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Expert advice to grow your business
April 2011 
Carol Roth
The Entrepreneur Equation
Carol Roth
Entrepreneur, Author, Consultant

Carol Roth's rapid rise in the investment banking industry has positioned her to become one of the country's most successful and sought-after business advisors. She's translated her frank, straightforward approach into the upcoming book The Entrepreneur Equation, helping entrepreneurs evaluate the risks and rewards of starting and growing a business. This month, Carol discusses how smart planning can better ensure lasting success.

Expert Tips from Carol: The Entrepreneur Equation
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Q: Like other entrepreneurs, you received a lot of advice when you were starting out. What tip has stood the test of time and change?

"It's a marathon, not a sprint." Business is not about having a fantastic idea - it's about consistency of execution over a long period of time. So while it's natural to be exuberant about a new endeavor, you also need the stamina and resources to carry on over the long haul. 


Even when you are ready to drop, you have to keep pushing. It's a very difficult concept to truly appreciate until you are in the middle of it, but it's always rung true!

Q: What attribute of a business plan will make the biggest impression on prospective lenders?

A: You. You're the most important thing that will impress a prospective lender or investor. They are investing in their belief in the person as much as the business concept itself, sometimes more. And, you must convince them that you have the experience and determination to execute on your business plan.

Q: Similarly, what are some things entrepreneurs frequently overlook when estimating their revenue sources?

A: Time. Everything you want to go quickly in business usually takes longer than you expect: raising capital, building out a store or website, and how quickly you start to land customers.

Money. Financials are almost always overstated from a revenue standpoint and/or understated from an expense standpoint. Factor in time to build customer relationships, and make a sufficient investment in marketing.

When revenue is coming in more slowly than expected, you need more capital to sustain the business in the interim. It often takes a business 1.5 to 2 years to gain real traction in its market, so plan accordingly.
Q: Why should existing small businesses continually evaluate their finances?

A: If you are not evaluating your financials and something is wrong, it may be too late to fix it. Evaluating your financials also gives you insights. They can tell you if you need more diversity in your customers because you are too dependent upon them, or which products contribute the most profit margin.

This is a difficult area for many entrepreneurs, and another reason to use SCORE advisors as an ongoing resource.
Q: You teamed up with SCORE for a workshop based on The Entrepreneur Equation that is available now online. Who would benefit from watching this webinar?

A: The workshop is based around understanding that "not all businesses are created equal," and the risks and rewards associated with not only entrepreneurship, but the types of businesses that are too dependent upon their owners. It's an absolute must for anyone who is thinking of starting a business or in the early stages of a business.

It is also incredibly valuable to those who have a business but may be stuck, re-evaluating their business model, feeling overwhelmed or overworked, or trying to figure out how to get to the next level.

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Online Webinar:
The Entrepreneur Equation
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Creating Customer Loyalty

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