Jack Derby, Coach, Advisor, Tufts Entrepreneurship Professor

Recent Posts

No such thing as bad luck

On Friday the 13th, and a beautiful spring day here in my tiny (p.769) town of Winhall (the state's name) or Bondville (the fed's name), the wake-up question for this morning is do we create our own luck?

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Tags: sales coaching, student intern marketing projects, how to write a sales plan, marketing planning, sales management productivity, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022 sales planning, 2022businessplansuccess

Jack's 3 Rules to his students...

With our final marketing and sales plans now being presented to our six host companies last week and this, the semester is rapidly coming to a close with all that is left to be done is this weekend's final grading. 

As in my sales, marketing and business planning consulting work at the firm, grading also comes down to a very formulaic process: 

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Tags: Tufts marketing projects, Tufts internships, free marketing projects from universities, student intern marketing projects, how to write a sales plan, social entrepreneurship, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022businessplansuccess

Just what is "Value Marketing & Selling"?

"We've spent a lot of money on consultants that have not come close to the value received from your Tufts students working with us this semester!"   

What's above is a direct quote this week from the VP of Marketing of a well-established healthcare analytics company with deeply experienced management and this was his comment to me and his project team upon completing their 13-week semester.  

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Tags: sales coaching, sales management coach, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, marketing effectiveness, how to close sales, Tufts marketing projects, interns for marketing projects, how to write a marketing plan, how to write a sales plan, sales readiness, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022businessplansuccess

5 things you need to know for your presentation success

This past Wednesday was the last class for the semester. 

What now remains are the final presentations from the six teams of juniors and seniors to the management of their respective companies.  This is a very demanding course in which I, my four TAs and seven outside lecturers, all alums from this course, provide deep technical content on the science of marketing structured around the student teams delivering full marketing plans based on the objectives provided by their companies.  The TAs and I provide 60% of the project grade while the senior management provides the remaining 40%.  For me, it's a perfect blend of introducing my students to the real world of business structured on the same sales and marketing principles of "Process-Tools-Technology-Math & People" that we use in our consulting practice.  If you're interested in participating in a marketing project for the fall semester, just connect with me.  All of this blends together perfectly with the added benefit that my students are able to select from 40-50 job offers each semester mostly from prior alums from this course.  

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Tags: closing sales, Tufts marketing projects, free marketing projects from universities, student intern marketing projects, how to write a marketing plan, marketing planning, writing sales plans, delivering great presentations, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022businessplansuccess

It's a season of entrepreneurship everywhere!

Maybe it's simply the spring after a too-long winter.  It could be the excitement that comes with the end of spring training and the opening game of the Red Sox coupled with the added excitement of Monday's running of the Boston Marathon.  But for whatever reason, everyone, everywhere is talking about starting companies, becoming an entrepreneur and experimenting with new ideas, and new innovations.

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Tags: entreprenurial, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, writing sales plans, writing business plans, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts

Entrepreneurship for the rest of us...

So, just what is entrepreneurship?

A very appropriate question this morning as we kick off at 10:00 the finals of the annual "Tufts $100K Competition".   As the largest non-athletic event at Tufts, the $100K finals today will feature 15 entrepreneur teams divided among three tracks of "General Technology", "Social Impact" and "Healthcare and Life Sciences" reflecting the diversity of research and innovation across all our 11 schools. 

Tufts is among the most highly ranked research universities in the U.S. covering every discipline of engineering, nutrition, social impact, medicine, dentistry, and veterinary science.  For me, this process beginning earlier this year with hundreds of submissions from students and professors, followed by mentoring sessions leading to quarter and semi competitions and now today's finals provides a perfect example of   entrepreneurship at its best!

In my years of having the privilege of teaching at Tufts, "The $100K" has always been a "must-attend" event often including my own students.  This year made even more so with the official dedication next week of the Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts.  

Obviously, you have a fully booked day packed with zooms, sales discovery meetings and hopefully a deal closing or two, but if you have 30 minutes here and there, or just maybe a couple of hours, click on here and get a free registration for a virtual view.  

