Starting a Business recent posts
As I meet with entrepreneurs, I’m often asked the same question: “When is the best time for me to sell my business?” The answer to this question is not the same for every business owner, for many reasons.
In part 1 of this series, we discussed the various options to incorporate multiple businesses while keeping each business as a separate entity. But what if you want to keep all of your businesses under one roof?
Profitability is directly related to a company’s gross revenue, particularly as it relates to its varied customer types. What does gross revenue mean to your company’s profitability? Everything. Let’s back up to review the concepts we’ve covered in previous posts so we may explore gross revenue further.
One of the most common questions I get from small business owners is, “when do I need an employee handbook?” In a perfect world, an employee handbook would be part of the startup protocol, but that usually isn’t the case. In the midst of building a website, working on business development and actually putting together a sellable product, writing policies and procedures is not top of mind.
In the recent Apple-Samsung case, the jury found that Samsung infringed six of Apple’s patents. While we think of Apple as having such technological superiority, three of the patents that Samsung were found to infringe were design patents. Unlike utility patents which cover any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof; design patents cover any new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.
Proprietary information such as customer lists and recipes are intellectual property. However they are not formally protected in the same way as are trademarks, copyrights or patents. These and other types of confidential information can only be protected if they are treated as trade secrets.
I continue to be surprised as I meet with entrepreneurs who truly regard Venture Capital as their Holy Grail. It’s as though they are looking for a Super Hero to make their dreams of entrepreneurial success come true. But having spent more than a few sessions on the entrepreneur’s side of the table in negotiations with venture capital firms, I know better. And it seems there are others who share my opinion!
Not long ago, one of my dear friends abruptly stated “it’s not about you” after patiently listening to my long story about a business relationship which changed, without warning. I just love this friend and how she was able to candidly share her observation which has proven to be brilliant and incredibly powerful.
It takes a special kind of person to start a business: a rare combination of drive, ambition, creativity, tenacity and impatience for action. But even within the community of business experts and entrepreneurs there is a special breed of person known as a “serial entrepreneur.”
As I listen to the stories told by many entrepreneurs, it reminds me of the dangers they face in part because of their own abilities. Many entrepreneurs are literally jack of all trades. They are very good at doing many things! This trait has allowed them to strike out and start their own business. How in the world could this trait be bad you wonder?
Intellectual property is a concept that is not obvious to most people; you probably have heard of it, but what is it really? Intellectual property is the result of human ingenuity and creativity and the law provides mechanisms through which creativity can be protected. Intellectual property can be broken down into three parts.
Working with successful entrepreneurs who are dedicated to growing and selling a valuable business offers me the opportunity to learn from the best. I pinch myself most days as I am invited into the lives of my clients and have the privilege of experiencing the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Truly, it is my pleasure!