Category Archives: Protecting the business

Non-competes, gray areas, and salvaging a failed purchase

Last week we introduced the subject of non-compete agreements.  Let’s dive a little deeper and present some “gray area” scenarios to consider.  Then we’ll address the success or failure of the buyer with your product… First the obvious case in … Continue reading

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What about your previous company non-compete?

Entrepreneurs tend to remain in the business niche they know best.  Usually that means one they once or recently spent time in as an employee or manager within a company where they had little or no ownership. Are you one … Continue reading

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What would you do if told to “fail fast?”

Here’s a question that should strike close to home. Professional investors like to quote this mantra to anyone who will listen.  “Fail fast,” they say. But what if you believe so strongly in your budding enterprise that this seems to … Continue reading

Posted in Finding your ideal niche, Ignition! Starting up, Protecting the business | 4 Comments

Missed Expectations and The Eighty Percent Acquisition Rule

Eighty percent of all businesses purchased by another company or by a new investor-operator fail to meet the stated expectations of the buyer after one year. As with the fifty percent rule discussed last week (fifty percent of startups fail … Continue reading

Posted in Protecting the business, The liquidity event and beyond | 5 Comments

Are you wasting money filing patents?

I’ve been working with early stage companies and their intellectual property protection plans for years. But only recently did I read a clear document on the risks and rewards of patent strategy.  Thanks to Russ Krajec, a patent attorney, for … Continue reading

Posted in Growth!, Ignition! Starting up, Protecting the business | 6 Comments

What two words are most valuable for your business planning?

One of the most valuable tools in an executive’s arsenal is the use of the question chain in planning meetings or to analyze scenarios that might result from an action.  The powerful words are “What if…” followed by an ever-deeper … Continue reading

Posted in Growth!, Protecting the business | 1 Comment

Have you experienced your “Every Three-Million Dollar Crisis?”

Here is a phenomenon I discovered over time when dealing with many small start-ups in their early revenue period.  A very predictable series of rotating crises seemed to befall most every one of these young companies.  These became so predictable … Continue reading

Posted in Hedging against downturns, Protecting the business | 1 Comment

Are you the bottleneck in your organization?

At many board meetings, I can be counted upon to ask, “Where’s the bottleneck this month?”  Senior management is usually prepared with an answer, and a good discussion of resource availability and application follows.  Sometimes, the bottleneck is not so … Continue reading

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Business risk: Bet the farm only when the crops are on fire.

How much risk you and your company are willing and able to tolerate over time?  Most people believe that early stage companies should take risks aggressively because there is less to lose and much more to gain with each risky … Continue reading

Posted in Protecting the business | 3 Comments

You are watched, mostly when decisions are tough.

If you have been in management or an entrepreneur long enough, you will have experienced the gray area of decision-making where ethics, the law, your needs and expediency all collide.  This is the time when you are paid the big … Continue reading

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