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Richard Branson, billionaire founder of Virgin Records and Virgin Atlantic Airlines, may be better known for his efforts to circle the globe in a hot-air balloon than for his business successes. He suggests that ?Being an adventurer and an entrepreneur are similar? You?re willing to go where most people won?t dare.?

The Business Leader as Ultramarathoner


Have you ever heard of an ultramarathon? A standard marathon is just over 26 miles. An ultramarathon is usually on the order of 50 or 100 miles, though there are some that span one thousand! Imagine the endurance required to run such a race.

Lets Not Forget About The Little Guy


Every business has to start somewhere. What truly makes this country great is the freedom of enterprenuership that every one of its citizens have. Capitalism at its best signifies the power of a single person to reach monumental goals and turning a simple idea into a huge corporation. But in our pursuit of this glorified state, have we snubbed the little guy?

Evaluating an Opportunity


Business opportunities are often based on broad trends, such as:

Motivation and Commitment


Why do people start small businesses? The most frequently cited motivation for business start-ups is to allow the entrepreneur to achieve independence; money is secondary. Is this surprising? The other reasons named most often are that an opportunity presented itself, a person took over the family business, or the person simply wanted to be an entrepreneur. Identify your motivation.

Selecting a Venture


The basic rule is simple: "Find a market need and fill it!" The process of finding the need, and the method chosen to fill it are where the difficulties arise.

The Role of Statistics in Prospect Modeling


Identifying prospects has come a long way since the days of simple list buying. With the hype flying fast and furious, sometimes it?s difficult to sort out truth from fiction and to put things in the proper perspective. Without worshipping buzzwords, however, two of the most important developments in recent years have been the rise of statistics and databases. These have allowed companies to create more accurate profiles of their prospects, even giving rise to the term ?prospect modeling? itself. Let?s see how these two developments have helped shape prospect modeling.

Venture Capital Negotiating Issues


When companies enter into negotiations with venture capital firms, there are several issues which need to be defined and agreed upon. This article describes the key issues.

The Business and Life You Want to Build


In the early days of my first consulting business, I knew I needed some sort of plan to give me the greatest chance at success. I took many a wrong step, yet in the end I managed to put a solid business together.

An Entrepreneurs Challenge


Living in the twilight zone has its advantages. In the early days of starting my business, I found the limitations of living in a rural area to be restrictive. However, later I realized that those limitations were not an obstacle that could stop me; they were only a challenge that would strengthen me. Since my business would be smaller, I would have the advantage of fewer employees and less strife in the processes of doing business.

Competitive Edge


In his book, The Road Ahead, Bill Gates of Microsoft writes of ?friction-free capitalism? made possible by developments in communications, chief among them the Internet and its World Wide Web. In this context, ?friction? is everything that keeps markets from functioning as the ?perfect competition? of economics textbooks. This friction can be a function of distance between buyer and seller, costs of overcoming this distance, and incomplete or incorrect information.

Business Planning Overview


The successful entrepreneur is generally more inclined, once a business idea is selected, to sharpen the concept by a detailed planning process. The result of this step is a comprehensive business plan, with its major components being the marketing "mix," the strategic plan, operational and logistical structures, and the financial proposal. The purpose of the business plan is to recognize and define a business opportunity, describe how that opportunity will be seized by the management team, and to demonstrate that the business is feasible and worth the effort.

Confidence = Preparation + Courage


It always amazes me when I see someone on television holding a press conference ? a lawyer outside a courtroom, a businessperson at the launch of a new product. Reporters ask hardball questions. The answers are given with conviction, without hesitation. The person being questioned exhibits supreme confidence. Where does that confidence come from? How do they get it? What lessons are there for those of us who also have to face difficult circumstances and need that same, high level of confidence?

The History of the Franchise Business - Learning about Business Opportunities by Looking at the Past


Hair care has been around as long as humans have been on the planet. The earliest record of personal hair care dates back 2.5 million years ago, when brushes used to create cave paintings in Spain and France were adapted for use in hair grooming. Interestingly, many of the innovations in hair design that are still used today originated in the late 19th century.

Three Cs - What Startups Need to Get a Business Loan, Part 1


You want to get a good, solid overview of what it takes to acquire that business loan you need, especially if you are a startup. The essential element of what the lenders out there require of you can be wrapped up in the acronym, C. C. C. These are...

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