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Fundamentals for Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur: From Business Idea to Launch and Management

Book Description

This is the complete, up-to-date guide to creating a successful new venture. Using real-life examples, it helps you assemble every piece of the puzzle: you, your team, your opportunity, your business concept and revenue model, your resources, and your successful launch, execution, and growth.


The authors illuminate entrepreneurial mindsets, motivation, attitudes, and leadership, and cover the entire process of starting a company, from idea through your first four years of operations. You’ll learn how to recognize, define, test, and exploit opportunities; transform ideas into revenue models that earn sustainable value; demonstrate viability to funders; establish a strong ethical and legal foundation for your concept; and build a thriving team to execute on it.


You can use this guide’s entrepreneurship techniques and approaches in many ways: to build a profitable new venture, to succeed as a self-employed professional, to make a non-profit or public agency more successful, or even to transform your current organization!


Entrepreneurship: From dreams to outcomes
Defining success for yourself—and achieving it

Designing concepts for profitability and growth
Planning your high-potential business, step by step

Innovating in product/service development and marketing
Delivering something new that your market will value

Building your entrepreneurial venture, one person at a time
Developing great teams—and avoiding common hiring mistakes

Mastering the essentials of entrepreneurial finance
Revenue models, financing options, metrics, and growth

Table of Contents

  1. About This E-Book
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Praise for Fundamentals for Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur
  5. Contents
  6. Introduction: Why This Book, What It Is All About, and Who We Are
    1. The Why
    2. The What
    3. The Who
  7. 1. What Is This Thing Called Entrepreneurship?
    1. 1.0 Introduction
    2. 1.1 The Entrepreneur
    3. 1.2 Entrepreneurial Dreams and Their Outcomes
    4. 1.3 There Is No One Narrative
    5. 1.4 Collective Dreams
    6. 1.5 Why Entrepreneurship Became Important
    7. 1.6 Challenging Assumptions—Entrepreneurship Is for All
    8. 1.7 Entrepreneurial Environments
    9. 1.8 National Innovation Systems for Entrepreneurs
      1. 1.8.1 Incubators and Accelerators
    10. 1.9 Entrepreneurs: Made or Born
    11. 1.10 Who Is an Entrepreneur?
    12. 1.11 The Entrepreneurial Personality
    13. 1.12 Entrepreneurial Mindset
    14. 1.13 Defining Entrepreneurship: It All Depends
    15. 1.14 Opportunity Recognition
    16. 1.15 Entrepreneurial Goals
    17. 1.16 Different Goals for Different Folks
    18. 1.17 Other Definitional Issues
    19. 1.18 The Self-Employed as Entrepreneurs
      1. 1.18.1 The Context for Self-Employed Entrepreneurs
    20. 1.19 A False Dichotomy
    21. 1.20 Do Goals Differentiate?
      1. 1.20.1 A Mini-Case Example
    22. 1.21 Opportunity and the Entrepreneur
    23. 1.22 Exercises
    24. 1.23 Advanced Exercises
    25. References
  8. 2. What Is Being Successful: Well It All Depends
    1. 2.0 Why Examine Success?
      1. 2.0.1 Case Example from Finland and Sweden
    2. 2.2 Defining Success
    3. 2.3 Defining Failure
    4. 2.4 Measurement Issues in Defining Success (and Failure)
