Your Value Proposition

By Ed McLaughlin with Wyn Lydecker Before you start your business you need to ask: What is your product’s unique benefit, and how does that benefit meet a critical customer need? The most efficient path to profit is a value proposition that clearly delineates what your customer will get. It clearly defines and quantifies how [...]

By | December 28th, 2013|

5 Tips for Pitching Your Startup

  By Ed McLaughlin and Wyn Lydecker Have you ever watched the TV show “Shark Tank”? Last week, we had the opportunity to attend an event called “Ultra Light Startups Investor Feedback Forum.” It was like a cross between “Shark Tank” and “American Idol.” Eight entrepreneurs had the chance to give a two-minute pitch to [...]

By | December 20th, 2013|

Giving Back and Success

By Ed McLaughlin with Wyn Lydecker Did you know that giving back is good for you? In his best-selling book “Give and Take,” Wharton management professor Adam Grant uses empirical evidence to demonstrate that generous people – ones who pay it forward or give back – tend to do better in life and in business. [...]

By | December 17th, 2013|

Who Is Your Target Customer?

By Ed McLaughlin with Wyn Lydecker Before you start your business, you need to ask yourself: Do you have a clear idea of who will buy your product and why? You need to be able to describe your target customers and their need for your product. You need to understand your customers’ characteristics, motivations, and [...]

By | December 16th, 2013|

The Pros and Cons of Profit

By Ed McLaughlin with Wyn Lydecker Since the financial crisis and Great Recession, “profit” has become a bad word. Is the pursuit of profit wrong? Critics maintain that when a company puts profit above all else, only distortions can result. Owners enrich themselves on the backs of customers, vendors, and employees, eventually leading to negative [...]

By | December 11th, 2013|

What Is Your Market Opportunity?

By Ed McLaughlin with Wyn Lydecker Before you start your business, you need to ask: What industry are you entering, and what are its trends? Define not only the industry, but also the segment you will target. The greatest opportunity lies in industry sectors that are growing and changing. You need to make sure [...]

By | December 9th, 2013|

Your Product Description

By Ed McLaughlin with Wyn Lydecker Before you start your business, you need to ask: How do you succinctly describe the product you will sell? It is critical to be able to verbalize the details of the product’s attributes, its position in the marketplace, and its competitive advantage. My business, USI, started out by offering [...]

By | December 6th, 2013|

Four Steps to Building Trust and Integrity

 By Ed McLaughlin with Wyn Lydecker Although the title of our book is “The Purpose Is Profit,” I do not believe that “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good,” as the character Gordon Gekko famously said in the movie “Wall Street.” From the beginning, I was determined to found a business built on [...]

By | December 4th, 2013|

Do You Have a Distinctive Competence?

By Ed McLaughlin with Wyn Lydecker What unique experience, skills, knowledge, or insight do you have in the business you want to start? If you believe you have a breakthrough idea, you will need to use your special knowledge to execute it. If you do not possess the necessary knowledge or ability, you need to [...]

By | December 2nd, 2013|