Ten Startup Tips From Amazon Founder, Jeff Bezos

John Greathouse published Ten Startup Tips From Amazon Founder, Jeff Bezos on JohnGreathouse.com. The summary is:

  1. Establish A High Hiring Bar — You’re Creating An Enduring Culture
  2. Be Stubborn And Flexible
  3. Obsess About Customers, Not Colleagues Or Competitors
  4. Know When To Throw Away The Organizational Chart
  5. Get Good Advice — And Ignore It (aka: Know When To Throw Away The Rule Book)
  6. Don’t Chase The Quick Buck
  7. The Two Pizza Rule
  8. Growth Happens In Bounds And Leaps — Of Faith
  9. Be Simpleminded
  10. Add Up Lots Of Little Advantages

The First Step To Building Your Personal Brand

Forbes published The First Step To Building Your Personal Brand. This is as important for the coach at a gym trying to get more private lessons as it is for the choreographer or music producer trying to get more clients. Forbes’ suggestions:

  • Determine Your Emotional Appeal
  • Determine Your Description
  • Determine Your Function
  • Put it All Together

Everything I Need to Know About Startups, I Learned From a Crime Boss

Donald DeSantis published Everything I Need to Know About Startups, I Learned From a Crime Boss on GigaOM, in which he talks about lessons learned via organized crime. Those lessons are:

  • Don’t sell rocks when you can sell mountains
  • Cut out the middleman
  • Don’t shit where you eat
  • If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense
  • Closed mouths don’t get fed
  • Be a badass

8 Lessons for Female Founders from Barbara Corcoran

Barbara Corcoran published 8 Lessons for Female Founders from Barbara Corcoran on Forbes. Although the advice was written for women, much of it applies to anyone starting a company or trying to establish themselves. My personal favorites are:

  • Perception Creates Reality
  • Shoot the Dogs Early
  • There Are Two Kinds of People: Expanders & Containers

So You Want to Start a Business

Jay Goltz published So You Want to Start a Business, reminding everyone that starting a business is hard. He suggests doing your homework, seeking intelligent advice, and confusing support with wisdom.

One more thing: Going into business is risky, treacherous and demanding. But it is also invigorating, rewarding and beautiful, when it works. It is a lot like nature — with violent hurricanes and beautiful sunsets. I am not sure that you choose to be an entrepreneur; it chooses you.

Dealing with Late Accounts

One of the things that seems to be consistent across gyms is accounts being behind, especially this time of year. As an owner you have to keep overdue accounts under control in order to avoid paying for things your athletes are paying for and driving yourself out of business. Control starts with having a policy regarding overdue accounts. It could range from having a policy that prevents anyone that is behind or a certain dollar amount behind from participating to requiring a card on file, but regardless of the option you go with you must apply it consistently. The final part is applying it consistently to everyone. Firmly enforcing the option you choose will let your parents know you are serious about the business side of things and give them faith you’ll be around for the long run.

Letting an athlete get behind puts you in a bad position. If the athlete quits or you throw them off with an overdue account it will pretty much ensure you won’t be collecting what’s due. To mitigate this, the sooner the decision is made for the overdue account to no longer participate the better it is financially. On one hand you are no longer increasing how much you are owed and on the other hand you are no longer helping a family rack up debt they can’t handle. If you let the athlete continue with an overdue account, you are not just giving your service away, you are actually paying someone to take it. If you are paying fees, but haven’t collected the money from the athlete, you are paying everyone else in the industry, uniform companies, event producers, choreographers, music producers, but you haven’t paid yourself. You cannot stay in business this way.

I heard several reasons explaining why some athletes don’t pay. If you choose to allow this please understand the impact of doing so. On the positive side you usually get better athletes and can compete with closer to the maximum number of people allowed, increasing your chances of placing well. On the negative side you can offend the families that are paying, causing them to leave your program. Of course what is done is your choice, just make sure the decisions you are making are helping you accomplish the goals you have set.

Tory Burch to Entrepreneurs: Embrace Change

CNN Money published Tory Burch to Entrepreneurs: Embrace Change. The best part of this article is the list of what small business should do to learn from big business:

  • Read interviews with experts in their field, listen to their advice but also have their own focused point of view.
  • Look at companies that they admire to learn from their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Not underestimate the power of a cold call. Requesting informational meetings is a powerful tool.