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Entrepreneurial Insight from Business Innovation Experts - Part 3

August 03, 2016

In honor of I4E Tech Week, we caught up with our I4E Business Innovation Experts.

In honor of Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs (I4E) Tech Week, we caught up with our I4E Business Innovation Experts and asked them a series of questions about business and entrepreneurship. Today, our respondents discuss what small business owners and entrepreneurs are doing right in today’s digital business environment. They also provide tips on business planning. For part two in our “Entrepreneurial Insight” series, click here.

What is one thing you see today’s small business owners and entrepreneurs doing right?

Orly Zeewy, Brand Architect says:

Reaching out to experts to help them identify where they may need help. I know several entrepreneurs who have recently hired a coach, which I see as a really positive step towards growing a sustainable company.

Anita Campbell, CEO, Small Business Trends says:

I see entrepreneurs and business owners doing a lot right. But to point to one thing, I'd say the thing small business owners do right is innovate. I see innovation all the time in small ways. You don't have to run a high-tech business, either, to innovate. Innovation is about being creative and trying new things or serving customers in new ways. I see business owners coming up with interesting spins everywhere, in the smallest towns in America—the restaurant with a unique menu, or the coffee shop that becomes the hub of the community through offering meeting space, or the new business with a never-before seen service to meet a consumer trend.

John Jantsch, Founder, Duct Tape Marketing says:

I think more and more business owners are understanding the power of blending online and offline marketing tactics.

Robert Irvine, Restauranteur, Celebrity Chef and Entrepreneur, says:

Talking to your customers! Having a proactive conversation with your customers can help nurture loyalty and relationships, and address issues before they become problems. They also provide valuable feedback so you can determine your business' performance.

Charles Sacco, Assistant Dean of Strategic Initiatives, Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship says:

Leveraging the power of the Internet to explore and to learn. There is a wealth of knowledge about starting up that didn’t exist 10 years ago. You can find out so much and connect with so many people that can be helpful to you as you’re getting started.

Brian Meece, Entrepreneur and Co-founder of RocketHub says:

There seems to be a movement around transparency and purpose to a lot of new ventures. Starting a new company takes a pioneering spirit and often a creative streak, so it’s exciting to see business used as a “force for good”.

What advice do you have for small business owners and entrepreneurs when it comes to planning?

Orly Zeewy, Brand Architect says:

Plan carefully—measure twice, cut once. But don’t get stuck in planning. Make sure you give yourself a timeline so you implement as well as plan.

Anita Campbell, CEO, Small Business Trends says:

Plan - but be flexible. Planning makes you think. That's probably the best benefit of business planning. But just as they say in war "no military plan survives first contact", the same could be said of business. As soon as you get out there you will spot new opportunities. You'll encounter unexpected problems. You WILL change your plans. Expect it.

John Jantsch, Founder, Duct Tape Marketing says:

Annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly routines should be used. The point of the annual planning is to review, pivot and get everyone on the same page. Quarterly is for setting short window priorities and projects – monthly and weekly are simply subsets for aligning tasks.

Robert Irvine, Restauranteur, Celebrity Chef and Entrepreneur, says:

For restaurant owners, its key that they have a concise, diverse, and customer-based menu. Keep a few fresh and rotating items on the menu to maintain interest.

Charles Sacco, Assistant Dean of Strategic Initiatives, Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship says:

Forget business planning, at least for the first year or two. What’s most important is validating your key assumptions about your idea, your market, your revenue model and your value proposition. You have to determine pretty quickly whether you are a “must have” or a “nice to have” when it comes to your customers.

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Steven Machado

August 03, 2016

You & I could make things happen. Let's meet and see just what those things are. northstarsteven at yahoo.com.

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