The Six O’s of Sales, Identifying Customer Behavior

I hate to tell ya, but everyone is a sales person.  May it be your company, yourself, to your sales, salesforce, sellingboss, to your other boss, to whomever, regardless of the relationship you are always selling.  With that in mind, here’s a snipet on customer buying behavior that will help your sales efforts. Continue reading

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Presenting Your Company

Many, perhaps most, of the presentations at our Startup labs spend a lot of time on presenting their product, where you should be presenting your company.  Indeed, they often amount to fifteen or twenty minute product sales pitches. Unfortunately, this is the wrong way to go about presenting your company to potential investors.presenting your idea

At the first meeting, investors are prepared to stipulate that the product is a good thing, that world ought to buy it, that it works, and that it can be sold profitably at a competitive price. They are, after all, generalists, and very rarely are expert in the specific area to which the new product belongs. Before investing, they will verify that the product is indeed a good thing and that the world will Continue reading

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Social Media, what you can lose by not using it

I have been studying social media statistics for quite a while, and here’s what I’ve found in relation to:

  1. Who is using social media
  2. Which generations are using it
  3. Who’s using it in Corporate Amertica
  4. What you can lose by not using social media and what’s next

A friend of mine Nina Johannessen who’s company, Blue Iris Webdesign (   which specializes in SEO, Social Media

social media strategyStrategies and Web Design, were discussing social media the other day.  We discussed the potential, and direction of social media.  These questions influenced me to write this article.  Thanks Nina.

It’s like this.  Look at a town that has an older population.  They continually reject increases in funding towards their school systems.   Reason being is the people who are running Continue reading

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IBBTTM: How to Treat Your Business Ideas

We use a process in our business called IBBTTM.  This method has proven to be very business strategy

effective as far as to treating your business ideas.  Your job as an entrepreneur/business person is to take an idea and turn them into something tangible that produces revenue and profit.  IBBTTM stands for:

  1. Idea
  2. Benefit to your customer
  3. Benefit to you and your business
  4. Time and cost to develop
  5. Time and cost to execute
  6. Maintenance on the back end to maintain your idea

9 out of 10 businesses fail.

Continue reading

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What today’s entrepreneur needs to consider

Passion, creativeness and vision are all characteristics of today’s entrepreneur.  The mentality is I will get there not matter how; please get out of my way, determination at its best.  This is a large part of the process to initiate that idea, believe in it and go entrepreneur, what today's entrepreneur needs to considerforward.  But what today’s entrepreneur needs to consider is more than just an idea.

Sad to say, that is not all.  The most successful Entrepreneurs will tell you that at least 90% of their time is spent dealing with matters that lie far away from the creative domain where their ideas first took root.  These are the dull, dry details that can, if ignored, spell the end of a promising venture.

I am an entrepreneur.  I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to be involved with some great ideas, while on the same note observing some of the most spectacular failures.  The following observations about the boring parts of entrepreneurship you need to consider are derived from past experiences that I have had in my practice.

Where do you want to be, and how do you intend to get there. So you took a napkin, drew some diagrams and now you have your business al figured out.  If it were that easy, there would be a shortage of napkins around the world.

It involves disciplined consideration of where you want to be in one, three and five years from now and how you intend to get there.  The results of this exercise will impact a large number of decisions you make in the early going, from how you structure your business entity, what skills you emphasize in your initial hiring, how much financing you will seek and when.

Be careful with your pocketbook.  Part of the problem that I see too often is that people starting their business forget about a lot of expenses.  Heat, electricity, paper, ink, tables, chairs, office cleaners etc., etc. all costs money.  Here’s one thing to remember, and once again, they all cost money.

Although it’s tempting to think that grand offices and grand expenditure are the way to impress investors, customers, and prospective employees, the opposite is usually the case.  The proceeds of your first financing may look inexhaustible when they’re fresh in the bank, but can vanish quickly without serious and disciplined budgeting.

