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Mark Cuban’s 12 Rules For Startups

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Entrepreneur Mark Cuban has ventured into many diverse businesses. He made his fortune through the sale of startups MicroSolutions and Broadcast.com in the 1990s, and later became known as the zealous owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. Cuban has also invested in film production, and has appeared on such TV series as Dancing with the Stars and Shark Tank.

SEE ALSO: 12 Powerful Quotes From Billionaire Mark Cuban to Inspire You

Here are some useful start-up rules from billionaire Mark Cuban.

1. Don’t start a company unless its an obsession and something you love.

2. If you have an exit strategy, its not an obsession.

3. Hire people who you think will love working there.

4. Sales Cures All. Know how your company will make money and how you will actually make sales.

5. Know your core competencies and focus on being great at them. Pay up for people in your core competencies. Get the best. Outside the core competencies, hire people that fit your culture but are cheap.

6. An expresso machine? Are you kidding me? Shoot yourself before you spend money on an expresso machine. Coffee is for closers. Sodas are free. Lunch is a chance to get out of the office and talk. There are 24 hours in a day, and if people like their jobs, they will find ways to use as much of it as possible to do their jobs.

7. No offices. Open offices keeps everyone in tune with what is going on and keeps the energy up. If an employee is about privacy, show them how to use the lock on the john. There is nothing private in a start up. This is also a good way to keep from hiring execs who can not operate successfully in a startup. My biggest fear was always hiring someone who wanted to build an empire. If the person demands to fly first class or to bring over their secretary, run away. If an exec wont go on salescalls, run away. They are empire builders and will pollute your company.

8. As far as technology, go with what you know. That is always the cheapest way. If you know Apple, use it. If you know Vista… ask yourself why, then use it. Its a startup, there are just a few employees. Let people use what they know.

9. Keep the organization flat. If you have managers reporting to managers in a startup, you will fail. Once you get beyond startup, if you have managers reporting to managers, you will create politics.

10. NEVER EVER EVER buy swag. A sure sign of failure for a startup is when someone sends me logo polo shirts. If your people are at shows and in public, its ok to buy for your own folks, but if you really think someone is going to wear your Yobaby.com polo you sent them in public, you are mistaken and have no idea how to spend your money.

11. NEVER EVER EVER hire a PR firm. A PR firm will call or email people in the publications, shows and websites you already watch, listen to and read. Those people publish their emails. Whenever you consume any information related to your field, get the email of the person publishing it and send them an email introducing yourself and the company. Their job is to find new stuff. They will welcome hearing from the founder instead of some PR flack. Once you establish communications with that person, make yourself available to answer their questions about the industry and be a source for them. If you are smart, they will use you.

12. Make the job fun for employees. Keep a pulse on the stress levels and accomplishments of your people and reward them. My first company, MicroSolutions, when we had a record sales month, or someone did something special, I would walk around handing out 100 dollar bills to salespeople. At Broadcast.com and MicroSolutions, we had a company shot. Kamikaze. We would take people to a bar every now and then and buy one or 10 for everyone. At MicroSolutions, more often than not we had vendors cover the tab. Vendors always love a good party.

Source: Mark Cuban’s Blog

SEE ALSO: 28 Elon Musk Quotes That Show His Genius

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future (Hardcover)

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

If you want to build a better future, you must believe in secrets.

The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things.

Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself.

Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique.

Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.


New From: $19.32 USD In Stock
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Factors of Considering M&A to Your Company

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Factors of Considering M&A to Your Company

As of 2019, the number of entrepreneurs worldwide has ballooned to 582 million. Despite this remarkable surge, it’s been reported that 22.5% of small businesses actually fail within their first year of operation. These statistics only prove how complex and ever-changing the corporate world is.

Thus, every ambitious business owner must be educated in various ways to manage sweeping economic changes. If you also run an enterprise, you should be aware of different strategies that will allow you to mitigate losses and create more viable opportunities.

A popular example is merger and acquisition (M&A), which is an expansion practice adopted by many international firms for their wide range of advantages. However, since corporate matters can sometimes lead to unexpected outcomes, any major move should be carefully scrutinized before taking a course of action.

