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  • Lessons from Successful Young(er) Entrepreneurs

    Shama Kabani , CEO of The Marketing Zen Group , went to a gathering of some of the top entrepreneurs under 30 years old, and she came back with some important insights. Namely, Kabani realized that she, and all of us, have a lot to learn from young business leaders. At Inc. , she shares five lessons she took away from the experience: 1. There is no "they." 2. Hustle is a muscle. 3. Timing is everything. 4. Entrepreneurs have 99 problems, but money ain't one. 5. We still need greater diversity. Here is more on #4: If you ask non-entrepreneurs what one of the greatest challenges to starting a company is, many might answer with an obvious one: funding. But, out of all the colorful stories and stumbling blocks I heard about from the 99 other Empact100 entrepreneurs, a lack of funding wasn't mentioned a single time. In fact, the general consensus was that there is plenty of funding available for the right ideas. And much can be accomplished just by bootstrapping and making smart choices. Entrepreneurship certainly has a lot of challenges, but a lack of money rarely ever hinders a great idea. Read What 99 Gen-Y Entrepreneurs Taught Me About Business here .
  • Stategic Cost Cutting as a Means, Not an End

    Karl Stark and Bill Stewart Co-founders, Avondale Strategic Partners , seem skeptical about any strategy that is touted as increasing profits while cutting revenues. And so they are wary of cost-cutting as a path toward growth. At Inc. , they share three questions that executives should ask when embarking on a cost-cutting plan: 1. What costs and investments are required to maintain the existing or projected revenue base? 2. Which costs or investments will impact revenues in future years – positively or negatively? and 3. Will your cost cutting necessitate further cuts in the future, creating a snowball effect? When cost reductions cut to the bone and beyond, the inevitable result is a snowballing sequence of profit declines. The lack of critical sales, marketing, R&D, and other investments will likely reduce revenues, which leads to additional cuts. As the pace of revenue declines increase, profits will eventually evaporate and the business will not have the ability to recover. In short, Stark and Stewart recognize the need to cut costs. But if cost-cutting is the goal rather than growth, then, as many newspaper executives have found out over the last decade, the need for cost cutting may never end. Read You Can't Cut Your Way to Growth here .