Rick Spence is a Toronto-based business writer, consultant and speaker. He provided the keynote talk at the kickoff of Startup Canada’s visit to Windsor this week. The event was hosted by the Odette School of Business, where I am the Entrepreneur in Residence. The WETech Alliance and The Windsor Essex Small Business Centre are also driving forces behind this effort.
Rick was kind enough to permit me to share his 7 secrets of success with you:
1) Don’t try it alone – Look for a partner with complementary skills to yourself. Rick gave good examples in Microsoft, RIM and Apple of very successful partnerships.
2) Look for the intersection of two opportunities. I liked this tip the best. My business is working on some cool stuff that will take advantage of this one.
3) Dedicate yourself to innovation. Crystal clear on this one.
4) Knowing your customer is the ultimate key to success. Sounds obvious right. However the research says a high percentage of businesses are not actually engaging their customers to understand them better.
5) Embrace Competition. Just do everything a little better than them.
6) Be creatively conservative in your financing. If you are looking to family and friends for startup or expansion financing, it is important to have a clear and refined pitch for them. If everyone understands there are risks, you can focus on the rewards.
7) Pay attention to culture. The ability to cultivate a workplace culture around passion, commitment and teamwork is priceless. It is also the only thing that cannot be replicated by your competitors.
If you want to learn more about Rick, you can check him out at CanEntrepreneur.com.
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