Do you dream of being accepted to Techstars or Y Combinator?

Uncategorized Feb 10, 2020

Many do. Unfortunately, the reality is less than 10% of applicants get accepted to business accelerators. Thousands of startups dream of being part of a cohort at an accelerator. However, there are dozens of reasons you may be denied into the startup accelerator. 

First, the sad truth is some startups just don’t know what they don’t know. They aren’t ready. They haven’t validated their idea yet. Through working with a startup coach, maybe you would be…..next year.

Second, your business model must align. Customer segments, distribution channels, key resources, and your value proposition all have to align to create a clear, compelling business model that is scalable.

The third reason a business accelerator may not accept your application is that you can’t define your value proposition. You are just like the rest. You don’t stand out from your competitors at all. Therefore, the investors know you’ll drown in the “red...

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Y Combinator Not An Option For Your Startup?

Uncategorized Feb 10, 2020

Y Combinator is seen as the “premier” accelerator; however, not every startup founder is well-suited for the program. Here are three factors to consider to determine if Y Combinator is right for you:

  1. Y Combinator may not be right for you if…….you haven’t tested and validated your business model enough yet. There may be “holes” and “blindspots” to your business model. Working with a coach can help you discover these and create a scalable business model.
  2. Y Combinator may not be right for you if…...you can’t relocate to Silicon Valley for 3 months. That’s right, your founders, executive team, and families have to sacrifice by leaving your home community for an intense three month cohort.
  3. Y Combinator may not be right for you if…...you aren’t yet “investable”. What does that mean? You don’t have revenue streams or customer relationships figured out yet. Working with a coach to vet...
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Didn’t Get Accepted to Y Combinator, Now What?

Uncategorized Feb 10, 2020

Y Combinator accepts less than 10% of its applicants for each cohort. Being that it’s competitive and your company has to be ready for seed stage investing, what can you do if you are rejected for this cohort? 

 

First, let’s realize that there are a few reasons you may not have been chosen. 

 

  1. Your startup may not be investment worthy. What reasons wouldn’t you be investment worthy? Although there could be many other reasons, some include:
  • A startup that isn’t “scalable”
  • An untested business model
  • A business model that wasn’t well thought out
  1. A bad pitch can also eliminate you from the cohort. Investors spend their days hearing pitch after pitch. Yours must stand out in some way to be memorable and worthy of backing.
  2. Finally, your team must be strong, believable, and experienced. If investors don’t believe in your team, it’s unlikely they will provide seed capital for you.

 

If your founders...

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Documents That Breathe Life Back Into Your Business

Uncategorized Aug 13, 2019

I teach classes in my community and for the SBDC. In each one I say “Your business plan should be a living, breathing, written document.” This means you are to write it before opening your doors, or in many of your cases, launching your website.

Once written though, it isn’t meant to sit on a shelf and draw dust. It’s meant to be your map to your destination. Imagine getting on a plane, fastening your seatbelt, listening to the emergency procedures. Now the pilot comes on and says, “I know some of you had hoped we’d land in San Diego today, but we are thinking of detouring to Seattle to pick up two passengers, landing in Dallas to let six passengers off, then if we have enough fuel, we’ll get the rest of you to San Diego.” Wow! It’s time to jump off that plane! 

You think this story is crazy and unrealistic, but 90% of you are running your business like this. You have no flight plan and you are blown in the wind...

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A Recipe For Success or Disaster?

Uncategorized Aug 12, 2019

As imperfect humans, we all have blind spots. Whether they’re in business, our personal lives, or simply the blind spots we have while driving a car, none of us can see clearly all of the time. 

I live in the Colorado mountains, but I used to live on the sandy beaches of Florida. One of the first things the locals told me was that more deer are hit on my stretch of the road than all year during hunting season! Yikes!!! That means my chances of hitting a deer are exponentially greater than where I lived before. If I hadn’t been told this, one may have entered my blindspot and I would be in danger.

You don’t just face blind spots when you’re in the car or when you’re figuring out a new city. As a business owner, you’re likely to have many blind spots that you only discover when you reach new territory. Blind spots can discourage entrepreneurs when they take a simple mistake for an incompetence. 