    5. 2.5 Success in the Entrepreneurial Context
    6. 2.6 How Some Firm Founders See Success
    7. 2.7 How Entrepreneurship Researchers View Success
    8. 2.8 An Ancient Narrative on Obtaining Success
    9. 2.9 Success and Opportunity
    10. 2.10 Tying Success to Entrepreneurial Goals
    11. 2.11 Is Success Wealth?
    12. 2.12 The True Secret to Success: Networking
      1. 2.12.1 Rules for Networking
    13. 2.13 Finally, Success Is Having Fun
    14. 2.14 Case Example From Italy
    15. 2.15 Conclusion
    16. 2.16 Exercises
    17. References
  9. 3. Getting a Good Idea and Making It Work
    1. 3.0 Overview
    2. 3.1 The Idea
    3. 3.2 Idea Generation
      1. 3.2.1 Concept Benefits: Needs, Wants, and Fears
      2. 3.2.2 Examples of Needs, Wants, and Fears.
      3. 3.2.3 Thinking out of the Box: Not Everything Needs a Hammer
      4. 3.2.4 The Role of Creativity
    4. 3.3 The Concept
      1. 3.3.1 The Conceptual Event
      2. 3.3.2 A Case Example of the Conceptual Event
    5. 3.4 The Entrepreneur as a Dreamer
    6. 3.5 Generating Ideas
      1. Creating a Viable Business Concept and Business Model
      2. Looking for Trends and Counter Trends as Concept Sources
      3. Brainstorming: The Good and The Ugly
    7. 3.7 Timing: It Is Not First to Market
    8. 3.8 Designing a Concept for Profitability and Growth
      1. 3.8.1 Building a Viable Business Concept
    9. 3.9 More Thoughts on Concept Development
    10. 3.10 Some Commentary on Franchises
    11. 3.11 The Concept Feasibility Worksheet Exercise
    12. 3.12 Exercise: Can You Describe the Concept?
    13. References
  10. 4. The Basics About Marketing You Have to Know
    1. 4.0 An Overview
    2. 4.1 Why Know Your Market?
    3. 4.2 What Is Marketing?
      1. 4.2.1 Basic Marketing Terminology
    4. 4.3 Marketing Research: Doing the Work Upfront
      1. 4.3.1 Market Research: Start Personally
      2. 4.3.2 Examples of Walking Around Research
    5. 4.4 Developing Effective Marketing Strategies
      1. 4.4.1 Mobile Devices and Marketing
      2. 4.4.2 The Internet: The Best and Worst for a Venture
      3. 4.4.3 Using the Internet and Cell Phone Apps
    6. 4.5 Selling: The Challenge
      1. 4.5.1 Typical Problems in Selling Anything
      2. 4.5.2 Selling to the Internet Generation
      3. 4.5.3 Marketing in the Social Media Age
    7. 4.6 Advertising
    8. 4.7 Public Relations
    9. 4.8 Branding
    10. 4.9 Exercises
    11. References
  11. 5. It Is All About Building a Better Mousetrap: Product and Service Development
    1. 5.0 Overview
    2. 5.1 Product/Service Innovation
      1. 5.1.1 Entrepreneurs Versus Inventors
      2. 5.1.2 Stage-Gate Model of Product Development
      3. 5.1.3 Using Stage-Gate Model
    3. 5.2 Types of Innovation
      1. 5.2.1 Focus Innovation
      2. 5.2.2 Innovation Impact
    4. 5.3 To Innovate or Not: That Is the Big Question
      1. 5.3.1 Commercialization Is Key
      2. 5.3.2 Defining New: In the Eye of the Beholder
    5. 5.4 Building on the Past
      1. 5.4.1 Reinventing an Industry’s Products: Examples
      2. 5.4.2 E-Commerce: Using Innovation in Marketing and Distribution
    6. 5.5 Industry Change as Opportunity for Product/Development
      1. 5.5.1 Examples of Industrial Change Fostering New Models
    7. 5.6 Spotting New Trends for New Products/Services
    8. 5.7 Basic Conditions for Successful Products and Services
    9. 5.8 Case Study of New Product Development in a New Venture
