B2B Trending Conversations: Entrepreneurship and startup special

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For the dog days of summer, B2B Conversations takes a look at the dog-eat-dog world of entrepreneurship and startups in the B2B space. From building successful startups to winning B2B digital marketing strategies, crowdfunding success stories and even tips for overcoming worries about the competition, we’ve curated content from Twitter that can help make a difference as you boldly forge forward with your new company. Of course there’s no magic formula when it comes to entrepreneurial excellence, but these thought leaders offer insights that are sure to be useful for your business.

Building startups

Seattle-based serial entrepreneur Marcelo Calbucci shares his nine rules for building viable startups. In addition to passion, diligent research and a diverse team, Calbucci advises entrepreneurs to eschew mediocrity, promote “unsexy” ideas and stay close to the money. Always be recruiting and remember that it’s not the idea but rather the execution that matters most.

“Ray Krok didn’t found McDonald’s. Howard Schultz didn’t found Starbucks. Elon Musk didn’t found Tesla,” writes Calbucci. “Get over it. It’s fine. A lot of exceptional entrepreneurs  —  even ones who have been successful in the past  —  struggle to find great ideas to pursue. A lot of them don’t feel the need to be there on the day of inception, but they develop a passion for someone else’s idea and have a mental plan of how to take it from point B to point Z.”

B2B digital marketing strategies

Forbes reporter Amy Feldman checks out 10 of the most successful companies launched on Kickstarter. In the seven years since its founding, the popular crowdfunding site has seen over 100,000 projects raise some $2.3 billion from friends, family and fans, and companies like wireless headphone maker Bragi, modular gaming terrain Dwarven Forge and Apple dock supplier Elevation Lab leading the way. Other top 10 Kickstarter companies include card game maker Exploding Kittens, video game developer inXile Entertainment and 3D printer and ink manufacturer M3D.

Sales secrets of high-growth companies

The authors of Sales Growth — Mitra Mahdavian, Homayoun Hatami, Maria Valdivieso, and Lareina Yee — explore what distinguishes sales organizations at fast-growing companies from their less successful competitors, beginning with their commitment to the future. “Sales leaders aren’t afraid to put their money where they think the growth will be,” the authors assert. Stay focused on key aspects of digital, harness the full range of sales analytics and never forget to invest in people. Finally, strive for a marriage of clear vision and leadership action.

“Sales leaders face a dizzying array of issues and opportunities to manage, often at speeds that seemed unimaginable even a few years ago,” the authors write. “But by focusing on what really matters, sales leaders can break away from their competitors.”

Competition

Groove CEO Alex Turnbull shares how he learned to stop worrying about his competitors and love the game. The stress of competition was taking a heavy physical and psychological toll on the then-32-year-old Turnbull when he realized that the most disproportionate — and controllable — cause of his anxiety was the hours he spent thinking about what his competitors were up to. He also realized he didn’t have to be better than big-time rivals like Zendesk, he just had to be better than Zendesk for Groove’s specific audience.

“A competitive marketplace means that there’s a need for a solution, and there’s no way the biggest players are solving the problem for everyone,” writes Turnbull. “There’s always a (potentially profitable) niche to carve out, with the caveat that you can’t simply build another solution; you must build a better one for a targeted audience.”

Figure out what your end goals are. Don’t get caught up in focusing on your competitors at the expense of making good decisions for your own business. And remember, at the end of the day your competitors are just as worried as you are.

Last week, Sarah Dawley published this roundup of the B2B e-commerce buzz. We’ll be back again next week with another edition of B2B Trending Conversations; in the meantime, if you have any B2B content or ideas you think we should focus on next week, let us know via @b2bnewsnetwork. We love hearing from you.

Image credit: http://www.fugly.com

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Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for U.S. news. Based in San Francisco, he is the editor and publisher of Moral Low Ground and is a Yahoo! Featured Political Contributor.