February 20, 2013
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SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs

Bold Ventures
Startup makes it easier to choose a moving company
Unpakt.com, founded by Sharone ben-Harosh, helps users compare moving companies based on online reviews and the prices they charge. The company, which is operating in about 16 states, will attempt to raise about $10 million through venture capital. A key to making the concept work was convincing movers to guarantee prices, which ben-Harosh did with a second platform that included customized checklists. "No mover works with guaranteed pricing," ben-Harosh. "They all work with hourly estimation." Forbes (2/19)
Leading the Pack
Leadership: The difference between life and death at the South Pole
Polar explorer Robert Falcon Scott believed in the power of noble intentions -- but that led him to set overly ambitious goals, to fail to plan effectively and, ultimately, to perish, writes Art Petty. By contrast, Roald Amundsen took a more pragmatic approach to exploration and was able to guide his team to success. "Don't get caught up in the nobility of your tactics, when there may well be a better, less-elegant approach to save the project, your job or in Scott's case, his life," Petty writes. ArtPetty.com (2/17)
Finance & Growth
How to know if you're onto a winning idea
Your business idea may have potential if it is unique, addresses a problem, is scalable and is difficult to copy, experts say. "New businesses should have strong differentiators and/or barriers, like patents, to help ward off the competition," said David Handmaker, CEO of Next Day Flyers. BusinessNewsDaily.com (2/19)
8 options for raising money for your startup
Brent Beshore describes the pros and cons of several funding methods, which include bootstrapping, crowdfunding, accelerators and angel investment. Before deciding how to fund your startup, think about your risk tolerance, how fast you need to grow and the amount of money you will need, Beshore writes. Forbes (2/19)
The Whole Entrepreneur
How to sell your ideas like a "Shark Tank" contestant
The reality show "Shark Tank," in which would-be entrepreneurs pitch ideas to judges, should be required viewing for business leaders, Stephanie Scotti writes. Contestants use attention-grabbing techniques, make their presentations personal, get judges directly involved and end with strong calls to action. "Consider applying these lessons to boost your confidence, inspire your listeners and exponentially increase your chances for a high-impact presentation," Scotti writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (2/19)
Don't let your negative attitude hurt your business
Sometimes you will wake up in a foul mood, writes Selena Cuffe of Heritage Link Brands. If something simple is bothering you, address the problem and move on. But if your funk is more serious, it may be wise to postpone your meetings or even take a mental-health day to re-energize yourself. "The feeling that we can't afford to unexpectedly disconnect means we've either lost perspective by overestimating our importance, or that our business model is dangerously askew," Cuffe writes. Inc. online (free registration)/Married with Company blog (2/19)
Featured Press Releases
Ideas for Innovators
Why innovative products require marketing
Having a great product isn't enough in the current business climate; you also need effective marketing if you want to gain mass-market appeal, writes Ben Bajarin, a principal Creative Strategies. "The mass market ... doesn't necessarily understand why a particular flashy, shiny new gadget adds value to their life," he notes. Time.com (2/19)
Fortune from Failure
Cutting loose the clients who don't fit your company
It's a mistake to work with clients who just don't mesh with your company or your working style, but some entrepreneurs do it anyway, writes Susan Baroncini-Moe. You can avoid this problem by identifying the characteristics of your ideal clients and letting your customers know what you expect from them, she writes. If you do end up with a client who doesn't fit, cut ties as soon as you can, taking a straightforward, polite approach. B2C Marketing Insider/SusanBaroncini-Moe.com (2/19)
Just like driving when you're angry, working when your mind's not right can be downright dangerous."
-- Selena Cuffe, president and CEO of Heritage Link Brands, writing at Inc. online's Married with Company blog.
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