VC would like you to pitch your message

January 31st, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

David Cowan, a [tag]Venture Capitalist[/tag], has thought about what a VC would like to see when new businesses are presented. He says:

I know it sounds a little crazy, but indeed I’ve come to agree that a clear, compelling elevator pitch is essential to growing a business…..
The elevator[tag] pitch[/tag] forms everyone’s first impression of your venture. It needn’t be a single sentence, but the delivery ought to be measured in seconds, not minutes–like any good TV or radio commercial. In fact, other rules of advertising apply…

Be able to present your business in a few lines are a interesting task. Someone says you should start with that or maybe a page before you write a complete [tag]business plan[/tag] just to be sure you have a pitch in your business.

David Cowan then answer the question: What makes for a good elevator pitch?

  • Show Some Leg Right Away
  • Don’t Make Them Think Too Hard
  • Science Not Allowed In The Elevator
  • Establish Credibility. Name Dropping Allowed

Together with some examples this can be a good input for you.

Small Business and Business Ethics

January 30th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Having a good [tag]culture[/tag] in your business means also that the company must have good [tag]business ethics.[/tag]
Robert Moment, a business [tag]coach[/tag], tells us in his article about 7 Principles of Admirable Business Ethics:
One of the most important attributes for [tag]small business[/tag] success, is the distinguishing quality of practicing admirable business ethics. Business ethics, practiced throughout the deepest layers of a company, become the heart and soul of the company’s culture and can mean the difference between success and failure.

The Director of IBE,The Institute of Business Ethics , Philippa Foster Black, states: “Not only is ethical behaviour in business life the right thing to do in principle, we have shown that it pays off in financial returns.”

The 7 Principles are:

  1. Be Trustful
  2. Keep An Open Mind
  3. Meet Obligations
  4. Have Clear Documents
  5. Become Community Involved
  6. Maintain Accounting Control
  7. Be Respectful

Seems to me that these findings are basic for being a good [tag]Boss [/tag]and as Robert says,
They deserve to be considered as an important insight for companies striving for long-term success and growth.

Lawyers on the Web

January 30th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Betsy Palmieri, an American businesswoman and lawyer discussed a question I asked myself, should I get legal advice from someone on the web?

She gives you a classic lawyer’s answer: yes and no. In the law, there are no easy answers, Betsy says.

I understand that but as she herself says, lawyers are expensive and [tag]small business[/tag] owners cannot really afford them. So what shall we do? If we decide to use lawyers on the web she gives us three things to consider.

  • The law is very location-specific.
  • In the law, there are no easy answers.
  • There are risks in handling legal problems without a [tag]lawyer[/tag].

What exactly does DNA look like?

January 29th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Genetics and Health has read the book “Is Here to Stay” by Frances R. Balkwill and made an interesting quote:
Pretend you’ve put on some magic glasses that can magnify everything 50 million times. (That would make a grain of sand look as big as a mountain!) Now you can easily see a thread of [tag]DNA[/tag] and discover its most important secret.

Customer contacts

January 28th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Ron McDaniel has an interesting blog about [tag]Buzz Marketing[/tag], Word of Mouth Marketing that starts with employees, members, board of directors and customers.

In his latest post, Follow Up, he discuss the question what to do when you leave 10 messages, send 8 emails and never hear back from anyone.

It´s very frustrating but as a good [tag]salesman[/tag] you know that you shall never give up. Having routines and discipline that´s basic in all sale activities. Ron says that too. The advice he gives is, “If someone is worth contacting once, they are worth contacting once every 3 months.

The rule is good, maybe is three months too long.
[tags]coaching, management, sale [/tags]

Act like you already are the person you want to become

January 27th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

I got to know about Scott Ginsberg of “HELLO…my name is Scott” from Jacob Cazzell in his blog Success Minders! Scott Ginsberg has a free eBook available titled, “66 Priceless Pieces of Business Advice I Couldn’t Live Without.”

I´ve read the advice and they are good, really worth reading. One of his pieces of advice is,
“Act like you already are the person you want to become”

I believe that´s very important in reaching your goal; to act as if you already has reached the goal.

Jacob Cazzell in his blog take another one, “Give value first.” , meaning this is one of the most overlooked, but vital pieces of advice out there.

I am sure you yourself will find an advice you believe is vital.
[tags]coaching, management, goal [/tags]

Surviving a Bad Boss

January 26th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Nearly anyone who has worked in IT is familiar with this all-too-common scenario of a technologically brilliant[tag] boss[/tag] with no [tag]management[/tag] skills, says William McQuiston now retired after 41 years in IT. That was written in Computerworld Magazine; How to Survive a Bad Boss .

