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...
You Want Investors’ Money? Stop Selling the Labor Pains. Show off the Baby!

You Want Investors’ Money? Stop Selling the Labor Pains. Show off the Baby!

People don’t bare gifts because of the labor pains. They bring gifts to celebrate the new creation. Summer is almost upon us: graduations, proms and last couple of investors’ conferences before vacation time. I’ll be heading to Silicon Valley Open Door (SVOD), a technology investment conference, in San Francisco, and to the RESI (Reinventing Early Stage Investment) conference in San Diego, which focuses on life science companies, as part of the investors’ panel. I’ll meet with the founders seeking funding and discuss opportunities with investors during one on one breakout sessions. If you are one of these founders, here is what I will be looking for:   Traction. What have you achieved? What milestones have you passed? Are you generating revenue? How have you proven you are solving a problem? These days, even angels tend to behave like VC, looking for traction. As an early stage company, and more so for those in life science sector, traction can be a daunting concept. You most likely don’t have revenue yet but there is always slow and measurable progress to leverage. Maybe you have identified and proven your target customer with sign up for upcoming trials; maybe you have endorsement from recognized scientific entities or perhaps pursuing a co-validation.   What does tomorrow look like? What changes do you anticipate in the market place? How will you still be relevant? You don’t have to know exactly, but based on trends, data and research, how are you directionally correct? From the time you conceptualized your idea to the first research/iteration to today, most likely a couple of years have passed. With seven...
Top 3 Powers in Business

Top 3 Powers in Business

One in 9 companies succeed in building a durable business. Even large companies nose-dive. There is only one reason why companies fail: they screw up their powers. How many of you remember Blackberry? How many of you had a Blackberry phone? What kind of phone do you have today? Zero Blackberry I bet! I am a corporate dropout, a HAPPY corporate dropout. In my corporate days, we called these phones “crackberry”. It was the first time we could access work emails remotely. We only had PDA’s before that. We were addicted. They had everything we needed. They were practical and secure. We were getting things done! Blackberry rose to a staggering 20% market share in 2008/2009 and today account for less than 1%. Regardless of size and sector, the major constraint on a company’s success is not the quality of their product or service or the intellectual property that protects it, but rather the inability of the company to leverage their power to secure and capitalize on commercial opportunities. Power determines range and when range is narrow, it leaves a company with very little leeway.   Here are the top 3 powers in business you must leverage: Power in your story telling Power in your business model Power in your decision-making   Think about your business being a big bucket. From the day you think of opening a business to actually going for it, to year one, year two, etc., you keep throwing in that bucket everything you learn about your value proposition, your customers, your employees, your finances, your operations…from all of your daily activities to your big dream. As...
3 Reasons Great Ideas Fail as Startups

3 Reasons Great Ideas Fail as Startups

3 Reasons Great Ideas Fail as Startups The conventional wisdom with entrepreneurship is that you need to be ready to weather tough times. Depending on which numbers you review, you’ll find that anywhere up to 75 percent of all startups fail It’s easy to write off of these failures as the work of people who didn’t know what they were...

How We Select Startup Companies For API10X Accelerator

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN FOR 2017 API10X It is always exciting to create new success stories. Selecting the cohort of second-stage startup companies for the API10X is a bitter-sweet process. As exhilarating as it is to hear passionate founders share their dream, we will take only the ones with the most traction, most experienced teams, most advanced products, etc., making the selection not so easy. APPLY NOW! Here is how we run the selection process in five steps: 1. Application: All startups must apply online. At this stage, second-stage startup companies provide information about their company, their team, the problem, their solutions, etc. This is the first contact between the entrepreneurs and API10X accelerator, the first opportunity for our advisors to ‘meet’ you. You have only one chance to make a great first impression. Play To Win! Tips: To be taken seriously, fill out the form like a professional Be sure to fill all of the form Be concise and concrete. We want the right information about you and your team, not a sales pitch. Don’t lie Use all your media resources: video, social media links, websites, etc. Yes, we will click on founders’ profiles. 2. Interview: If you get to this stage it is because we have an interest in you. This interview is to magnify the information from the form and give you the opportunity to clarify certain points. We want to know more about you and your team, where you are at and what you are looking for. These interviews are a 20-min phone call with the team.  Some of the questions are: What is your company?...