Tag Archives: Entrepreneurs

2015 ES SM BANNER-TWITTER 1500x500

It’s that time of year again. The Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit is right around the corner.  If you haven’t already registered, now is the time. The summit takes place May 13th through the 16th in Atlanta, GA.

If you remember how a little while back in early March, I went on and on about how great this year’s BE Women of Power Summit was.  That’s because it was honestly one of the few events that I've experienced that I would classify as life changing.  With that in mind, I’d be willing to bet good money that this year’s Entrepreneurs Summit will be nothing short of amazing as well, equipping you with important entreprenurial tools and helping you make the connections that will help further your business. This year the summit boats speakers like:

    • Steve Harvey
    • Lisa Nichols
    • Roland Martin
    • Cris Carter
    • R. Donahue Peebles
    • Jermain Dupri and more

Unfortunately, prior commitments mean I can’t attend this year’s conference but I can certainly help you get there.

Special Offer for Power Moves and Pumps readers:

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$100 off

Receive $100.00 off the full registration rate of $495.00

Power Moves and Pumps readers use discount code: PMP

Visit blackenterprise.com to register

Also see the BE Entrepreneurs Summit Facebook page for more.

 

Thank you for reading. Now... "Let the power moves continue."

happy female business woman entrepreneur _text2

So I read this article on Forbes.com a while back that highlighted a recent study comparing male and female entrepreneurs and their respective levels of happiness. Who was the happier of the two? The women of course. Not only are they happier than their entrepreneurial male counterparts, they’re also apparently more than twice as happy with their well-being than non-entrepreneurs and non-business owners. All right then, that settles it. I’m starting a business… like now.

But uh, hold your horses Jackie. What’s this part here? The study, The 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) U.S. Report, also pointed out another interesting fact.  Female entrepreneurs who are just starting out are less happy than male entrepreneurs in the start up phase. Aww damn. There’s always a catch isn’t there. There’s a pretty good explanation for this though. Turns out that just 7 percent of female-backed teams are able to obtain venture funding. So inevitably things are much more challenging in the beginning.

This isn’t all that surprising. After all, we women are still earning roughly 77 cents to every dollar earned by our male counterparts.  It’s harder for us to get that promotion, land that deal and as evidenced by this study, it’s harder for us to find investors for our brilliant ideas. If you think about the fact that most venture capitalist are men, it’s got to be nothing short of a challenge to get them to not only understand your female-targeted business but also believe in it enough to want to buy into it.

What’s the moral of the story? Being a woman business owner is going to be hard as hell. At some times it may be downright depressing but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and the closer you get to the light the more you can bask in it’s warmth. (I totally just pictured my self in a tunnel dressed in white with my arms stretched out wide, head back, eyes closed, just taking in the satisfaction of running my own [wildly successful] show.) The writing is on the wall folks.  Happiness levels among women entrepreneurs surge as their ventures mature. It’s in the study. Keep working towards your goal. It will be worth it in the end.

A little nugget #forthegram

happy business woman

Read more on the study here: The 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) U.S. Report

 

Thanks for reading.  Now… “Let the power moves continue.”

 

 

SharkTank Full Cast photo(Cast of Shark Tank pictured above from left to right: Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec.)

As an aspiring entrepreneur I’m always looking for avenues to grow my knowledge. One of my favorite pastimes is sitting down to catch an episode of Shark Tank on a Friday evening. If you’re not familiar with Shark Tank, I’m not sure where you’ve been hiding but I’d advise you to emerge from this dark hiding place and get hip to the wildly popular show; especially if you’re an entrepreneur or hopeful.

So why do I love the show? Negotiations are effing interesting. It doesn’t matter what’s being negotiated or who’s doing the negotiating. It could be a mom and a toddler (see Listen Linda)  or a family negotiation (see Everybody Loves Raymond).  Seeing two parties verbally duke it out is always entertaining. If you’re a business owner, at some point in time your business may need an influx of supplemental cash flow in order to stimulate growth. One clean-cut method for getting that extra cash flow is through securing investors. Conversely, you may eventually find yourself on the other side of this scenario as the investor.

Shark Tank, while its primary purpose is for entertainment value, has actually taught me several important lessons on business negotiations, entrepreneurship and investing.

The Main Lessons:

Business is Business - You should never be surprised at the cutthroat nature of business. People are in business for one reason and that is to make money. Sure there may be some good intentions thrown in here or there but the number one goal in business is to turn a profit. Don’t  you forget it.

First Impressions are Everything – Not literally, but make the wrong first impression and you could very well lose out on an investor. It’s easier to come strong out of the gate then to try to recapture interest once you've lost it.

Know Your Numbers – No one should know your business better than you. You need to eat, breathe and sleep your business. You need to know where you are, where you’re going and exactly how you're going to get there. If I’m investing in your business, I need to know that you know what the hell you’re doing and that I can trust you with my money.

Believe in Your Product or Business – The most successful businesses and products were launched by people who truly had a heartfelt enthusiasm for what they were doing. If you don’t believe in it, how do you expect an investor or a customer to?

Look Past the Sob Story – As an investor you need to be a little cold blooded. Investing in people you believe in isn't a bad idea but throwing money at something because the sob story got to you is bad business. If you want to be philanthropic, start a charity.

For guests on Shark Tank it’s all about being prepared. How are you going to grab attention? What is the pitch going to be like? Did you think of answers to all the questions they could possibly ask? Shark Kevin O’Leary says: "For me business is war. I want to take prisoners. I want to destroy my enemies, my competitors. Don't ever walk in front of me unprepared. Don't ever get in front of me without your numbers. Never bring a half-baked proposition and waist my time.”

O’Leary is pretty much the most aggressive, merciless Shark. His deals always seem the most full of greed yet, he inexplicably has the audacity to routinely become offended when his deals are turned down. He once angrily exclaimed: “You’re dead to me when you say no to my deal. You’re dead. That is a human tragedy and he’s teaching his son that. It’s a crime. He should be arrested.” This, after Jeff Cohen, inventor of the Collapsible Neck Guitar rejected a deal O’ Leary offered. Funny enough, once the show was over, it turns out that Jeff wasn't so dead to him after all. O’Leary paired up with Cohen later on and the two struck a deal that both parties could live with.

How would you do on Shark Tank? Do you know your numbers? Would you be able to give the right answers to all of the panel’s rapid-fire questions?  Take a stab at a practice run. Here are a few commonly asked questions from show:

  • How much do you sell it for?
  • How much does it cost you to make it?
  • How much does it cost wholesale?
  • How much does it cost resale?
  • What are your sales?
  • How much of that is profit?
  • What is the distribution strategy?
  • Is it patented?
  • What are projected sales for the year?
  • Do you work full time on the business?
  • What are customer acquisition costs?
  • Why don't you have more sales?
  • What's proprietary about this product?
  • What's the plan (for the next year)?
  • What's the sales forecast for the next year?

 

Watch Shark Tank on ABC Fridays at 9|8c