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Posts from the ‘Blog’ Category

Reasons Startups Fail and How to Avoid Them

September 10, 2018


Not long ago I had the opportunity to work with The ExecRanks to develop an educational video for their pool of corporate advisors. My topic was Reasons Startups Fail and How Advisors Can Help. If you’re interested in understanding and avoiding the pitfalls that often lead to start-up failures, listen here

Landing your first customer is not always good

March 12, 2017


I have never met an entrepreneur whose top priority was not landing that first “real customer.” The problem is that too often numerous compromises are required to entice early customers, especially if you are selling a service or a solution, such as software, that is perceived as “customizable.” If you fall victim to this customization, you may end up with a first customer (maybe more than one) who doesn’t represent the type of customer on which your business case was built. Read more

What is a leverage point and how do you identify yours?

March 5, 2017


I am often asked about the origin of the name Leverage Point Advisors. Leverage is a term I have used for years and continue to use frequently. Webster defines leverage as (v) to use for gain. Knowing what to use for gain is what I refer to as the leverage point. From a business perspective, it’s about having a multiplying effect. Once an organization understands what its strengths are and leverages them, its impact on the market and ultimately its financial performance are significant. Read more

I’ve come full circle on the Affordable Care Act

February 27, 2017


In March of 2013, when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law, I was not a big supporter. I had worked in healthcare for long enough that I feared the change required by providers to address the fundamental underpinnings, such as value-based care, was more than they could handle. I’m happy to say that I was wrong. Although many providers still have a long way to go to adopt a truly value-based care model, the progress has been much greater than I ever imagined.

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Why one investor always invests in businesses who put customers first

October 22, 2012


In case you have not seen this post by James Caan on LinkedIn, it’s well worth the read.  Great advice for entrepreneurs just starting out, as well as those whose businesses are more established. I can vouch for his advice from personal experience.

How to avoid sacrificing long-term growth when dealing with the inevitable business crises

October 2, 2012


As I have worked with and spoken to the heads of many small and midsize client companies, it has become very evident that there is just no way you can get everything done that you know you should be doing in a small-company environment. This leads to an acceptance that some things are just not going to get done, no matter how important they are. What frequently ends up being sacrificed are the activities focused on longer-term growth. Read more

Continuous Improvement: A Process to Embrace

August 16, 2012


Although continuous improvement may be an overused term – used frequently in business, in classrooms and on athletic fields – it’s a concept that I fully embrace. Too often I observe organizations set strategies, develop annual plans, execute tactics and wait until the next year’s planning cycle to attempt any type of program measurement. And then when they do measure, they don’t understand why the results are what they are. Read more

The Art of Listening to Our Customers

August 4, 2012


It is a well-known fact that more start-ups fail than succeed. As I’ve started my own consulting firm serving clients in small to midsize companies, I find myself thinking a lot about this fact. As I’ve observed (a few times through painful personal experience) companies and products that have not had the success one would have expected, I’ve begun to create a list of root causes for failure. Many of these root causes are tied to a lack of understanding of our customers, not a poorly performing product or an unneeded service. Read more

2012 Midwest E3 Summit

July 24, 2012


I had the opportunity to attend the Midwest E3 Summit  (Empowering an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem) which was held in Indianapolis July 11-12. What a great learning experience! The event began with a welcome dinner and keynote address by Gary Anderson on July 11. The majority of the day on July 12 was dedicated to an education session presented by Bob Okabe of the Angel Resource Institute (ARI). The program culminated with a panel of entrepreneurs and their angels from across the Midwest. And, throughout, there was plenty of time for networking. Read more

The Value of Strategy to Small and Large Companies

June 21, 2012


I was having coffee one day last week with a friend who has spent most of his career on the small start-up side of the life sciences industry. I, on the other hand, have spent many years within large global companies. The topic of our conversation that morning, however, occurs with similar frequency in both types of organizations: strategy is often put on the back burner as other seemingly more critical tasks take its place. Read more