Who do you need on your team when building a great startup? As with so many things in the entrepreneurial world, there is no one easy answer. Every company’s needs are different, but that doesn’t mean that creating your team needs to be a roll of the dice. Here are six guidelines to keep in mind as you build an exceptional team around your startup. Continue reading
Serious investors all want to see the same thing when they look at your business. It isn’t a great idea, although can certainly help capture their attention. It isn’t a great business plan, or a brilliant marketing campaign. What investors want to see is traction.
What is traction, and why does it matter so much. In this episode, host and business coach Tom Ryan explains the basic forms of traction — from sales to user adoption — and why they matter when it comes to creating a killer pitch. As always, Tom is joined by producer and co-host Jason Pyles. Continue reading
As a business coach, I’ve talked with countless people about their dreams of owning a business. Along the way, I’ve encountered some deeply rooted misconceptions about what entrepreneurship is really like. It’s easy to see these fallacies when you ask people a simple question: “Why do you want to own your own business?”
Almost universally, people who are considering taking that entrepreneurial leap give the same answers: I can set my own schedule, and I’ll have all sorts of flexibility; I’ll make money for myself instead of other people; and I will be my own boss.
It’s not that those things aren’t true, or that they don’t happen. They do, and they are definitely perks of the job. But they don’t tell the whole story. As someone who has owned several businesses, I can tell you that this view isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be. Continue reading
How is your product or service better than the competition? What is it about your business model, product or service that gives you an edge no one else in the market has? From exclusive contracts and patents to great user experiences and special sauce, your company has something that gives it an unfair advantage over the competition. That special something needs to be a big part of your business pitch.
In this episode, host and business coach Tom Ryan talks about the many forms an unfair advantage can take, and how it can make all the difference as you pitch your company to investors and customers. As always, Tom is joined by producer and co-host Jason Pyles. Continue reading
How does your product or service make your customers’ lives better? Now that you’ve established the “problem” and the “solution” your business provides, it’s time to talk about the value your company will provide for those people who do business with you. The more succinct your answer, the more compelling your pitch will be.
In this Thanksgiving episode, host and business coach Tom Ryan takes a look at why value statements work, and how they can function as a simple cost/benefit analysis for potential investors. As always, Tom is joined by co-host and producer Jason Pyles. Continue reading
There is nothing more rewarding than starting your business. At the same time, becoming an entrepreneur takes a big leap of faith. It’s a tough job, and it’s not for everyone. Some people just aren’t cut out to be entrepreneurs, and that’s perfectly OK.
How do you know if you have the kind of personality, drive and perspective that makes for a great entrepreneur? There’s no one answer to that question. Entrepreneurs come from all walks of life, and from every background imaginable. The only reliable way to know if you have what it takes to successfully start and sustain your own business is to ask yourself some tough questions, and to be honest and real with yourself about the answers. Entrepreneurship is an experience you need to go into with your eyes open. Continue reading
To be successful, your business needs to solve a problem. That problem might be something specific and logistical within a given industry, or it might be something more along the lines of addressing an anxiety in the marketplace. A great pitch is all about delivering that perfect one-two punch of a succinctly stated “problem” and “solution.”
In this episode, host and business coach Tom Ryan talks about the ingredients common to great business solution pitches. As always, Tom is joined by producer and co-host Jason Pyles. Continue reading
Great business pitches don’t happen by accident. They are the result of an intentional process combining an awareness of the market with the audience-captivating insights of a true storyteller. The best foundation for a powerful pitch is to start by establishing “the problem.” It’s that un-met need, nagging anxiety or obvious gap in the market that your business will solve.
In this episode, host and business coach Tom Ryan explains what “the problem” is, how it works, and why it’s so important to creating a strong pitch. As always, Tom is joined by co-host and producer Jason Pyles. Continue reading
Let’s break this idea down to its most basic concept: How do you create a process for anything? For instance, how do you create a process for making Thanksgiving dinner? Continue reading
Almost all early stage companies share a common struggle: Telling their story. It’s easier to talk about a product concept or a service idea than it is to create a compelling story about why the company’s efforts matter. Products and services may be at the core of the business, but it’s the company story — the pitch — that opens doors, wins customers and gains the attention of investors.
In this multi-part series, host and business coach Tom Ryan breaks down the “power pitch” every business needs into its basic elements. As always, Tom is joined by co-host and producer Jason Pyles. Continue reading