Think about arrangements with your co-founders.  Once your venture is underway, you want to focus on your venture.  Arrangements that are not discussed and set in stone with the people that you start your company with can create conflict in determining who does what within your organization.  Agree upon responsibilities, and agree upon ownership within the business.  This way, that part is said and done and you can focus on the business itself opposed to who should get what percentage of the company and who is the marketing director and who’s in charge or customer service etc.

Be wary of tax and accounting issues.  What could be more deadly than having to worry about whether some common sense agreement with corporate stock might not work out because of tax and accounting rules?  But this sort of planning is very necessary evil – better than finding out afterward that you owe a bundle of taxes or have to book a phantom expense that wipes out your first year profits.  Please refer to for some tips

Consider the name of your company.  Your name is very important to the success of your business.  In the event that you have a product, it can resemble the actual product, hence using your name as a marketing vehicle.   So you’re using your name effectively and with a purpose.

Look into patents, trademarks and copyright protection.  Don’t take your time with this, do it now.    In the case of patents, waiting can limit your options.  If your product has been on sale for more than a year, or the idea has been publicly disclosed for that time, it will probably be too late.  Furthermore, that one-year grace period is not available for patenting an invention in most foreign countries.  Trademarks, pertinent to your company or product names, can be researched with a quick trademark search.  And look into copyrights, it is a quick read and fairly straight forward.

Take time for yourself.    Please, please, please take time for yourself.  This is sometimes the most difficult part of the entrepreneurial experience.  Make sure you take time for family, friends, spouses, ballet recitals baseball games, and your hobbies.  Being a successful entrepreneur is a fantastic experience, but make sure that you include the parts and people involved in your life that got you here.

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What your tax preparer should be

Things change.  And when things change, other things should change as well.  Years ago water was free, television was free, mortgages were simple, college was fairly priced, Taxemployers valued their employees and the list goes on.  All of that has changed.  Now we can buy a cup of coffee for $4, have a cell phone bill of $200 (with texting and internet use of course), pay $150 to watch 700 channels and buy a bottled water for $2.75.  Yet salaries have gone down, taxes have gone up, jobs have been replaced by less expensive means, Continue reading

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Tax Changes For Your 2012 Tax Return

Tax changes inevitably occur from year to year. These can range from minor adjustments to the complete elimination of various tax provisions. The Internal Revenue Service has released information on a number of tax changes for the 2012 tax year.

Please don’t be scared by these changes.  Most are very small and more than likely will have a favorable impact on your tax situation. The media loves to take things out of proportion and they have done so with the fiscal cliff warnings.  Our advice on most of this is not to pay attention to it. Continue reading

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Your 2013 Expert Personal Finance Plan

Here it is ladies and gentlemen, your 2013 Expert Personal Financial Plan.  Please watch closely, there are two very important steps to pay attention to.

First, take how much money you make

Second, Spend less

The End.  Stay tuned for more expert advice, much more to come.  Make sure you pay us a visit at

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How the Stock Market Works

We get so many questions every year about how the stock market works and how to going about learning how to invest. stock marketThe perception, and the reality, of how it works are like most things. Very different. This article will give you a few pointers on how to look at companies and the stock market as whole. I’m a big beleiver of learning how things work before using them, so I’m learning all the time.  I suggest you do the same, do some homework and get aquainted with the stock market.  Understanding how it works will payoff in the end.  And yes, the fiscal cliff, very entertaining.

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Kids Saving Money

I was very fortunate growing up as a kid.  At five years old my Mom would bring me to our local bank, back then, Shawmut Bank in the city of Boston. I had a passbook, with about $20 in kids money savings educationit and every week we would make a deposit of a dollar or so. When the transaction would occur, there would be a line item in my passbook, it was interest, and it would usually amount to around $.03. My mother then explained to me, this is what happens when you save money, it creates interest,

Back then things were a little simpler than they are today. Kids saving money was the norm.  There weren’t as many gadgets to buy.  Case and point, look at expenses today that weren’t around back in the day.  Cell phones, texting, laptops, tablets, cable and the list goes on.  Let’s look at a Continue reading

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