Are You on Track With Your Business Critical Path?

Are You on Track With Your Business Critical Path?

With the many resources available to entrepreneurs (classes, incubators, mentors, etc.), it’s never been easier to create a business. Yet, as the business grows, the entrepreneur’s innate ability and talent have less and less impact on the company’s results. Exceeding the competition, finding new clients and keeping your business profitable are challenges that you have to face, regardless of how experienced you are as an entrepreneur or how many years you have been in business. With fires to put out in every corner, the day-to-day hustle of business can easily send your plan and intentions to oblivion! Before you know it, you are nowhere near where you thought you’d be. For more than 15 years, Altima Business Solutions has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs, from startup to small/mid-sized businesses, in a wide range of industries, leverage their powers by developing and executing winning critical path strategies. Critical Path is a project management method first developed in the late 1950s to schedule projects. The US Navy’s Fleet Ballistic Missile (Polaris) Program was behind schedule and needed help resolving the problem. The solution was to divide the project into tasks, organized in the proper sequence of importance and dependencies, estimate the completion time of each task to obtain a clear picture of the entire project. At the same time, the chemical company EI DuPont de Nemours was experiencing delays in its plant turnarounds and came up with an answer similar to the Polaris Program. Applied to entrepreneurship, Critical Path is a comprehensive process for determining a business future and how it can best achieve that goal. It audits the business powers and...
Don’t Tell Me About The Labor Pains, Show Me The Baby!

Don’t Tell Me About The Labor Pains, Show Me The Baby!

When you are an entrepreneur, you find yourself having to tell your story over and over. Traditionally we have been taught to master an elevator pitch, which certainly has its time and place. When dealing with investors, you have to paint them your master piece, your Sistine chapel! Don’t let them guess or work hard to get to it. Many entrepreneurs are so focused on their mechanism, their how-they-do-what-they-do, that they fail to show them the baby! A great framework to help you articulate your story is Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s journey. It involves a protagonist who goes on an adventure, wins a decisive victory after a crisis, encounters some more challenges and eventually returns home, transformed. Sounds familiar? From Finding Nemo to Star Wars, you find this narrative in classic literature, movies and even religious texts. Now, don’t get carried away! You are not writing a Hollywood production! Your business plan, pitch deck, etc. still need to be in an investor-grade format (cf. From MVP to VC: Strategic non-starters and how to avoid them).     Investors want to know who you are: The first step in the Hero’s journey is the “ordinary world” where you learn details from the hero’s ordinary life before he starts on his adventure. It anchors the hero as human and gives us a chance to connect. Translated to business: Who are you? Who are the members of your management team? And how will your experiences aid in your success? Are you trustworthy? Are you coachable?   Investors want to know why did you get started: That is the second step “the call to...
From MVP to VC: Strategic non-starters and how to avoid them

From MVP to VC: Strategic non-starters and how to avoid them

One of the unavoidable responsibilities for the CEO of any startup company is to provide the initial funds; and round 2 funding; and round 3 funding, until investment is secured or revenue generated, as running out of cash is not an option. Think you are ready to raise investment capital? I review many business plans and pitch decks for companies who are seeking funding for their pre-seed, seed or series A through our Business Marketplace. And as part of our process to successfully secure capital for our clients, I also write many plans and pitch decks. I want to share with you what I’ve learned. Investors lend you money to make MORE money Investors write you a check when they are emotionally high Investors don’t bet on an also ran   Before you get to meet with investors, you will have to submit yourself to their vetting process by sharing information about your startup: pitch deck, executive summary, business plan and financial projections. In other words, your documentation will speak first on your behalf. You only have one chance to make a great first impression! Here are the top strategic errors many entrepreneurs commit from the get go: They do not ‘speak’ intelligently about their business They talk and talk about the labor pain but never show the baby They live for today   What does it mean to speak intelligently about your business in your pitch deck and business plan? When seeking funding, the first thing is to prepare a funding business plan and not an operational business plan! Sounds obvious but many don’t know that such a...
Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

In our 15 years of experience accelerating businesses and providing them with the best talents and resources, we have learned quite a bit about entrepreneurs’ motivation and needs. Over this past year, we have worked even harder to share knowledge with as many of you as possible by posting important industry news and trends, in-depth business articles and more on our blog and social media pages. To further our mission of creating a better everyday life for more business owners and communities, we recently launched the Arizona Prosperity Initiative, which first pilot program was sponsored by the Business Resource and Innovation Center of the City of Tempe. The Arizona Prosperity Initiative is a collection of accelerator programs of different levels for established businesses to collaborate, mentor and raise local entrepreneurs who are creating tomorrow’s jobs. The next program, the Arizona Prosperity Initiative 10X (API10X) will be available first quarter of 2017. Stay tuned! We hope you will take advantage of these resources to grow as an entrepreneur and grow your company. We are in the midst of building additional programs and tools for you. If you feel there is anything else we could be doing that would be helpful or beneficial to you as a business owner, please reach out. We’d love to hear your story! We wish you and your family a happy holiday season! Altima Business Solutions Team   About Us Altima Business Solutions is a business accelerator which offers comprehensive business solutions to upstart and growing businesses. Their services include Strategy, Capital Acquisition, Financial Management, Sales and Accountability. By providing owners and management teams with capital,...
4 Phases of Market Research to Ensure Success

4 Phases of Market Research to Ensure Success

4 Phases of Market Research to Ensure Success Position yourself for growth in 2017-join us live at the Entrepreneur 360™ Conference in Long Beach, Calif. on Nov. 16. Secure Your Seat ” Failure is almost a rite of passage in the startup space, with nine out of 10 new businesses crashing and...