It’s highly unlikely that a manager who starts out bad will improve. So if you’re stuck with a bad boss and don’t want to leave your job, what do you do? Here are some tactics that have enabled IT folks to survive despite a monster manager.

The article describes some good advice which can be summarized in:
Focus on the Work
The hunker-down approach
Take Action

Peter Baker, vice president of information systems and technology at Emcor Facilities Services Inc
suggests to take 10 minutes each afternoon to document everything you had done that day. “I remember sitting them down and saying, ‘This guy is always going to come in and ask you, “What about this, this and this?” And you can just pull out your piece of paper and say, “I did that, that and that.’” It was kind of a capitulation, but we turned it into a positive by being proactive.”

Invest your money right

January 26th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

The brothers Tom and David Gardner are the founders of The Motley Fool, a site helping you to master investing on your own. They, they say, know how dangerous it is to rely on Wall Street’s “professionals” with their high fees, mediocre returns, and conflicts of interest.

They have a free series of valuing companies which are worth reading om their site The Motley Fool

This series of articles will take you through the major methods for [tag]valuing companies[/tag]. The main categories of valuation I will elucidate are valuations based on earnings, revenues, cash flow, equity, dividends and subscribers. Finally, I will sum this all up in a conclusion that positions these valuations in the broader context of fundamental analysis and gives you a sense of how to apply these in your own [tag]investment[/tag] efforts.

The articles are divided into the following sections:
1. Earnings Valuation
2. Revenues Valuation
3.[tag] Cash Flow[/tag] Valuation
4. Equity Valuation
5. Yield Valuations
6. Member Valuation

With a free membership you can also read a lot of other articles on the subject investment.
[tags]coaching, management [/tags]

Learn about Recapitalization

January 25th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Chris Mercer gives good overview of what is called recapitalizations.It´s worth reading if you are planning to sell your company.

Chris says: “The takeaway thought for you is that if you sell your company, while you may receive cash at closing, there is a significant possibility that your company (or the Newco set up to purchase your assets) will have a significantly different capital structure than you had before the sale. This should provide some insight into the bargaining positions taken by private equity investors and mezzanine investors and the realistic limitations faced by individual buyers.”
[tags] coaching, management, recapitalization [/tags]

Organisation has to change

January 25th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

In the latest edition of The Economist I read an survey: The new [tag]organisation[/tag]
When I read it I remembered an advice I gave a customer a while ago. I said that we must trust all in a company and use all the [tag]knowledge[/tag] they have.

The survey state:
“The main failing of the classic structure was that it impeded the spread of knowledge and limited the economies of scale that could be reaped. Ideas and commands moved up and down from headquarters to the units, leading to the creation of vertical “silos” with very little communication between them…………..Clearly there is a need for new kinds of organisation that are more appropriate to modern working methods.”

There is also an interview with Tim Hindle, management editor of The Economist who says:
“Companies are trying to break down their production and manufacturing processes into small units where people can sort of morph together to solve particular issues. It’s not easy. I mean, God knows it’s not easy. And it’s revolutionary—and it’s only just beginning to happen. But many companies are finding that it can be enormously more productive.”Listen to the audio interview with Tim Hindle 8:17 mins)

I hope we will see a lot of interesting changes in the [tag]company[/tag] organisation in the future.

[tags]coaching, management [/tags]

The strongest Brand in the World

January 24th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Interbrand makes a research every year which [tag]brand[/tag] had the most impact on us. The result is presented on

For 2005, Google is number one just before Apple. IKEA is no 5. Nokia is no 1 on the European list

Here is the worldlist from brandchannel:

[tags] market [/tags]

The animal rhino can help you with your projects

January 24th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Have you heard about [tag]rhino[/tag], the animal? Probably yes. Today there are 5 species and 11 subspecies of rhinos surviving on earth.
But do you know that rhinos can help you start and finish projects, writing a new book, develop a new product or whatever project you like to start or finish.

That is anyhow what Paul Johnson says. Why? Because the rhino is single-minded. When it perceives an object, it makes a decision–to charge.

