David Harkins' Blog

Entrepreneurship

Are you building the right kind of capital for your startup?

In modern economics, capital is typically defined as an asset that you can use to produce something that is economically useful to a business or an individual.  The word, then, has different meaning depending upon its context. Even with these different meanings, you still might think capital is synonymous with money. And it would make sense since if you’re a founder, you are spending a lot of time raising and worrying about financial capital. But, financial capital may not be the only capital you need. Are you building the right kind of capital for your startup?

READ: Interview: Lynda Liner on Entrepreneurial Recruiting
pilot control station
Entrepreneurship

Choosing between wealth and control

Many startup founders maintain control as the primary means to achieving their goals with the business. One of those goals, of course, is solving that problem on which the company is built. However, many of the other goals are much more personal. Things like personal pride and wealth, for example, come to mind. But, being in control and building wealth are not mutually inclusive. In fact, it’s hard to build wealth and maintain control at the same time.

READ: Interview: Lynda Liner on Entrepreneurial Recruiting
Entrepreneurship

Overcoming the Sunk Cost Fallacy: A Key to Entrepreneurial Success

If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re not familiar with the term “sunk costs,” you may have a problem. Even if we do understand it, the problem for most of us is that our forward-looking decisions become too tied to those sunk costs. We often become emotionally invested; the more we invest, the harder it becomes to divest ourselves from those costs. In these situations, objectively considering the pros and cons is difficult. Instead, we try to recoup sunk costs, making us irrational.

READ: Interview: Lynda Liner on Entrepreneurial Recruiting
Well-Known World Brand Logotypes
Licensing

Beyond Short-Term Royalty Potential: Vetting Prospective Licensees for Long-Term Success

Some licensors may choose to focus primarily on new licensees who might generate higher royalty revenue for a short period, while others prefer the steady, long-term growth in royalty revenue.  For the latter, a vetting process designed to create stronger alignment with a licensor’s mission, vision, and long-term goals, ultimately provide greater success for the program and result in stronger, more prosperous licensing partnerships. Here are six ideas for improving the licensee vetting process.

READ: Interview: Lynda Liner on Entrepreneurial Recruiting
Entrepreneurship

Interview: ClassB CEO Eric Hilferding on Entrepreneurship

The following is an interview with Eric Hilferding, CEO of ClassB, a custom t-shirt manufacturer, and printer for my graduate coursework in entrepreneurship. Eric and I first met in 2005 when I was with the Boy Scouts of America. His company was one of our first licensees in a revamped licensing program. We became fast friends and I have long admired his attention to detail, his creativity, and his commitment to service.  

READ: Interview: Lynda Liner on Entrepreneurial Recruiting
black and white printed textile
Entrepreneurship

Stop focusing on your product and start focusing on your customer

Customers are the only thing that matter to a business. It is surprising how many entrepreneurs start their business with an idea of a product or service and a detailed plan for execution of the offering, without a clear understanding of the customer. Too many entrepreneurs believe that the “thing”—the product or service—they have created will “satisfy society’s needs” without giving enough thought to understanding what society needs, values, and expects. The focus on the thing poses one of the most significant long-term barriers to success for entrepreneurs.

READ: Interview: Lynda Liner on Entrepreneurial Recruiting
Licensing

How to find and qualify new licensing opportunities

One of the most significant challenges for licen­sors is to keep the opportunity pipeline full. Regardless of the size of the licensing pro­gram, finding and qualifying prospective li­censees can be a challenge. Some licensors need more opportunities to explore, while other licensors have the opportunities but do not have a defined qualification pro­cess. Unfortunately, some licensors have both challenges. To overcome those challenges a licensor might consider the following sales and business development techniques.

READ: Interview: Lynda Liner on Entrepreneurial Recruiting
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