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4 Overlooked Ways To Minimize The Risk Of Starting A Company

Striking out on your own is risky business. Within the first five years, 50% of businesses fail. But you can increase your chance of success with planning and preparation.

I asked Candace Klein what entrepreneurs overlook that could increase their chances of success. Who would know better? Klein has been part of three start-up companies and, through her Bad Girl Ventures nonprofit, has guided many women as they start companies. Bad Girl Ventures  provides training, connections and access to capital to female entrepreneurs in Cincinnati and Cleveland. Klein started SoMeLend, which closed its doors, and she is now the chief strategy officer of Dealstruck. Both companies are online alternative lenders to small businesses. 

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Power Up Your Business By Focusing on ‘Why’

Focusing on “Why” your company does what it does powers up your passion and your business. Inspirational leaders understand this. Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King and the Wright brothers all started with why, according to Simon Sinek, an ethnographer and author of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. Sinek’s TED speech offers specifics around how these leaders did began and how they applied their passionate “why” each step along the way.

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5 Common Mistakes Companies Make When Seeking Financing

Whether you’re starting a new business or expanding an existing $50 million enterprise, you may need to raise outside financing. I was surprised when my accountant, Gary Topche of Topche & Company, told me the mistakes business owners make are similar no matter the size of their businesses.

His company specializes in serving the financial needs of businesses ranging from startups wanting to grow big in a hurry to companies already worth half a billion dollars. Naturally, I wanted to know more about these mistakes, and share insights from someone so close to ground zero.

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How To Make The Connections That Make Things Happen

Research shows that entrepreneurs with larger and more diverse networks grow their businesses bigger. Yet, networking can be uncomfortable, especially if you’re an introvert.

Leave it to an introvert, Dorie Clark, to write a practical, actionable e-book, Stand Out Networking: A Simple and Authentic Way to Meet People on Your Own Terms, that anyone can follow. It maps out how to make meaningful connections that can lead to an investment, a major new customer or partnership, media coverage, a publishing contract, a speaking opportunity, and much more.

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6 Lessons For Rocking A TED Talk Or Any Speech

TED and its independently run TEDx events are carefully curated, concise talks on a cornucopia of topics. I love to find a topic that I didn’t know I was interested in, then watch the talk online.

Presenting a TED Talk can bring you attention and even business, but it is no easy feat to be chosen as a speaker. Don’t expect your PR person to land you a gig. Professional speakers need not apply either, though some do land an appearance. It’s not about being polished. It’s about saying something extraordinary, said Aaron Sylvan organizer of TEDxFultonStreet and an event producer. Speakers at TED talks are the world’s most inspired thinkers and their topics have not been seen elsewhere. The ideas presented  change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.

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How to Get The Attention Of Investors In-person And Online

Getting the attention of your audience is the only way you can ask someone for something. When the stakes are high, as they are when you are pitching investors for raise money your business, you can’t afford to be less than perfect.

Imagine my delight when I bumped into Sam Horn at SXSW. She’s a presentation coach, pitch consultant, intrigue expert who also works with women participating inSpringboard Enterprises , an accelerator program for women-led technology, media, and life sciences businesses. I was even more delighted when she told me about  her new book, Got Your Attention?: How to Create Intrigue and Connect with Anyone.

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Expand Your Growth By Expanding Your Network

Don’t just meet people and make friends. Network wisely to make your business do well.

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How You Can Empower Change On International Women's Day

As much as things have changed for women, much still needs to be changed. You can be part of the change by creating an initiative that empowers women, funding one or spreading the word about it.

Investment vs. Expense: How Do You Categorize Your Communications Costs?

By Janet Falk

At a certain small bank dealing exclusively with consumers, opening a new account in the system requires an input: How did you hear about us?

This is a company that calculates its Public Relations, Marketing and Communications dollars as an investment, and not an expense, unlike others.

By tracking the HOW question over time, and in six locations, the bank fine tunes its activity in SEO, media outreach, outdoor advertising and other platforms.

4 Steps To Scratching Your Entrepreneurial Itch

Female entrepreneurs get it: Women have become the power users of technologies such as the internet, mobile, and social networking.

“Female users are the unsung heroines behind the most engaging, fastest growing, and most valuable consumer internet and e-commerce companies.  Especially when it comes to social and shopping, women rule the Internet,” wrote Aileen Lee in TechCrunch. Lee is a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm.

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