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Have you experienced your 'Every Three-Million Dollar Crisis?'

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus 9 August 2018
Here is a phenomenon I discovered over time when dealing with many small start-ups in their early revenue period. A very predictable series of rotating crises seemed to befall most every one of these young companies. These became so predictable that I could accurately label them as occurring about every $3 million in gross profit (or revenue for service companies). By defining this in terms of gross profit, we can include distributors with 15% gross margins as easily as software companies boasting nearly 100% gross margin.
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Can you defend your pricing niche against your competition?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus 2 August 2018
This week, we continue our series on marketing and positioning. There can be nothing more important in your business planning that selecting the proper pricing niche, making your story clear using that niche, and the defending your position against the competition.
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Faster is sometimes more valuable than better.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus 19 July 2018
This is one of those arguable insights, where both sides win. Dell is a great example of emphasis upon fast, creating a customized computer in 48 hours or less, bringing in assemblies and components just-in-time to make the assembly line. However, if Dell quality were poor and returns high, the company surely would not have survived on speed of response alone. If someone were to ask, “What is the secret sauce, Michael Dell?” Dell’s response would be something like “Quality custom computers more quickly than the competition.” And in this company example, both quality and speed are the critical factors in competitive advantage.
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You are watched, mostly when decisions are tough.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus 14 June 2018
If you have been in management or an entrepreneur long enough, you will have experienced the gray area of decision-making where ethics, the law, your needs and expediency all collide. This is the time when you are paid the big bucks, and when others aware of your plight will be watching most carefully. It is also the time when you demonstrate your true courage to your contemporaries.

An experienced coach has seen your movie before.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus 7 December 2017
Business coaches come in all sizes and shapes. Entrepreneurs will have a relative willing to devote time, a school friend with business experience, professionals who charge for the service, investors with a reason to promote your success and more. But by far the best coaches are those that have lived through the process you’re going through and built successful enterprises in your same industry. Especially if they have sold their companies and live comfortably upon the proceeds, these people are often the most willing to help and the most patient through the process.
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Love letter to a ... battery backup.

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus 2 August 2017
Well, if you’ve had a computer long enough, it has certainly happened to you. Power surges, power outages, surges upon reinstatement of power, low or high voltage from your utility (brownouts or surges.) I’ve had all of these over the years and lost equipment from motherboards to microcells. And I’ve lost data due to sudden power loss. I have worried over every wind storm or thunderstorm.

Will tech kill your job?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus 22 June 2017
Stop me if you’ve heard this story before. “My job as a (newspaper publisher telephone installer, stockbroker, travel agent, retail store manager) is safe as this economy continues to grow.” Yup. Thought so. We are in a decade of creative destruction that will affect most everybody. And the prime motivators of this massive destruction are the same class of entrepreneurs and innovators that have done it before. This time they are aided by tail winds brought on by the rapid spread of access to the Internet. In 1995, thirty-five million people used the Internet. That is six-tenths of one percent of the world’s population. And only one percent of these who had access also had mobile phones.

What do you give up when taking outside investors?

BERKONOMICS by Dave Berkus 15 June 2017
Taking in angel or venture money requires a setting of an entrepreneur’s expectations that may come as a shock at least at first. From the moment such an investor looks seriously at your company, the investor or VC partner is thinking of the end game, the ultimate sale of the company or even of an eventual initial public offering. There is no middle ground.

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