You can do things to mitigate your risk:...

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Six Questions To Ask a Copywriter Before a Long-Term Contract

Uncategorized Aug 12, 2019

Hiring a copywriter can change the game for your marketing initiatives. A professional writer can help you craft SEO-winning strategies for your site, create compelling press releases and brochures for your brand, and encourage you to do more with your marketing by handling all the time-consuming work. However, finding a quality writer that fits your company needs is not as easy as it sounds.

While there are thousands of writers available, few will provide the right pricing, quality, and consistency. Those with more experience will be able to promise better results, however they will come with higher rates. No matter what you want to do with your content marketing strategy, you need to find the right writer who can tackle the challenge and help your company grow.

Before you sign on the first copywriter you find, schedule an interview to learn more about their experience and services. To help you prepare, below are some questions you should ask the potential writer:

Why should I hire...

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Five Traits Most Young Entrepreneurs Are Missing

Uncategorized Aug 12, 2019

Taking the leap from young professional to entrepreneur takes courage, creativity, and passion. We all know these are the main characteristics of any budding business leader, but unfortunately, many young entrepreneurs have only these traits, and very few skills to support them. Having courage and passion is elemental to an entrepreneur’s success, but there are other skills you’ll need to learn as you venture out into your market space.

Do you have these five traits that make an exceptional entrepreneur? If so, you’re on the right track to becoming the next Forbes 30 Under 30. If not, you still have plenty of time to cultivate these skills and improve your business simultaneously.

Emotional intelligence. Leadership takes emotional intelligence. It’s not just about being likable, but about being honest, a good listener, and understanding and accepting of your team for both their strengths and weaknesses. Many entrepreneurs mistake aggression, arrogance, or...

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Why Upselling Is So Powerful, And How To Do It Right

Uncategorized Aug 12, 2019

Most growing businesses focus their marketing efforts on gaining new customers. What else would you want more of, right? More customers symbolizes a larger market share and in turn symbolizes market leadership. However, new customers are not where your revenue comes from. You’ve been looking in the wrong place to grow sales, even though the right place has been under your nose the whole time.

Existing customers are 50% more likely to purchase new offers, and spend 31% more than new customers who do choose you.

This shouldn’t really come as a surprise. If given the choice between your favorite local coffee shop and the new one that just opened up, you’re going to choose your regular joint. Even if the new shop is closer, or has a greater selection of drinks, you’ve become loyal to your brand and won’t want to change unless you’re thoroughly convinced otherwise. And your favorite place? You likely spend freely there because you know you’ll be...

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Knowing When It's Time To Hire A Business Coach

Uncategorized Aug 12, 2019

As entrepreneurs, we’re self-starters. We take challenges head-on and learn as we go, building a robust skill set that transfers across many different areas. However, entrepreneurs don’t know it all. In fact, most of us know very little starting out. If we knew it all, we would already be CEOs instead of self-starters. If you’re beginning a new business venture, whether it’s your first or your fifth, asking for professional help from a business coach may be beneficial to you. Here’s why:

WHEN YOU’RE OVERWHELMED.

Entrepreneurs and CEOs have a lot on their plates at all times. While you may thrive under stress for a time, there will come a day when burnout rears its ugly head. It happens to the best of us, even those that have been playing the game for a while. If you feel in over your head and want someone to help you get your business together, it may be time to hire a coach.

WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW YOUR NEXT STEPS.

When we first start a new...

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How To Optimize Web Pages To Attract Higher Quality Leads

Uncategorized Aug 12, 2019

Creating your company website is a lengthy and personal process. Your website is a representation of who you are as a company, and therefore you want it to be the best representation possible. You also know how powerful an optimized website can be when planning out a digital marketing strategy. If search engine traffic is a primary way for your company to generate leads, your web pages must be effective.

Below are four search engine optimization techniques you can implement on your own to attract better quality leads. These changes may seem minor, but they will make the landing pages you already have in place more effective. Try these techniques and watch your online sales grow:

Go for quality, not quantity.

Having a lengthy page is important to prove credibility and boost search engine rankings, however long-form copy isn’t always what site visitors want. If you keep your most important pages in the mid-range word count (350-500 words), while including photos and graphics to...

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