, but it was the professional way in which it was delivered that made Schlumberger a leader in oil field services world-wide. Our core competitive advantage was the relentless focus on being the easiest firm [Read More]

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Need Start Up Funding? Here’s a Great Tip…

August 30, 2016 by Jason Wells

Need Start Up Funding

If you need start-up funding for your business, you need to present a business plan that shows clearly the business you propose to go into and your place in it. Prospective investors will expect you to cover all the bases and give them a very clear picture of what your chances for success are. Tell Investors Your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats All businesses have strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT); itemizing them is called a SWOT analysis. Outlining these in detail is essential for a business plan. SWOTs are [Read More]

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8 Essential Elements of a Winning Business Plan

August 19, 2016 by Akira Hirai

8 Essential Elements of a Winning Business Plan

It is generally understood that business plans are important, but few people actually know what should be included to create an effective business plan. Rather than relying on trial and error that could cost your startup support and funding, here are the essential elements of a winning business plan. 1. Your business plan must be professional and grammatically correct. A business plan is the first impression most investors and backers will have of your business, and you want to put your best foot forward by making sure your plan looks [Read More]

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Pitch Perfect: The Fundamentals of Great Pitch Decks

July 29, 2016 by Akira Hirai

Pitch Perfect: The Fundamentals of Great Pitch Decks

The pitch deck (or investor presentation) is often the first tool you’ll use to connect with potential investors. Its contents should help investors determine whether your business is the right opportunity for them. An effective pitch deck shares your business plan clearly and concisely, and it engages your audience on an emotional level as well. An effective pitch deck focuses on the problem or “pain point” your business addresses, how it does so, and who is on your management team. When you present your pitch, you have a terrific opportunity [Read More]

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Building A Winning Marketing Plan For Your Startup

June 2, 2016 by Patrick Godknecht

Building a Winning Marketing Plan For Your Startup

Guiding a startup company to success is an uphill struggle no matter how great your ideas are. Great products and services deserve great marketing, and they can really struggle to find their places without it. Formulating a strong marketing plan is essential to launching your startup in the marketplace. Here are some tips for getting it right: Start Studying Your Customers Early As you may already know, one of the keys to successful marketing is positioning your products or services as ideal solutions to a problem your potential customers are [Read More]

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Choosing the Right Strategy for Funding Your Business

April 7, 2016 by Jimmy Lewin

Capital Formation Strategy

Perhaps you are a new entrepreneur about to launch a business or innovation you have been dreaming about for years. Or maybe you have an established business and things are going well, or maybe even too well. In both instances you are going to need capital – the “oxygen” that every business needs to grow and prosper. So now you are writing your first business plan or touching up the old one in anticipation of raising capital. Capital can only come into a business in one of two ways: capital [Read More]

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Quick Guide to the Perfect Social Media Profile

March 8, 2016 by Akira Hirai

Guy Kawasaki

You have less than five seconds to catch the attention of a would-be customer with your social media profile, so it’s imperative to make a big impression, fast. By capturing your brand’s story in pictures and embracing the beauty of brevity, you can build scan-friendly profiles that will make readers want to stick around, learn more about your brand, and click the “follow” button. Here are five tips that will help. Tell your story in pictures: Most forms of social media allow you to headline your profile with two major [Read More]

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