Looking to engage in M&A? Below, we have compiled some crucial factors to take into account. But before that, let’s have a brief discussion on how the two processes work.

Mergers and Acquisitions | An Overview

As defined by global education provider EduPristine, M&A are methods of consolidating companies. To differentiate the two strategies—mergers entail the “merging” or combining of two businesses, while in acquisitions, one large corporation “acquires” or takes over a smaller organization.

There are multiple reasons why business owners resort to M&A, but in general, motivations revolve around the maximization of wealth. The processes of M&A can be accomplished through different ways, such as acquiring common shares, exchanging shares, exchanging shares for assets that have high monetary value, and purchasing assets.

Mergers are classified into three primary types: horizontal (the companies belong to the same industry), vertical (the companies are combined but operate individually and serve different purposes), and conglomerate (a group of businesses that are unrelated or belong to a wide array of industries).

Key Considerations to Take into Account When Facing a Merger or Acquisition

Regardless of what type of expansion strategy your company will be involved in, taking certain steps can boost the success of the integration and ensure a favorable conclusion for both parties.

1. Reassess your reason

As previously stated, there are several reasons why business owners opt for M&A. For instance, when an enterprise has achieved financial stability and consistent growth, it’s deemed ideal to pursue expansion. However, expanding can be tricky, especially if you plan to branch out, penetrate foreign markets, or enter a different line of industry.

Accordingly, buying a business that has already been established in the location or industry that you wish to explore can help reduce risks. This move can also help you lower the amount of capital, increase market shares, and absorb technologies that can improve your operations.

However, if you’re the selling party, your decision can be motivated by various reasons. Pamela Wesley, CEO of Cerius Executives, share that business owners choose to sell their company to liquidate their monetary value, avoid risks, and seek new opportunities.

If your company is already struggling, selling it will allow you to salvage a portion of its monetary value and use that amount for business financing for a different venture. You can also save your business by merging with a larger enterprise.

Whether you’re the one buying or selling, evaluating your primary motivation is necessary to match your objectives with the detailed integration plan. It also helps you figure out if M&A is indeed the right choice.

2. Work with a suitable partner

Choosing the wrong partner can be extremely detrimental to the entire transaction. In fact, it can result in difficult negotiations, and in worse cases, abortion of M&A. Thus, be sure to meticulously assess a company to determine if it’s a strategic, organizational, and cultural fit to yours.

Moreover, it’s vital to work with a reputable and trustworthy enterprise that is guided by values and a mission statement that you also believe in. Mutual trust between the two parties allows for smoother negotiations and better cooperation.

You also need to calculate potential synergies or the particular aspects where two companies complement each other. Careful estimation enables you to analyze the feasibility of the synergies, so in the implementation stage, these planned synergies can be successfully realized.

3. Determine the company’s accurate value

Quality valuation needs an in-depth study of the company’s history, financial reports, and other factors linked to profitability. A poor valuation can lead to an inflated price, making the transaction a failure of hindsight, regardless of how efficiently the integration proceeds.

If you’re the seller, it’s also critical to know that the offer price is negotiable. Forbes suggests that you look into market comparables, the level of expertise and experience of your management team, the projected growth of your business, and the proprietary technologies your organization licenses or owns. Additionally, if there are multiple bidders, negotiation will be even more ideal.

4. Prioritize effective communication

For effective communication between the two parties, select a competent management team and reliable consultants. These professionals will guide the entire process and make sure that honesty is upheld in the communication within and outside of the organization.

Moreover, it’s essential to coherently convey the integration plan to all employees for smooth and swift implementation. To add, an impending merger can distract and stress employees, which can impact their performance negatively. The managers will be responsible for inspiring confidence among the workers to make sure that efficiency won’t be compromised during the integration phase.

5. Consider the legislation and present economic condition

Legislation, both national and international, can either validate or hinder M&A, considering its significant influence on property ownership and financial reporting. This is especially true for organizations with huge market share, as they are usually under the control of legislative power.

