This week’s top stories include small business advice covering the following four topics:
- The 1 Type of Early Customer You Want To Avoid
- Ready to Take the Leap of Business Ownership? Hard Trends Set the Foundation
- Reid Hoffman Shares the Secrets of Getting to Scale
- What’s Next For The SBA? Three External Challenges On Small Business Horizon
Each week we scour all the top business-related magazines and newspapers for articles with the best advice for the small business owner, so you do not have to.
The 1 Type of Early Customer You Want To Avoid
My daughter is starting her own company this week, and I’ve taken a role as her investor and advisor. She’s not quite at the high-growth stage of her entrepreneurial career, but she’s launching something more than a lemonade stand or some other kind of friends-and-neighbors business.
In fact, friends and neighbors are something we’re going to avoid completely. Why? Because if you’re selling your new startup’s product to friends, neighbors, family, colleagues, and other close contacts, you’re setting your business up for death by a million false positives.
It’s a strategy I see far too often with first-time entrepreneurs, whether it’s a fresh-faced kid still in college or a corporate veteran going out on their own after decades of watching specific industry problems continue to remain unsolved.
Selling into your own network is always a bad idea waiting to happen. I’ve given this a lot of thought. Here’s my best advice on it.
Related Post: How to Validate a Business Idea Before You Start
Ready to Take the Leap of Business Ownership? Hard Trends Set the Foundation
by: Daniel Burrus
During the course of one’s professional career, the thought crosses their mind that, “I wish I could just work for myself,” or they take a look at a product, service, or process and state, “there has got to be a better way.
Nearly every day, an individual with that inkling takes the leap into entrepreneurship, hoping to positively disrupt an industry, make a difference in the world, or become the next Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, to be remembered for something they created that did not exist before them.
Reid Hoffman Shares the Secrets of Getting to Scale
By: Reid Hoffman
All major transformations in the world require getting to scale. If you say we need to deal with climate change, we need scale solutions. If you say we need to give the middle class a raise, we need scale solutions. But the path to scale is rarefied, and most people learn it by running over landmines. That’s why I started the podcast Masters of Scale, and why I taught a Stanford class on blitzscaling a few years ago: To help people avoid some of those land mines and use some of those landmines as accelerants.
I’ve run into those land mines myself, and I help founders I work with as an investor navigate them today. My new book Masters of Scale: Surprising Truths from the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs, which I wrote with June Cohen and Deron Triff, draws from the wisdom of dozens of entrepreneurs, including Mark Cuban, Airbnb’s Brian Chesky, YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki, Walker & Company’s Tristan Walker, Spanx’s Sara Blakely, and many more. Here are some of my favorite parts.
What’s Next For The SBA? Three External Challenges On Small Business Horizon
By: Dane Stangler
Celebration of National Small Business Week provides a good opportunity to consider, at least in brief, the near-term future of the Small Business Administration (SBA). Justice can’t be done to that topic in 800 words, of course. So, this column will highlight three external challenges on the small business landscape facing the agency. A column later in the week will look at three internal challenges.
These aren’t the only challenges the agency could address nor are they necessarily the largest. But they are issues that have been prominent during the pandemic and offer opportunities for the SBA to engage.
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