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The HOT Sauce Blog for Entrepreneurs

Is Learning to Simplify the Secret to Success?

December 13, 2016 by Akira Hirai


Simplify: How the Best Businesses in the World Succeed

In their new book, Simplify: How the Best Businesses in the World Succeed, authors Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood describe strategies for achieving market leadership and even market transformation through simplification. Koch is a management consultant and entrepreneur who began his career at Boston Consulting Group. Lockwood is a venture capitalist, or as he describes, “a professional skeptic.” In researching the topic, the authors realized that “nearly all of the great success stories of the twentieth century – right up to the present day – are stories of simplifying.” Their book is filled [Read More]

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How to Keep Your Sanity as an Entrepreneur

November 25, 2016 by Akira Hirai


how to stay sane as an entrepreneur

While it’s true that many entrepreneurs may need to rethink their business models, Myers suggests that the best approach is to rethink your thinking.

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Understand the Power of the Question to Drive Innovation

November 14, 2016 by Akira Hirai


A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas

Asking “Why,” “What If,” and “How” is a powerful way to drive innovation, empower entrepreneurs, and create needed solutions.

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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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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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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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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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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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