Failure Is Not An Option City Of Chicago


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Failure Is Not An Option City Of Chicago

  1. 1. © 2009 The Courage Group, Inc.
  2. 4. The Courage Group Story <ul><li>Story Begins In Ft. Worth </li></ul><ul><li>E-Life Café </li></ul><ul><li>Samsung </li></ul><ul><li>Norm Bobins/LaSalle Bank </li></ul><ul><li>Started Business 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>9/11 Story </li></ul>
  3. 5. Avoiding Failure Tips <ul><li>Understand starting a business is hard </li></ul><ul><li>Remember the alternative </li></ul><ul><li>Stay away from negative people </li></ul><ul><li>Sacrifice is inevitable </li></ul><ul><li>Accept risk taking </li></ul><ul><li>Visualize success </li></ul><ul><li>Know the key business rule </li></ul><ul><li>A hungry dog hunts better </li></ul><ul><li>Write a business plan </li></ul><ul><li>See # 2 again </li></ul>
  4. 6. Why Companies Fail <ul><li>Lack of marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of sales </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of execution </li></ul>
  5. 7. They Thought They Were Crazy <ul><li>Fred Smith/Founder- Fed Ex </li></ul><ul><li>Allen Neuharth/Founder-USA Today </li></ul><ul><li>Dave Thomas/Wendy’s </li></ul><ul><li>Bill Gates/Microsoft </li></ul><ul><li>Richard Branson/Virgin Group </li></ul><ul><li>Henry Ford/Ford Motor Company </li></ul><ul><li>Lesson -If you are convinced your idea will work, you may be right even if no one else agrees </li></ul>
  6. 8. The Biggest Risk <ul><li>“ The biggest risk that a entrepreneur has to face is internal. They have to decide that this is the one thing they want to do with their time and their life, more than any other thing.” </li></ul><ul><li>Fred Smith/Founder, </li></ul><ul><li>Chairman/CEO, Fed Ex Corp </li></ul>
  7. 9. Fed Ex Story <ul><li>Fred Smith started Fed Ex at 27 years old </li></ul><ul><li>Raised $80 MM in venture capital </li></ul><ul><li>His business plan received a C in college </li></ul><ul><li>Started out with six small planes and 17 packages on day one </li></ul><ul><li>Eight employees, now 240,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Lost $40MM during first three years, now $27BB company </li></ul><ul><li>Fred Smith was always convinced that the demand was so profound, that it was just a matter of time and money </li></ul>
  8. 10. Tip # 1-Write A Business Plan <ul><li>A business plan is a written description of what you are going to do and how you are going to do it </li></ul>
  9. 11. Key Business Plan Benefits <ul><li>Writing a business plan will : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define precisely what you are going to do, how you are going to do it and how you will achieve your goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Force you to understand the entire business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Serve as your roadmap </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase your chances of business survival and growth </li></ul></ul>
  10. 12. Key Questions Answered In Great Business Plans <ul><li>What is the idea? </li></ul><ul><li>Who are your customers? </li></ul><ul><li>How will you make money? </li></ul><ul><li>Why should your company exist? </li></ul><ul><li>What are compelling reasons for your product or service? </li></ul><ul><li>What problem does your company solve? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is your management team? </li></ul>
  11. 13. Key Questions <ul><li>Who are your advisors? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your solution? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the alternatives? </li></ul><ul><li>Who are your competitors? </li></ul><ul><li>What makes your company different? Value proposition? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your marketing plan? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your sales plan ? </li></ul>
  12. 14. Key Questions <ul><li>What market trends will your company capitalize on? </li></ul><ul><li>What are your sustainable advantages? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your people plan? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the numbers? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the revenue streams? </li></ul>
  13. 15. Key Questions <ul><li>What are your current/future revenue streams? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your strategic plan? </li></ul><ul><li>What are your accomplishments YTD? </li></ul><ul><li>How are you going to execute plan? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your exit strategy? </li></ul>
  14. 16. Entrepreneurship, Emotional Roller Coaster <ul><li>Starting a business from scratch, bootstrapping your own gig with basically no money, is the ultimate roller coaster ride. Only this 24/7 ride is more emotional than physical. </li></ul>
  15. 17. Tip # 2-Learn To Love Sales <ul><li>Don’t underestimate role of sales </li></ul><ul><li>Business survival is based on signing up paying customers </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t have sales skills, either learn them or find someone who does </li></ul>
  16. 18. Sales-Always Pre-Qualify <ul><li>Why people don’t buy: </li></ul><ul><li>No money </li></ul><ul><li>No need </li></ul><ul><li>No hurry </li></ul><ul><li>No trust </li></ul><ul><li>No credibility </li></ul>