    10. 5.9 Patents, Trade Secrets, and Copyrights
    11. 5.10 Exercise
    12. Reference
  12. 6. Finding Team Members and Building an Entrepreneurial Organization
    1. 6.0 Overview
    2. 6.1 Building the Venture One Person at a Time
      1. 6.1.1 The Entrepreneurial Team
      2. 6.1.2 Other Issues to Consider
      3. 6.1.3 Outsourcing
    3. 6.2 Finding New Employees
      1. 6.2.1 Big Hiring Errors
      2. 6.2.2 Characteristics of a Good Hire
      3. 6.2.3 A Mini-Case Example
    4. 6.3 Whom to Hire or Not, Whom to Fire or Not
      1. 6.3.1 Saying “No” to an Applicant
      2. 6.3.2 Firing an Employee
    5. 6.4 To Be a Family Firm or Not to Be
      1. 6.4.1 What Is Firm Owning Family?
      2. 6.4.2 Family Goals Impact Hiring
      3. 6.4.3 Long-Term Impact of Hiring Family Members
    6. 6.5 Compensation, Benefits, and Stock Options
    7. 6.6 Building an Entrepreneurial Team Structure
      1. 6.6.1 A Line Structure for Entrepreneurial Teams
      2. 6.6.2 Project Approach to an Entrepreneurial Team Structure
      3. 6.6.3 Informal Structure: Key to a Successful Entrepreneurial Team
    8. 6.7 New Firm Governance
    9. 6.8 Legal Structure Decisions
    10. 6.9 Final Thoughts on Entrepreneurial Management
    11. 6.10 Exercises
    12. References
  13. 7. Everything You Really Need to Know About Entrepreneurial Finance
    1. 7.0 Entrepreneurial Finance: An Introduction
    2. 7.1 Building an Entrepreneurial Financial Strategy
      1. 7.1.1 Entrepreneurial Finance: Not Just Venture Capital and IPO
      2. 7.1.2 Building a Sustainable Revenue Model
      3. 7.1.3 Cash Flow: A Numerical Scorecard
      4. 7.1.4 Determining Cash-Flow Needs
      5. 7.1.5 Timing and Cash Flow
      6. 7.1.6 Money Comes in Four Forms
    3. 7.2 Finding Money and Investors
      1. 7.2.1 More Money Sources
      2. 7.2.2 The Myth of Needing Deep Pockets
    4. 7.3 Understanding Investors and Bankability
      1. 7.3.1 Capital
      2. 7.3.2 Debt Financing
      3. 7.3.3 Banks
      4. 7.3.4 Venture Capital
      5. 7.3.5 Angel Investors
      6. 7.3.6 What Investors Look for in Any Venture
    5. 7.4 Bootstrap Financing
      1. 7.4.1 Advantages to Bootstrapping
    6. 7.5 Crowd Funding
    7. 7.6 Exercise
    8. References
  14. 8. How to Grow or Not to Grow Your Venture: That Is the Management Challenge
    1. 8.0 Growing Your Venture: An Introduction
    2. 8.1 What Is Business Growth?
      1. 8.1.1 Developing a Workable Growth Strategy
      2. 8.1.2 Growth and Success
      3. 8.1.3 Mini-Case on Growth by Replication
    3. 8.2 Describing Growth Versus Defining Growth
      1. 8.2.1 Some Descriptions and Issues
    4. 8.3 Growth and Competition
    5. 8.4 Growth as Metamorphosis
    6. 8.5 Conclusion
    7. 8.6 Exercise
    8. References
  15. 9. Planning: Should You, When Do You, and How Do You?
    1. 9.0 Overview of Plans and Planning
    2. 9.1 Why Plan?
      1. 9.1.1 Hooked on a Feeling
    3. 9.2 When Do You Plan?
    4. 9.3 How Long Will It Take?
    5. 9.4 For Whom Do You Plan?
    6. 9.5 What Goes into a Business Plan?
    7. 9.6 Detail Content of a Written Business Plan
      1. 9.6.1 Executive Summary Content
      2. 9.6.2 Marketing Plan Content
      3. 9.6.3 About Competition
      4. 9.6.4 Management and Organizational Plan
      5. 9.6.5 Financial Plan Content
    8. 9.7 General Comments Concerning Plans
    9. 9.8 Final Words on Planning and Success
      1. 9.8.1 Mini-Case on Chocolate Pralines
  16. Index