David Harkins' Blog


Is COVID-19 the accelerator of nonprofit transformation change?

The COVID-19 pandemic provided a window into the future. It is a disruptive force that affected all levels of a nonprofit organization’s system. It highlighted the necessity for rethinking operations and leadership approaches. The vast interconnectivity of actors required to fulfill the mission of many public sector nonprofit organizations creates a significant leadership challenge for the future. Here are four things for nonprofit leaders to consider as they determine if this disruptive force will be an accelerator for transformational change.

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Your target market is not as big as you think

Misidentifying your target market can be disastrous for your startup. Learn about the difference between the total available market (TAM) and target market (TM), and how a narrowly defined TM can improve your marketing efforts, reduce costs, and increase customer engagement and loyalty.

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How to Develop a Sales Plan for Your Entrepreneurial Venture

A sales plan is direct and straightforward and focuses on how to identify and develop new customer sales opportunities as well as how do grow revenue opportunities from existing customers. If you have not developed a sales plan for your business, here is a framework to get started.

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Thoughts on Entrepreneurial Education

Too many entrepreneurs are flying by choice or necessity by the seat of their pants, throwing things against the wall and hoping they will stick. What I have learned through experience and formal entrepreneurial education is there is not a magic formula that will breed successful ventures, but there is a framework for innovative leadership that will improve the chances of entrepreneurial success. And it’s time to give back.

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The Founder’s Identity Crisis

The individual who can get a company off the ground is usually quite different than the individual who can run it well as it grows. The skills and abilities required of each are very different. A founder must take the time to learn new skills to transform from the role as a founder to the role true CEO if this is indeed the goal.

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Interview: Lynda Liner on Entrepreneurial Recruiting

In my interview with executive recruiter Lynda Liner, she offers, among other things, that entrepreneurs should not rush the process in hiring those first employees, the importance of communication about the position’s authority and responsibility in the hiring process, and tips for identifying a top recruiter for your firm.


Is your startup hiring?

You often have many needs, but you also have a limited payroll budget. The temptation is always to hire the most technically skilled person for the job, for the least amount of payroll. Getting the biggest bang for your buck sounds logical, but is it?

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Thinking Hard and Soft

Empathy, courtesy, language proficiency, are among those skills that bring cohesiveness to the company. In the absence of tools that attempt to measure soft skills, you, like many other managers, might interview others by assessing their “ability to do the job.” In doing so, you are likely assessing only their hard skills. Rarely do you see a job description that includes, “Must work and play well with others.” And if you do, how will you assess and measure that skill?


Hiring People Like You

Hiring people like you means you may be hiring people who have not just similar strengths, but also similar weaknesses. Hiring people like you will may also mean few will challenge your view of market opportunities, customer targets, or product features and benefits. People like you will tend to see the world in the same way as you. Hiring people too much like you may well restrict your long-term success in business.

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