Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs - East Message Board › Speaker’s advice to a new Entrepreneur
San Jose, CA
Speaker’s advice to a new Entrepreneur
Our Speaker for Thurs 17 June was Tom Mitchell – who has been working with Startups for > 20 years. He’s been the CEO of RadioLAN & Domondi, and is currently President at Thales. This is a team of longtime friends to produce & market an innovative solution in the electronics industry.
Tom is “Sales, Marketing, & Business Development” focused and has the philosophy that everything in business happens because of the Customer. Tom has led cross-functional operational teams, developing & launching new products. Tom holds a BS degree in Computer Science from the University of Rochester (’81), NY.
Tom’s advice to a new Entrepreneur:
- Learn everything you can about the technology of your product, including what your Competitors are offering.
- Be strongly Customer-focused. Even before you develop your product, talk to as many potential customers about your concept as possible – to find out if they would want it. Maybe one will be so impressed, that they’ll pay for the development.
- If possible, have some significant variations of your product or other product available, in case they don’t like one.
- Look for as narrow a Niche’ market as possible, to minimize competition.
- Optimize & publicize your advantages over your Competition to your Prospects & the Media.
- Finding Funding can be tough during lean times (like now). Is it worth the time? Are you willing to give up a big share of your company? Consider Boot-strapping to get some Revenue flowing and pour back as much as you can, to grow the business.
- Select & nurture a Team that is “passionate” about your product; willing to put in that extra effort and hang in there thru tough times.
- Watch your Sales, so you know what’s working & where it’s working. Look for variations on what’s working – modifications to product, new markets. Phase down or out what’s not working.
- Watch your Expenses, so you’re running “lean” as possible – to be able to put back as much as possible into growth. Have the Team check each other, so when you need something, it is significant.
- The leader is a Cheerleader. He/she lavishes praise when things are done right, going well, to keep up the spirit of the Team.
- Success is 90% perspiration. Be ready and you’ll be able to seize that “lucky” opportunity when it comes along.
- Work your Network. Develop an Elevator Speech and tell everyone you know, everyone you meet, about your Business. You never know where you’ll find your next Customer.
Peter, Organizer, Meetup.com/Entrepreneur-733/
If you ever need any help with your business, contact me. I’ll be happy to give you some advice for “free”. When you start your business, I can help you write you Exec Summary for free. My 5 Star Team can also help you with your Pitch & finding your Funding.