Helping hands

You can expect that an entrepreneur has all the acumen and drive to succeed. But everyone benefits from guidance, help, training and insight. And for those entrepreneurs who have already succeeded, it is good to see them putting something back. Some recent developments must surely be welcome in helping more entrepreneurs get started or in developing further. The Hip-hop star Dr Dre along with music industry aficionado Jimmy Iovine have donated $70 million to the University of Southern California (USC). The USC newly created academy will provide a four year programme for undergraduates in areas of marketing, computer science and the arts. It will also include 1-1 mentoring and interaction with names from the entertainment industry. Continue reading

Setting a marketing budget

Last month Joe explained that setting a budget is essential before preparing a marketing plan. But how do you set a budget? What is a realistic spend on marketing?

For those of us working for others usually our budgets are set, or increase year-on-year, or based upon a calculation that says “it will cost you XX to do this so we will give you XX plus a bit more” (or more likely a bit less). But if you have a blank sheet of paper then how do you calculate a suitable budget? Continue reading

What it Takes to Start and Run a Small Business

Over the years I have seen a lot of information on the life of a small business; I have seen various stats and information about starting a small business and what it takes to succeed.  This week I reached out to the Small Business Administration to get some answers to some of these questions.  I spoke to Ed Cadena the District Manager for the SBA in Las Vegas.  I asked Ed the following questions: Continue reading

Slow Start – the cautious approach also works

For many people the risk of starting their own business may stall their attempts – But there is another approach that sees many people start small and grow. For such people working full-time while spending the rest of their time developing their business does work. Really it’s a logical next step from developing an initial business idea which probably developed over days at work and working out the details in the evenings and weekends. By taking this start small approach it allows the business to be almost self-funding and takes away many of the risks associated with launching a brand new business. This model does make economic sense as well – big companies like Apple may introduce brand new products to the market, but they don’t stop doing what they are doing while doing this. Continue reading

Learning from others

Many start-up’s face the issue of keeping momentum and growth going after dealing with the initial challenge of starting the company. That’s where you can learn from others – no matter that they may not be in the same market or doing the same thing – the business challenge they face will be the same.  A recent article on Springwise identifies some valuable tips. One lesson is to have a game-plan and retain a confident approach.  Aaron Priest, co-founder of Raygun says “Sometimes the best approach you can take in stormy weather is to stay the course. If you planned effectively and strategized properly, then you need to trust yourself. At times, we allowed ourselves to veer from our gameplan and it cost us in resources – both time and financial.” Continue reading