Entrepreneurs look at things from the customer’s perspective

Sebastian Coe, as chairman of the London Organising Committee,  used a great analogy for how to view the Olympics which is perfect for how you view your customers.You must figure out who is your primary customer and look look at the mission through her lens:Maybe its the HR director?It starts with one person and then rapidly…

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Entrepreneurs focus on form AND substance

The over-arching principle of South African law is, “Substance over form.” This means the law is based upon intent, not words.“The contract doesn’t say that,” is not a defence in itself. Especially if there is evidence that the spirit of the agreement was different to the contract.The judge will rule in favour of the spirit, or…

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Entrepreneurs choose to have lots of customers

  It’s easier to build a business with one big customer. Cash flow is easier. Only one invoice to send each month. Customer service is easier. Only one complaining customer. Strategy is easier. You only need to get into the head of one customer. But its dangerous to have only one customer. If the procurement…

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Entrepreneurs are dealmakers

There are three kinds of people. Dealmakers, dealbreakers and the crowd.The crowd is arb. The crowd follows. It won’t lead, it won’t block.Dealmakers make things happen. A combination of intelligence, creativity and perseverance allows these people to find a path when the crowd says it’s impossible. Once they’ve found the path the crowd is happy…

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Entrepreneurs give customers what they want

Henry Ford completely dominated the motorcar industry for almost two decades, from 1907 onwards. His vision of bringing raw basic transport to the masses was epitomized by the Model T.Ford’s 70% market share entrenched economies of scale that no competitor could match, resulting in the Model T being the cheapest car on the road.Where he went…

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Entrepreneurs serve users first, customers second

Sometimes your customer is your user, ie: Facebook.Sometimes your customer is just an agent for your user, ie: the CIO of a company deciding which email client to prescribe for staff.This post is for the latter case: B2B sales where you’re servicing two stakeholders: The agent (CIO) who signs the purchase requisition. The user who actually uses…

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Entrepreneurs are salesmen

There are plenty things you need to do to ensure success.Run a frugal operation, bring in partners you can trust, avoid hiring the wrong staff, take calculated risks, etc etc.But these can distract you from the most important part of business:Selling.Bringing home the bacon.Putting cash in the bank.You can’t save your way to being rich.You can…

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Entrepreneurs know when to be cool

Sometimes you’ve done all you can. Been to meetings. Sent letters. Made calls. Gone to church.There’s nothing else to do. No stone unturned. If you keep doing, you risk irritating your target and jeopardizing your deal.Its ok to chase, but as any single guy knows: Never look over-eager. Girls can smell desperation.Desperation smells like fear. Fear scares people.Work as…

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Entrepreneurs know that quality = quantity

When you’re starting a company its tempting to chase lots of customers. Grow revenues as quickly as possible, get as many people using your product as possible.Beware. That way lies disappointment.Its better to find one customer, and focus on 100% satisfying that customer. When your product is right, then move to the next customer. Rinse, repeat.Its…

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Entrepreneurs sell the dream

In 2011 I was trying to raise R850million to acquire a business. The fund-raise was losing momentum and I could feel the deal slipping away from me.Not only were potential new investors balking, but I was losing the faith of my existing investors.I went to my old man and laid it on the table: “People…

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Entrepreneurs understand the difference between respect and ego

Sometimes you can feel disrespected by your client. He takes calls during your meetings. He always keeps you waiting. He never returns your messages.Sometimes this behaviour is due to true lack of respect. Maybe your client has no consideration for your time or needs. Maybe your client simply doesn’t like you.Whatever the reason, life is…

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FAQ’s entrepreneurs ask about names and brands

Names are personal, which means people get emotional when they talk about names. Especially company names. I’ve written about the importance of company names before. Here are some more answers to FAQ’s: Why does it matter how long my company name is? Your brand must match your URL and email exactly. A long URL means the following:…

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