Paul is talking about the Rhino Principle:
Few people think of learning from a rhino. But I have. And when I hear of an author who cannot finish or get started on a book, I send him (or her) a rhino card. I paint a watercolor of a rhinoceros on the front of a postcard–something I do well, as I’ve practiced it a great many times. And in the space next to the address I write: “Stop fussing about that book. Just charge it. Keep on charging it until it is finished. That’s what the rhino does. Put this card over your desk and remember the Rhino Principle.”

I have earlier talked about focusing and multitasking and said how important it is to concentrate in what your are doing and that is exactly what the rhino does so I quit agree with what Paul Johnson says:

This principle can be applied to many other things, particularly business. When an [tag]entrepreneur[/tag] has an object in his line of vision, he should dismiss all other considerations from his mind, abandon all other activities and charge directly at that object, continuing to charge until the object has been secured.

So keep on with the project and help others by sending them Rhino Cards!
[tags]coaching, management [/tags]

Light bulb as Metaphor

January 23rd, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Talk about cool (via Fresh Glue)


Take care of your relationsships

January 23rd, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Do you care for your relationships and customers? Of course you do but how do they know it? I myself think a can do a lot more.
I became very happy when I read a post by Jim Logan. He made it sound so very easy to make someone happy. He says:

“Whatever you’re doing now, do this next…get your pen, place it to paper, and write a thank you note to a colleague, customer, supplier, or friend that deserves one. It doesn’t have to be long, it doesn’t have to be eloquent, it just needs to happen.

Personal notes of thanks are probably the most powerful thing you can do as a person in a relationship. The goodwill represented by taking the time and personal care to write a note is incredible. “

He also gives us 8 tips whereas the most important, I think, is: Make a habit of it. I´ve started. You better do it to.

[tags] coaching, management, cusomer, relation [/tags]

To write a Business Plan

January 22nd, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

A [tag]business plan[/tag] gives the answer to what?, How?, When? When? and Who? . To write a business plan is the most important thing you can do as a [tag]businessman[/tag] because that will pinpoint the [tag]strategy[/tag] and see the risks. But what about the qualities of all written business plans? Guy Kawasaki, as a venture capitalist, has read a lot of business plans and has some thoughts about the quality. He says:
A good business plan is an elaboration of a good pitch; a good pitch is not the distillation of good business plan. Why? Because it’s much easier to revise a pitch than to revise a plan. Give the pitch a few times, see what works and what doesn’t, change the pitch, and then write the plan. Think of your pitch as your outline, and your plan as the full text. How many people write the full text and then write the outline?

Sometimes I find it difficult getting entrepreneurs to understand that writing a business plan is not only important for the business when discussing the strategy, the risks and the need for money. But it also important when you like to have a good culture in the company, that everyone knows what to. Often a business plan is written for the venture capitalist so it´s very interesting to read what a venture capitalist thinks about the business plan.

Here is what Guy Kawasaki think you should think of when writing a business plan:

1. Write for all the right reasons. The more relevant and important reason to write is a business plan, whether you are raising money or not, is to force the management team to solidify the objectives (what), strategies (how), and tactics (when, where, who).
2. Make it a solo effort. It’s very difficult to cut-copy-and-paste several people’s sections and come out with a good plan.
3. Pitch, then plan. A good business plan is an elaboration of a good pitch.
4. Put in the right stuff. Here’s what a business plan should address: Executive Summary (1), Problem (1), Solution (1), Business Model (1), Underlying Magic (1), Marketing and Sales (1), Competition (1), Team (1), Projections (1), Status and Timeline (1), and Conclusion (1). Essentially, this is the same list of topics as a PowerPoint pitch. Those numbers in parenthesis are the ideal lengths for each section; note that they add up to eleven. As you’ll see in a few paragraphs, the ideal length of a business plan is twenty pages, so I’ve given you nine pages extra as a fudge factor.
5. Focus on the executive summary. If it isn’t fantastic, eyeball-sucking, and pulse-altering, people won’t read beyond it to find out who’s on your great team, what’s your business model, and why your product is curve jumping, paradigm shifting, and revolutionary.
6. Keep it clean. The ideal length of a business plan is twenty pages or less, and this includes the appendix.
7. Provide a one-page financial projection plus key metrics. Everyone knows that you’re pulling numbers out of the air that you think are large enough to be interesting.
8. Catalyze fantasy. Don’t include citations of some consulting firm’s supposed validation of your market.
9. Write deliberate, act emergent. It means that when you write your plan, you act as if you know exactly what you’re going to do.

I like 4; even there are other ways to present the contents but remember that a [tag]venture capitalist[/tag] becomes frustrated with an unfamiliar format.