 

Entrepreneurship for the rest of us

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may remember that my family history for generations has been filled with entrepreneurs. My GGF left rural Vermont in 1860 at the age of 17 to "Go West". My grandfather left that same VT village at 22 to open his first retail stores in Harvard and Davis Squares. My father rebelled from the family business by beginning a jazz band on the vaudeville circuit until his father put his foot down saying "enough, you're working in the stores!", which our entire family did for decades. 

Interestingly for me personally, the first time that I ever heard the word "entrepreneur" was not at BC, not in the Peace Corps and certainly never in my career at Becton Dickinson.  It was not until I attended a lecture at the then tiny volunteer-led startup of the MIT Enterprise Forum that I first understood what the word meant.  Becoming active myself as a volunteer and later as Chair of MITEF, I then began my love affair not just with the experiments of starting companies, but with understanding the science and the analytics of what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur.  Years and years later, I think that I finally understand what it takes...I think!

  • In excess of 90% of non-restaurant startups are not tech-based as a product or service
  • Between 90% and 95% of startups fail
  • Most failures occur within 4 years 
  • Only 0.05% of non-restaurant startups seek organized angel or venture capital 
  • 75% of those companies that received formal angel or venture funding fail

The bottom line is that succeeding in any startup is wicked difficult, but having said that, today there are extraordinary support mechanisms in every community and especially in major cities which house universities, medical centers and have a rich history of entrepreneurship.  For any guidance, you can just connect with me...and countless others in Boston.

With that as background, I'm very excited about speaking on this theme I am developing on "Entrepreneurship for the rest of us" at next week's event being held by The Financial Executives International of Boston at their annual academic awards granting 10 scholarships to Juniors from area colleges and universities and recognizing an Outstanding Senior from each of the schools.  

With that, I'm off to today's $100K", but one more Tufts-related request!   

With this semester too-quickly winding down, I am already signing up companies for marketing projects for the fall.  If you are interested in knowing more about this unique process which provides teams of six juniors and seniors to create detailed marketing plans over the period of the 13-week semester, just let me know, and I will send you an outline and the instructions.   

IT'S TIME TO RE-FORECAST YOUR '22 SALES PLAN

Your well-planned 2022 Sales Plan that you architected in November, revised and got approved in December and rolled out perfectly at your January sales kickoff now needs a tune-up. 

As that infamous philosopher, Mike Tyson, once noted "no plan survives the first punch!".  It's time this coming week to spend a day with the team and walk through the details of your entire tactical plan for Q2 and Q3.     

Here's our 2022 guide to help or why not just connect with me anytime!  There's no cost to a call or two, plus I love listening and talking about sales. 

www.derbymanagement.com  
Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts. 

 

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Tags: Tufts marketing projects, Tufts university, Tufts internships, entrepreneurship, jack derby professor at Tufts, social entrepreneurship, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022businessplansuccess

Not a time to be fooled...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

At the beginning of the Q on April Fool's Day, it's important to first congratulate yourself for the quarter no matter what the results!!!  Overall, a solid quarter for most everyone as we slowly crawl out of the pandemic. Clearly questions on the horizon with the impact of Putin's War, but still a relatively positive outlook for the balance of the year in which we've discovered workarounds for labor and supply shortages.  At the end of the day, we still need to successfully sell things that create value, no matter what the outside environment is. 

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Tags: sales coaching, sales effectiveness, sales tools, how to close sales, sales boot camps, how to write a sales plan, 2022businessplansuccess

What the heck is marketing anyhow?

The end of the day on Thursday found me starting to write this morning's blog on a classic VT spring day:

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Tags: marketing effectiveness, marketing productivity, how to close sales, Tufts marketing projects, free marketing projects from universities, how to write a marketing plan, marketing planning, 2022 sales planning, 2022businessplansuccess

the science & guessing of forecasting...

First, on what looks like a spectacular weatha' day here on the NH beach, I'm officially declaring today as "The End of Winta".  I'm Done.  It's Over.  Totally Finished! 

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Tags: sales coaching, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, sales tools, marketing effectiveness, how to close sales, sales success, writing sales plans, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts

Always good to have birthdays!

Every day, as part of my routine, before or after a sunrise run on the NH beach or on the VT dirt road, I take a look at LI and FB birthdays of the people I'm connected with. 

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Tags: sales effectiveness, closing sales, sales management boot camp, how to close sales, sales success, how to write a sales plan, writing sales plans