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Article3 Essential Growth Strategies for Startups with Cameron Herold

3 Essential Growth Strategies for Startups with Cameron Herold

Cameron Herold is an accomplished entrepreneur and growth guru, having built 4 companies to over $100 million in revenue. He is also the author of Double Double, a guide to doubling revenue and profit in 3 years. Cameron sat down with us to share three of his best growth strategies for building a successful company. Read more below or watch the full video here.

Create a Vivid Vision

This “vivid vision” is a 3-4 page written description of exactly what you want your company to be three years from now. More specific than a mission statement, this paints a picture of your ideal company and makes it easy for employees to work towards that vision. Once you have the final plan, it is easy to reverse engineer and create manageable steps to get to...



ArticleWhy You’d Make A Terrible Angel Investor

Why You’d Make A Terrible Angel Investor

I started angel investing almost by accident, which sounds strange to say. Who “accidentally” invests tens of thousands of dollars into highly speculative ventures? Well, I did.

A friend introduced me to Clayton Christopher who was raising money for his new liquor company Deep Eddy. Their first product, a sweet tea vodka, was amazing and he was an experienced entrepreneur, so I went in.

Investing was an exciting, interesting process. Then the company took off, and I got to tell everyone I know that I invested in that new vodka that everyone in Austin was drinking. Winning is the ultimate intoxicant, and from there, I was hooked.

I started investing in companies left and right. I became a huge cheerleader for angel investing. I w...



ArticleWhy Investors Don’t Sign NDAs

Why Investors Don’t Sign NDAs

There’s a popular misconception amongst first-time entrepreneurs that sharing an idea without signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) will lead to some version of The Social Network, where Mark Zuckerberg, played by Jesse Eisenberg, steals the Facebook idea and becomes a billionaire.

The mythology sounds horrifying, but the reality is much different.

In short – investors don’t sign NDAs. They won’t sign your NDA. Asking them to will make you look like you don’t know what you’re doing, and there are a few reasons for that.

No One Wants Your Idea

You may have the world’s most amazing idea. It may be a complete pile of rubbish. Either way, it’s not about ideas.

Investors want entrepreneurs, not ideas. Anyone can come up with a great idea, but...



ArticleHow to Create an Effective Product Strategy

How to Create an Effective Product Strategy

What is product strategy?

Product strategy is the combination of a high-level vision of what your company is going to accomplish and the steps you’re going to take to get there. Basically, you’re turning your product vision into your product roadmap. It’s something of a transitional step in the top-down process of transforming your grand vision for your startup into an actual, profitable product.

Most companies have more than one product strategy. In addition to an overarching product strategy that applies to the direction the whole company is headed, if your company has more than more product, then each one is going to need its own product strategy.

For many startups, the overarching product strategy and the specific product strategy over...



Article5 Tips for Landing Corporate Sponsorship with Roberto Candelaria

5 Tips for Landing Corporate Sponsorship with Roberto Candelaria

Business strategist and consultant Roberto Candelaria has been in the business for years, and is a pro when it comes to sponsorship. Roberto has experience working with big brands like BMW, DELL, Disney, Hilton, State Farm, Wells Fargo, and Zappos. He sat down to talk us through the ‘RELAT’ model – his top tips for landing a corporate sponsorship for your startup.

Represent

Know who you are as a company and what your mission and values are. Strive to work with companies that share a similar vision and will compliment your company rather than turn it into something it’s not.

Establish

Determine what you want to have sponsored, and plan out your timelines. Look at this as creating your business plan for what the sponsorship will look like. Th...



ArticleContent Marketing Simplified: Win Big with Good Work

Content Marketing Simplified: Win Big with Good Work

Whether you’re running a startup or leading an established company, getting your brand noticed in today’s increasingly “noisy” digital environment can be a challenge. Old marketing paradigms – which focus on traditional media buys and banner ads – simply don’t get the traction they used to, emphasizing the need for new promotional strategies.

The numbers don’t lie

Currently, all signs point towards content marketing taking the lead as 2013’s hottest advertising trend. According to research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute:

  • 86% of B2C marketers surveyed employ content marketing tactics, with 55% of these professionals planning to increase their content marketing spends throughout 2013.
  • 91% of all B2B marketers polled use content...


ArticleFounders Discuss The Journey from Startup to Stable Business

Founders Discuss The Journey from Startup to Stable Business

“Without a clear vision to evolve, you will never break free of the ‘start-up’ mentality.”

–Hayley Winter, How to Evolve a Startup Into a Successful Business

How do you go from being a startup to a viable business to a very successful business? Where do we draw the lines between these classifications for companies? Founders from around the world set out to answer these sticky questions in Startups Live.

Haley Winter tried to lay the groundwork for erecting a successful venture. Some of the materials incorporated into her architectural scheme included a business plan, the startup mentality, making yourself visible and profitable, devoting resources properly.

Her article also covered the extremely difficult terrain of trying to d...



ArticleProtect Your Brand: Push Your Product, Not the Promotion

Protect Your Brand: Push Your Product, Not the Promotion

Brand promotion through email marketing is a crucial tool for customer acquisition and engagement. Many businesses waste precious effort and resources because they don’t plan their brand promotion properly.

Traditionally, retailers have been able to just post huge signs and distribute flyers making consumers aware of the sale in the back. Their storefronts could remain nicely decorated.

Ecommerce retailers face a new challenge. They promote multiple product categories, various CTAs, and a sense of urgency practically daily to customers. While it may be efficient in the short-term, it dilutes the value of the brand.

Consumers aren’t curious to see new advertisements or flyer graphics, but they might be curious about new products and discount...



ArticleJoshua Davidson on Customer Service (Part II)

Joshua Davidson on Customer Service (Part II)

Be sure to catch Part I of this discussion


“The customer is why you exist. Why your company chooses to exist. If you don’t put them on a pedestal, if you don’t remind yourself, your team, your operations why you’re a business, why you’re here, you’re destined for fail.”

–Joshua Davidson, Six Customer Service Principles To Abide By

New, new, new, new…. We tend to grow the most excited over new things and to obsess over them, so it’s no surprise that startups focus tremendous energy on new customers. So much so, that a vey important player in the destiny of companies gets overlooked: existing customers.

Unforgivable as that might be, the good news, according to Dr. Deborah Hecker, is that “respect, empathy, good listening,...



ArticleTapping Your Network for Crowdfunding Success

Tapping Your Network for Crowdfunding Success

When beginning a crowdfunding campaign, it’s important to evaluate your network and establish exactly who will make up your base of support. The success of your crowdfunding campaign will largely rest on how effectively you communicate your launch within your various networks. Once you’ve identified a group of potential backers, take into account what is most interesting to your group and structure your rewards tiers in the most compelling way possible.

Your network can be divided into five main groups: friends, family, customers, professional contacts, and audience.

Friends

Your friends include those you see on a regular basis. You can reach out to this group in a variety of ways. Try a combination of social media updates, emai...



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