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The HOT Sauce Blog for Entrepreneurs

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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7 Tips for Crafting an Effective Mission Statement

December 17, 2015 by Devin Berger

7 Tips for Crafting an Effective Mission Statement

Many startup business plans include a mission statement but most of these statements are simplified company overviews with vague generalizations about the market or customer base. Instead of explaining a company’s mission, they tend to summarize the company’s products and services. To be effective, mission statements need to be clarify the intentions of a business while being inspirational and meaningful to customers and employees. Successful mission statements may take time to create but when they are developed correctly, they provide a company with a clear direction and purpose. The following [Read More]

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Harvest Great Ideas from Your Company’s Best Assets

December 9, 2015 by Jimmy Lewin

the thinking corporation frood

Many businesses, large and small, have a huge source of great ideas that can help them improve, innovate, and grow, and yet so many of these companies never think of using this amazing corporate asset. What is this highly valuable asset? Its own people. Says David Frood, the author of The Thinking Corporation, “Given that we are all capable of contributing new ideas, the question becomes how do you successfully generate, capture, process and implement ideas?” Becoming an organization capable of answering this question can benefit in a number of [Read More]

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Stick with Your Concept but Do Your Homework

November 19, 2015 by Jimmy Lewin

Do Your Business Plan Research

A local restaurant owner stopped by the office last week. He has operated a neighborhood sushi restaurant for 5 years and decided that it is time to open a second location. We assumed that he meant that it was time to open a second location of his current concept but we were wrong. He wants to open a new concept. He mentioned that he was aware of a troubled restaurant in a good location and thought that he could buy the restaurant and then re-open in that space. He came [Read More]

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The M&A Market is Ready… Are You?

October 19, 2015 by Rick Tifone

prepare your business for sale

Selling your business to a 3rd party, for enough cash to retire in style, is the ultimate dream of many business owners. One of the keys to maximizing the sales price is having your business ready to sell when the Merger & Acquisition market is peaking. What makes a business ready for sale? Having these primary value drivers in place: Stable, motivated management team and a high-performing workforce Growing cash flow, revenue and profitability Operating systems that sustain the growth of the business A Strategic Plan with realistic growth strategies [Read More]

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Your Business Model is the Foundation of Your Business Plan

September 24, 2015 by Shyam Jha

Business Model Foundation Business Plan

The report of the death of the business plan has been an exaggeration, to paraphrase Mark Twain. Yet, we often read opinions in popular business press that the business plan is no longer relevant. All you need is a business model, we are told by business gurus. While there is no consensus on the definition of a business model, most people use it as shorthand for the revenue model of a business; i.e. how does it make money. A business plan, on the other hand, must not only explain a [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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