Do You Need a Mentor or an Advisor?

Do You Need a Mentor or an Advisor?

Every successful entrepreneur can recall a few key mentors and advisors who have influenced their journey and helped them along the way. If you have raised equity funding, you may benefit from the guidance and mentoring that investors provide (yes, qualified investors don’t just write a check!). After all, it does take a village to raise an entrepreneur! Both mentors and advisors are an important part of the entrepreneurial journey, and although the terms are being used interchangeably, it is important that you understand the difference, so that you can benefit the most from their guidance. Mentors: A mentor is someone who will support you and encourage you to sharpen your critical thinking and self-awareness. They have some entrepreneurial experience and a general business acumen. They can be close friends, professional acquaintances or come from organized groups. Mentors are most beneficial in the ideation and early stage of a business. Why? Because their main focus is you as your business results are in direct relation to your development and maturity as an entrepreneur. It often takes an outsider’s perspective to help you broaden yours. A mentor just wants to see you succeed! Like a barrel of monkeys, someone pulls you up and you keep a hand down to pull the next woman up (or guy *smile*). The first step to find a mentor is to ask. Let the person know that you are interested in learning about them and their experience. Offer a chat over coffee. Listen. Ask a few questions. Like any other relationships, ease into it. After a few informal conversations, you can create together a more...
3 Smart Ways to Win More Sales

3 Smart Ways to Win More Sales

Whether you are just getting started or not, your sales are directly tied to the number of people you can reach who are genuinely interested in what you are selling. Winning more sales comes down to solving these three challenges. 1. Choose your customer If you reach more of the right people, you will get more clients! In business, 20% of your customers generates 80% of your revenues. It’s the 80/20 rule or Pareto Principle, named after Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist who found, in the early 1900s, that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. This may come as a surprise, but this distribution occurs frequently in all areas of life. It is also an incredible tool to grow your business. So why spend energies on these target customers that will generate the least? By identifying the characteristics of your 20%-customers, you can focus your efforts on reaching people who match that profile. I’ll show you how to in the next steps.   2. Find their big problem The basic premise of business is to offer a product or service that people would pay for. In short, if you fix their big problem they will pay for it. Value is in the eye of the beholder! Do you truly understand what their pain is? When the first laser printer came out, as Hewlett-Packard was getting their new model to market, they realize that customers didn’t care about printing the most beautiful graphics. What they wanted above all was silence! Their big problem was that, at the time, existing printers were making such...
Impact-Driven Business Accelerator Seeks 5 Growth-Stage Companies

Impact-Driven Business Accelerator Seeks 5 Growth-Stage Companies

Altima Business Solutions is seeking second-stage startups for API10X spring accelerator program to help the most promising entrepreneurs make an impact. Focused on founders and their ventures, this concierge accelerator program offers one-on-one mentoring with experts and connections with Altima’s network of industry influencers, among other services. “Building a product and building a business are two different things. We focus on founders to help them understand what their next best moves are to build an impactful business” said Carine Dieudé, partner and strategy director at Altima Business Solutions. “It’s not just about the product, the service or the trade. Creating a company that has impact requires designing its business model and management systems to positively influence the results,” Dieudé said. Startups and small businesses, regardless of industry, that have already proven their concept and have traction are invited to apply for the 12-week impact-driven program, API10X, by March 30, 2018. API10X started as a summer accelerator program for Arizona State University for Venture Devils startups last May. Altima decided to start a similar program outside of ASU to help other promising companies with a wide range of expertise to solve their core problems and transfer wealth: more traction, more sales, and more profit. “The goal is to have promising companies get above the noise and be a success story,” Dieudé said. “ Altima Business Solutions, which was founded 18 years ago, supports business owners and entrepreneurs from decision-making to execution with On-Demand Executives and On-Demand Solutions in all five fundamentals of business: Access to Capital, Financial Management, Critical Path, Sales and Accountability. As a result, they transfer tangible wealth to...
Tech Trends That Will Shape Marketing in 2018: Insight From CEOs, CMOs, CTOs, CIOs, CVOs, and Others

Tech Trends That Will Shape Marketing in 2018: Insight From CEOs, CMOs, CTOs, CIOs, CVOs, and Others

Tech Trends That Will Shape Marketing in 2018: Insight From CEOs, CMOs, CTOs, CIOs, CVOs, and Others What are the top tech trends that will impact marketing in 2018? To find out, I turned to experts in the industry–from CEOs to Chief Technology Officers to a Chief Video Officer and Chief Application Architect. What follows are prognostications regarding the tech trends that will matter most...
How Blockchain Could Transform The Way You Buy Your Groceries

How Blockchain Could Transform The Way You Buy Your Groceries

How Blockchain Could Transform The Way You Buy Your Groceries From giants like IBM and Walmart to smaller CPG startups, companies are using blockchain to improve the safety and transparency of food. Blockchain tech has primarily been associated with financial services – but increasingly it’s making an impact across industries, and the food supply chain is no...
5 Must-Haves for Entrepreneurs Who Want to Join a Business Accelerator

5 Must-Haves for Entrepreneurs Who Want to Join a Business Accelerator

Accelerator programs are an incredibly efficient way to help your business get off the ground but not every entrepreneur is fit for it. Increasingly popular among startups as a mean to receive funding, high performing programs put less emphasis on finances and more on rethinking every angle of the business to give it the best chances of success in the marketplace, making them fit for seasoned entrepreneurs as well first-time founders. We have plenty of successes at Altima with startups and small business owners who achieve market fit and really accelerate their companies. Here is a breakdown of the key must-haves for entrepreneurs to join an accelerator: 1. You want to be mentored One of the greatest benefit of an accelerator is that you will be matched with top mentors but also be given access to a large network of top executives, experts and entrepreneurs. Sharing their experience and acting as a sounding-board can really improve your critical thinking and decision-making process. You believe mentors can provide you valuable feedback and support your entrepreneurial and leadership development. 2. You want to grow your business Of course, you want to grow your business! But what I mean is that you are ready to get outside of your comfort zone. Business-minded experts and mentors will challenge every angle of your business to give it the best chance to succeed. You will be constantly pushed to think about improving and growing your company, and connecting at a deeper level with customers. The focus will be on solving real customer problems, while reducing non-essential tasks. You are open and willing to take a...