Business focus- Your sweet spot

 

This concept was first passed onto me by teh great team at Experience… this guy seems to have some other great ideas

 check out www.whatconsumesme.com

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The 2013 GMC tandem, Specialized come on make it

Next Specialized Tandem for team GMC - due 2013

The 2013 GMC tandem … Just see how Hils and I can fly …

 The real article   |
http://www.conradstoltz.com/specialized-shiv-tandem-concept-bike/ 

Check out the GMC cycle team at
http://www.growthmanagement.co.nz/cycle.html

Social Media Tools- Week 1 Getting Started

Here is my 101 social media for idiots who are afraid to admit it. And what social media for free
So 1 week ago I new nothing about social media … and after two inspiration presentations in one week ( Andy Lark and Melissa Clark- Reynolds) I thought I better get started.

Things to load on your PC and I-phone and get accounts for:
Twitter   www.twitter.com
Facebook
www.facebook.com      
Linkedin.com www.linkedin.com    

Tweetdeck www.tweetdeck.com
Blogging
tool www.Wordpress.com

So some tips so far:

 Facebook:
Split your personal and work stuff.  Once you have your basic setup in place setup your work facebook page. Then you will not have to have your work acquaintances knowing that your riding buddy thinks you a blouse because ….

The  one I set up for escalator is here
  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Escalator-Investment-Ready-Service/333786557680?ref=nf

Linkedin:
Once you get started start to trim your network and again use a Group to separate out work and personal contacts.

Blogging:
When you set this up choose an easy account name mine is succintstories then its will show up as  www.succinctstories.wordpress.com  
My take here is that this is the easiest way to reference material across all forums using tweetdeck and its short urls (links).

Tweetdeck:
This is the major saviour You can post tweets, status updates etc all in one click… ye ha

So my mode of operation now is: 

Short messages: Post direct on tweetdeck you choose on the fly whether the post will be on facebook personal , facebook work page, linkedin status and of course tweet everything appears there

 Long messages:  Write an article on wordpress then reference it in a short message on tweetdeck.

Cheers Mark

Investment Pitch – 6 must haves

The One minute test – Does you pitch answer these key questions (ok in the first 3min)
1. What is your product or service ? – “Quantify customer VALUE”
2. How do you make money ? – Business model
3. Why believe you & your team ? – credibility
4. What’s in it for your investor? – exit opportunities
5. What is the barrier to entry? – Your IP – stop competition eating your lunch
6. How big & scalable is this ? – Go to market model

Can easily be done with outside help …attend a Escalator Power Pitching Workshop …NZTE fully funded check out the next one at www.investmentreadytraining.co.nz

Advisory Groups – Startup tips

Advisory Groups:- for governance virgins
 Some notes for those who are already convinced outside advisors will add value… but haven’t quite got started yet!

 Advisory Group or Formal Board or Not for Start-ups
From a start up point of view get going with an Advisory Group (AG) first, rather than a formal board. When is to soon …never!

Why?  Experienced directors will not want to sign up to become a formal director, without having a good look under the hood. As a formal director they will be financially liable for the company. There is a ruling that says if the advisory group / board acts like a formal board it is deemed to be one. So you need to be careful how it operates. But from an operational sense it is a great first step.

My suggestion is start with an Advisory Group and then migrate to a formal board later on.

Without research you will end up with the directors and investors you deserve!
Check out your advisory board members, work out whether they have a good values fit with you and get what it is like to work with. Personally I would avoid people who have bought a franchise – you need seasoned people who have had hands on experience with growing companies.

I am a believer that you should get two outside advisors so you can debate stuff rather than fall into the common trap of a “parent – child” relationship of simply doing as the advisor says.

How often to meet:
I would say monthly for 2 hours – but have a kick off briefing meeting of half a day.
Make sure you provide your AG with relevant information at least 3 days before a meeting, so you can maximise your time together

Pay them or Not?
The median based non exec directors are typically paid $32,000 and chairs $54,000. But for most start ups this is unaffordable and in appropriate certainly pre revenue.

Don’t fall into this trap:  Shareholders Association chairman Bruce Sheppard said (herald Feb 2010) good directors were underpaid but as few as one in 10 directors fell into this group. Most others were “head nodders” or “habitually stupid” and were not worth paying at all.   Full article http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10625855  

With payment you get commitment, even if is nominal. I would start with a nominal budgeted fee $600 – $1000 per month. If it works increase it each year.
Note: there are people who may be bought for some fine food and great bottle of wine. If you are really sort find a fellow entrepreneur and do a swap for services.

Warning: Do not give away equity for payment to advisors – you are stuck with shareholders for ever (or close to). If you must use equity make sure you only issue stock on completion of activities eg 0.X% per period.

If it’s not working get rid of them!
Set up clear expectations over what you expect from your AG and have regular reviews. If it’s not working fix it or get new members.

Where do I find them?
Ask around you’re your networks who are they using. I am a fan of looking at talent that does not necessarily have a lot of board experience. Its experience in growing companies you need, not huge compliance activity. 

Check out linked in group Springboard (New Zealand) on linkedin, this is a group of emerging NZ Directors.

More recommended reading:  “Changing Gears” David Irving a must read.

MJR

Growth Management Consulting – Succinct Stories.com

Welcome to Mark Robothams Blog – Hello World  Part 1

Great leaders may describe themselves as business owners or managing directors, but they are not.
In truth, they are great visionaries and storytellers.  And great storytelling at its heart is clear and succinct.

That’s where we come in. We are a mirror and a guide that helps leaders distill complex ideas into simple powerful futures.

But more than that, we make sure your stories, elevator pitches and visions for the future are backed with solid, sensible business decisions. Our clients enjoy accelerated growth with minimal frustration.

Contact us to discuss our two areas of expertise: creating succinct stories and business guidance for outstanding growth.

+64 21 61 8850 Mark @ GrowthManagement.co.nz