How This Serial Entrepreneur Made All Eight of His Companies Profitable

Throwing Money

All entrepreneurs are aware of the risks of starting a new business – most will never make it big. Some might say the odds are against you. But not if you’re Steve Jillings, who has either founded or taken over 8 startups and grown them all into large, profitable business.

What’s his secret? He has several and isn’t shy about sharing.

First, tap talented leaders that you’ve worked with before to develop your management team. Always be recruiting top talent. Set the vision and then delegate to these capable people so you can focus on strategy. Additionally, spend time and money wisely. Watch costs – spend money on important things like meeting customer needs. Take great care of your largest customers that make up the bulk of your revenue.

Do you agree? What other advice would you give to entrepreneurs looking to make it big?

Check out the full article at inc.com.

Porter’s 5 Forces Explained in 2 Minutes

Porter's Five Forces

According to Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, size doesn’t matter – profitability does. Profitability is impacted by 5 forces – buyers, suppliers, substitutes, new entrants, and existing rivals.

Check out this video to see this concept explained in just two minutes!

Why You Should Let Organic Innovation Drive Company Profits

Creative Paint and Lightbulb

Every company begins with an idea. Good ideas, when executed properly, make money. These ideas come from people – everyday people just like you. So, why not develop “your secret supply of innovation”?

Initiate productive questioning within the company – Encourage employees to think “What if” during designated brainstorming sessions.

Allow employees to dream – Have your team anonymously submit “dream goals” they would like to see accomplished in the quarter.

Think scale – Does the idea pass the eye test? Does it mesh with your growth strategy? Can that idea be interwoven into the growth culture efficiently?

Turn dream to reality – If the above answer is a yes, then let it take off. Allow a team member undertake the idea as their personal innovation project. This is part of the larger trend to allow the team to run with their ideas. Reward their initiative by giving the individuals ownership of their own risks and innovations.

For more insight, read the full article at inc.com.

How “Knitting” Allows Pinterest To Rapidly Develop Awesome New Products

PinterestLandingPage

If you’ve ever searched for chocolate cake recipes and four hours later found yourself reading about beaches in Fiji, you probably have a Pinterest account. It’s dangerously addictive, largely in part to its design and usability.

Their new guided search lets users begin with a broad idea (“gorillas”) and then drill down into something more specific (“silverback gorillas eating bananas”) by offering guided navigation through suggested categories related to the original term. It’s slick.

Read More →

Common But Useless – Don’t Get Trapped In These Strategic Planning Wormholes

Galaxy

Avoiding common but useless strategic planning activities can be easier said than done.

First, only talking about strategy in your annual strategy retreat. Vennli couldn’t agree more. One of our major tenants is that strategic planning should be an ongoing activity that requires regular updates on customer needs and competitive positioning.

Second, using a generic SWOT as your foundation. This information is useless unless looked at within a specific context. First, you need to determine the opportunities for growth in your market, and only then can you identify your strengths and weakness within that segment. Play where you can win. We at Vennli believe overall growth happens by creating initiatives focused narrowly on enhancing value for particular customer segments.

So, what do you think? Have you found yourself falling down these wormholes?

Read the full tip at hbr.org.

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