He’s packing his bags — again. December 2012, when he turns 75, is the third scheduled retirement for Ratan Tata.
The Tata Group has been at this inflection point twice earlier, and stepped back both times. In 2002, when Tata was to retire at 65, the Tata Sons board promptly redesignated him non-executive chairman, which meant he could continue for another five years.
Three years later, the board upped the retirement age of non-executive directors to 75. The message is clear: Ratan Tata is indispensable.
And it’s not just the board that feels that way. There were loud cries of support from shareholders at the Tata Steel AGM in August, held soon after the announcement that Tata Sons had created a panel to find Tata’s successor. Continue reading
“If you don’t plan how to lead, when you are just starting out even as a two-member team, then dysfunction gets embedded in your company, in your startup culture. And it is difficult to eradicate this dysfunctionality later on,” said Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter at TechCrunch Disrupt, here in San Francisco today.
More importantly, as ready takeaways for startup founders, he spoke of two specific things about how to manage and lead your company. Continue reading
It’s as important as ever for you to grow your Facebook page properly, since search engines like Google are now considering how your brand looks based on what content it picks up:
- People tend to focus on non-brand related search terms.
- Brands that are exact matches to Google will return 7 results in SERPS instead of 10.
- Brand managers should tailor properties so that all 7 results is content you control.
- Youtube and G+ profiles rank high, but Facebook is seeing higher ranking lately.
- Google uses Google+ to display knowledge graph information on your brand.
1. What kind of person makes a successful entrepreneur?
Research of successful entrepreneurs has documented that successful small business people have certain common characteristics. This checklist can not predict success, but it can give you an idea of whether you will have a head start or a handicap with which to work. How do you measure up? Ask yourself these questions:
- Can I persevere through tough times?
- Do I have a strong desire to be my own boss?
- Do the judgments I make in life regularly turn out well?
- Do I have an ability to conceptualize the whole of a business?
- Do I possess the high level of energy, sustainable over long hours, to make a business successful?
- Do I have significant specialized business experience?
While not every successful business owner starts with a “yes” answer to all these questions, three or four “no’s” and undecided answers should make you think twice about going it alone right now. But, don’t be discouraged. Seek extra training and support with help from a skilled team of business advisors such as accountants, bankers, attorneys and SCORE counselors. Continue reading
Think you’re ready to start a business? Let’s say you’ve got a great idea, a solid business plan and even a decent amount of startup money. If you have these things, you might be able to successfully launch your business. But are you really cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Dan Steenerson, a business speaker, consultant and author, doesn’t want anyone to be disillusioned by the allure of being your own boss: Starting a business isn’t easy, and it certainly isn’t glamorous, he warned would-be entrepreneurs. While there’s no formula for the perfect entrepreneur, the commitment and dedication it takes to be a business owner does require a few key personality traits, and they aren’t ones that everyone naturally has. Continue reading
If you want to keep your marriage intact and create a successful business, listen up. It takes work. It takes setting boundaries. It takes love. Here are four key lessons I learned over the years:
1. Know that the world does not revolve around you or your idea. Yes, you’re excited. Your passion is what motivates you! But that doesn’t mean everyone around you wants to hear about it all the time. If your partner or children ask you how your day was, try to keep your reply short. If they want to know more, they’ll ask. And by all means, then tell them. But, tempting as it might be, don’t let your business take over your dinner conversations every time you sit down with your family. And make time to sit down for a meal with them. Continue reading
So, you want to ditch the corporate life and go work for a startup. Cool, but do you really understand what that would mean?
Steve Blank, one of the fathers of the Lean Startup revolution, defines a startup as “an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.” What does that mean? Well, that the company either doesn’t have a working product, it has a working product that no one will buy, or it has a product that sells but can’t figure out how to market and sell the product profitably. Continue reading