Because legislation can greatly affect the M&A’s success, it’s a must to consult a legal professional and assess applicable provisions to make sure that the transaction is capacitated by law.

Furthermore, while M&A transactions are organization-specific, the state of the economy still holds influence on how they will fare out. Thus, in addition to favorable legislation, an agreeable economic climate can also heighten the likelihood of success.

The Takeaway

Considering vital factors can help you gauge if M&A is worth a shot. Remember, abortive attempts not only waste your time and financial resources. During the transaction, business-sensitive information is also exchanged, so your company will be put at risk if it fails. Therefore, do a careful analysis of various aspects of M&A and seek the assistance of experts before proceeding.

 

Author: Eric Allison

Eric is a serial entrepreneur with a high degree of experience in both fields. After putting up several of his own successful Staffing firms and eventually brokering their exit he began his career in M&A.

Eric has an in-depth understanding of both the buy-side and sell-side of Mergers & Acquisitions, having had first hand experience on both ends of the deal.

Today, he is known as a dynamic and passionate visionary with remarkable M&A instincts targeted at achieving highly-strategic goals. Eric has successfully completed multiple cross-border M&A transactions in the US and Asia and has widened his focus to the Staffing and Recruiting, Healthcare and IT industries.

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Customer Service Statistics Every Small Business Should Know

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Back in the day, business owners established that effective marketing and competitively priced products and services were the most critical drivers of success. Even though these two factors still play a huge role today, a third component has entered the picture, and it’s one that you can’t take for granted.

Now that customer service preferences and standards are higher than ever before, you and your employees must be able to provide excellent customer service.

Businesses today have become more customer-centric. Modern consumers don’t just want to make a transaction; they also want to make a meaningful relationship with your brand. No matter what industry your company is operating in, an inefficient customer service department will always hinder you from achieving maximum results.

Thanks to the latest innovations in technology, providing excellent customer service can be done with ease. Unlike before, when customers would have to wait on the phone for hours, chatbots, social media platforms, and other communication tools have made brand-consumer interactions a lot easier. People can easily voice out their concerns through email, a tweet, or a direct message on Facebook, while brands can gain insight on how they can improve their service through constant monitoring.

For newly established businesses, it is especially essential to remember that customer service should be one of your main priorities. If it isn’t necessarily one of your brand’s core competencies, you shouldn’t be afraid to look beyond your company and acquire an offshore team for customer service.

Other than filling gaps and significantly lowering your overhead costs, outsourcing for this particular business process can also increase your company’s overall productivity. Once you have a reliable customer service team, establishing your brand’s presence, retaining previous clients, and maintaining your revenue can be done seamlessly.

Always remember that customer loyalty is gained through personalized and meaningful experiences.

Now that people are more particular with reviews and recommendations of their fellow customers, your business will not be able to find proper footing without maintaining a good reputation. If you are unable to address concerns, you may end up missing out on a number of conversion opportunities in the future.

No matter what communication platform you’re in, addressing buyers’ concerns and inquiries shows that you care about them. By providing a consistent and reliable customer service arm, you can establish yourself as a trustworthy and dependable figure in your industry.

To show you how vital customer service is, here are some interesting statistics that you should take note of.

Customer Service Statistics Every Small Business Should Know

 

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What Stunt Drivers Can Teach Us About Taking Risks

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They drive through flames, they jump over canyons, and they speed through crowded streets on the big screen. Stunt car drivers take a lot of risks on a daily basis to do their jobs. However, if the profession never existed, our movies would lack the action-packed and thrilling scenes we all enjoy. They’d be quite boring with little difference between this action movie and the next.

The truth is that taking risks can have huge payoffs in the right situations. While of course, there are some situations where risk can be dangerous — like risky driving or risky behavior. However, leaving your comfort zone can help you grow as a person and open up new opportunities.

Who could be more qualified to teach us lessons about risk-taking than the daredevil stunt drivers themselves? Check out these 9 risk-taking lessons put together by The Zebra to show you when to play it safe and when to take a chance.

From moving to a new city or changing your career path, consider areas of your life that could use a little risk.

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