Issue: September/October 2010
Entrepreneur's Toolkit: Making it Work the Second Time Around
There’s something to take from every startup, no matter what the end result. “Your network is much richer [than a first-timer’s],” says serial entrepreneur and JumpStart venture partner Ted Frank.
» Tap into your experience. First-timers may hire friends even when the job fit isn’t right, says University of Akron’s Bob Chalfant, but the repeat entrepreneur knows the importance of good hiring and has the network in place to build a team. “If I’m starting something, I have hundreds of people I can call to try to recruit,” Frank says. Plus, as a serial entrepreneur, “you’ll have more credibility to go in front of an investor,” says Chalfant.
» Clear the slate. “Entrepreneurs love to talk about how nimble and quick they are, but they develop a mindset too,” says Mark Hauserman, director of the Muldoon Center for Entrepreneurship at John Carroll University. “They may think, This is just like my old business, but find out the hard way it isn’t.” Start fresh with an open mind.
» Know when to cut bait. “Almost every entrepreneur fails at one point,” Hauserman says. “The serial folks say, ‘It didn’t work; so what?’ and move on to the next one.” If your first business isn’t making it, cue up the next idea. “Don’t try to keep a dead business alive,” advises Chalfant.
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