  17. 19. Tip # 3-Learn To Love Marketing <ul><li>How are you going to attract potential clients? </li></ul><ul><li>If no marketing dollars exist, getting free publicity, developing strategic alliances and doing some “coffee shop” marketing are must do’s </li></ul><ul><li>Mandatory-need to be marketing everyday </li></ul><ul><li>Adopt a “shaking the trees” strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Measure your results </li></ul><ul><li>NSM </li></ul>
  18. 20. Marketing Goal/Be The Best <ul><li>Regardless of what you sell or produce, be the absolute best at what you do </li></ul><ul><li>Outstanding quality and exceptional service still matter </li></ul><ul><li>Many successful companies will built on this principle- FedEx, Four Seasons, Nordstrom, Virgin Airways etc. </li></ul>
  19. 21. The Best <ul><li>There’s no reason for second best. In the end, if you create the best, the best will always succeed. </li></ul><ul><li>Richard Branson </li></ul><ul><li>Founder/CEO </li></ul><ul><li>Virgin Group </li></ul>
  20. 22. Marketing Strategy/Always Provide More Value <ul><li>Key business rule, especially for new companies </li></ul><ul><li>Money is tight for most people, need to give customers more for their money </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t, someone else will </li></ul>
  21. 23. Best, Low-Cost Marketing Strategies <ul><li>Get free media publicity </li></ul><ul><li>Form strategic alliances </li></ul>
  22. 24. Key Publicity Benefits <ul><li>Boosts your company identity </li></ul><ul><li>Boosts your company credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Boosts sales </li></ul><ul><li>Low cost </li></ul>
  23. 25. Best PR Strategy <ul><li>Position yourself as expert in your field </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Give talks, speeches/lectures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write articles </li></ul></ul>
  24. 26. What Is The Media Looking For? <ul><li>A good, newsworthy story, period </li></ul><ul><li>Note-no personal relationship, no matter how strong, is going to get an editor to use your story that is not right for their publication etc. </li></ul>
  25. 27. Form Strategic Partnerships <ul><li>Entrepreneurs/small business owners need to develop one or two key sources that will provide a steady stream of sales leads </li></ul><ul><li>Finding/forming partnerships helps produce customers and new revenues </li></ul><ul><li>Remember most important line when “pitching” partnership-I have a idea that will help grow our businesses together </li></ul>
  26. 28. #4-Need To Be Focused <ul><li>Entrepreneurs/small business owners can easily lose focus during difficult times </li></ul><ul><li>To survive and thrive-need to keep eye on ball at all times, minimizing distractions </li></ul>
  27. 29. The Biggest Risk <ul><li>“ The biggest risk that a entrepreneur has to face is internal. They have to decide that this is the one thing they want to do with their time and their life, more than any other thing.” </li></ul><ul><li>Fred Smith/Founder, Chairman/CEO, Fed Ex Corp </li></ul>
  28. 30. Tip # 5-Maintain A Positive Attitude <ul><li>Is is difficult to keep “chipper” all the time, especially during difficult times </li></ul><ul><li>Have to keep positive because customers/clients like buying from confident, friendly people </li></ul><ul><li>Helps them feel better about their purchase </li></ul>
  29. 31. Tip # 6-Develop An Exercise Routine <ul><li>Starting and building a company requires a lot of energy </li></ul><ul><li>Need to build in exercise time during week </li></ul><ul><li>Helps to keep your mind and body sharp </li></ul>
  30. 32. Tip # 7-Don’t Waste Your Time <ul><li>To survive in business, ask yourself; Is what I am doing now contributing towards attracting and bringing in customers and revenue?” If not, don’t do it </li></ul>
  31. 33. Tip # 8-Seek Professional Advice <ul><li>No one knows everything about everything </li></ul><ul><li>There comes a time when you need to raise hand and say I need help from a lawyer, accountant or consultant </li></ul><ul><li>Usually money very well spent </li></ul><ul><li>Helps avoid costly mistakes </li></ul>
  32. 34. Tip # 9-Execute At All Times <ul><li>At end of the day, entrepreneurship/small business ownership is all about execution, doing vs.talking </li></ul><ul><li>Business survival is based upon execution, execution and execution </li></ul><ul><li>Applicable to medium and big companies as well </li></ul>
  33. 35. Tip #10 -Have A Sense Of Urgency/24/7 <ul><li>Neil’s story </li></ul><ul><li>Have a sense of urgency, right at day one </li></ul><ul><li>Never lose that sense of urgency in good times and bad times </li></ul><ul><li>Remember, the clock is ticking towards new business failure </li></ul>
  34. 36. Final Thoughts <ul><li>A final tip for business survival: </li></ul><ul><li>be passionate, love what you do, be the very best at what you do </li></ul><ul><li>Starting and building a great business, especially from scratch, is never easy </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on marketing every day. Remember, nothing else matters unless you sign up customers/clients </li></ul>
  35. 37. The Courage Group, Inc Need Entrepreneurs need to be formally organized Equals Our Services C & Subchapter S Incorporating Package Entrepreneurs need to have a plan Business Plan Writing Packages/Reviews Entrepreneurs need to have essential marketing materials Business Image Package Entrepreneurs need visibility, product/service awareness Public Relations Writing Strategic Alliance Consulting Entrepreneurs need to raise money Investor Presentation Writing Entrepreneurs need sales/marketing help Sales/Marketing Consulting