Successful Entrepreneurship = Successful Sales

Working at the intersection of what I do at the firm, what I do as a venture investor, plus I do at Tufts both as a professor and at the Center, I see, listen to, comment on and mentor 1,000+ business plans each year. 

As an example, as I write this, I just finished a 7:00AM call with one of my MIT alum entrepreneurs sorting through various business model options. 

BTW, when I asked him to define entrepreneurship for me, his response was... "creating something new that didn't exist before and building an organization around that".

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Tags: how to close sales, free marketing projects from universities, entrepreneurship, how to write a sales plan, sales management productivity, sales effectivness, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022 sales planning, 2022businessplansuccess

Don't just remember, do something!

Nothing I can write in my normal Friday blog about business, entrepreneurship or my even beloved Tufts is important today, as we head out for the long Memorial Day weekend and the kickoff of the summa of '22.  I would ask that all of us do something to not just remember, but to take some tiny action that brings reality to the lives of millions of veterans who have given us the freedom of democracy and protected the lives that we have today. 

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Tags: sales effectiveness, entrepreneurship, how to write a sales plan, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022businessplansuccess

Everything is about effective marketing!

 

Some months ago, I was at my favorite Market Basket store here in NH, to respond to the refrigerator note: "when you're shopping, just pick up a quart of milk", when I realized that that simple task was actually wicked hard.  I don't normally buy milk and was not prepared for the 40 feet of space displaying various milk products that I took these pictures of.    

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Tags: marketing effectiveness, free marketing projects from universities, branding plans, entrepreneurship, how to write a sales plan, writing sales plans, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022businessplansuccess, entrepreneurshipfortherestofus

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

It's time to be entrepreneurish

Snowing heavily at 6:00 this morning out by the Vermont barn, as I'm sure it is wherever you are here in New England.  Looks like 13-15" on the hill today, but unfortunately for me a packed day of sales calls and zooms.  When it snows, I always worry about the mechanics of dealing with it even with three snowblowers at various houses and a superb plow service from the team at Homestead up the road a piece.  It's just my normal belt and suspenders approach to way overthinking too many details.    

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Tags: entreprenurial, entrepreneurship, jack derby professor at Tufts, how to write a sales plan, sales effectivness, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022 business planning, 2022 sales planning, 2022businessplansuccess

This year starts right now...

Summa's over, kids are back in school, vacation days are behind us until the end of the year, and we're back at it moving at 100mph, working hard, fingers in the crankcase oil, making sure the machine works perfectly between now and December.   Different from Red above, for me personally, September through December is always the most exciting part of any year, and especially this year:

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Tags: sales coaching, marketing effectiveness, sales management boot camps, improving sales productivity, Tufts ELS program, entrepreneurship, how to write a sales plan, marketing planning, writing business plans, freedom

Entrepreneurship & the Olympics

With the Olympics underway, what do you think?  

As I listen to some people this week, the feedback I too often hear seems to focus on the surrounding negatives of Covid, the cost, the lack of attendance and the decline in viewership...all of these external factors which, in the real world of the athletes, have nothing to do with the extraordinary athleticism that is taking place.

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Tags: sales effectiveness, business coaching, Tufts university, entrepreneurship, jack derby professor at Tufts, social entrepreneurship, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts

"Jack's 3 Rules" to his students as the semester ends

a bASIC law of physics -Time is finite!

  • It can't be lengthened, shortened, bent, borrowed or stored!
  • Nowhere is that more definitive as in Sales. The quarter ends, quota points on the board. Done!
  • College the same way.  The semester ends, grades are given, GPAs are calculated.  Done!

At any university, a semester is about 13 weeks long with most classes meeting once a week, taking a total of 3 hours and bringing x number of credits depending on the university and the undergrad/grad level.  Sounds like a long time, but then we need to mix in normal holidays, 3-day weekends, extended holidays, spring breaks, on-campus recruiting weeks and sometimes very short "winterships"...just to add to the confusion and the crush on time.

This Wednesday !

And so it was on Wednesday, that we held the last of our three hour "content classes" with guest speakers, Ashley McManus, a rock star alum from our course and now Marketing Director at Affectiva, and also our very close friend, Jamie Turner, author, professor, international speaker and blogger and star of the 60 Second Marketer, talking about the rapidly changing-by-the-minute-world of social.  A great way to bring this semester to a close.  

Also, on the last day of actual classes, I always provide my outgoing 30ish students with my thoughts on what comes next in the way of jobs, careers  and business in general.  These comments additionally sum up much of what we have been doing over the prior 13 weeks in what I call "the marketing of me" as we move back and forth between the world of applying sophisticated marketing expertise and tactics for their companies to doing the same for their first jobs next May or internships next summer.  It all works!

Now, to finish the semester, the team has to complete their final presentations during the next two weeks and hand over their full marketing plans to the management at their companies.  Six companies, five or six juniors and seniors on a marketing project team.  The companies range in size from funded startups looking for full marketing plans to large corporations wanting to launch a new product or service into a new sector.  Industries are very diverse ranging this semester from toys to cars parking to hospice to software in a variety of markets. 

To make it all very real, management provides 40% of the course grades while I am my expert team of four TAs grade 60%.  It all works!

If you are interested in applying for one of these semester-long marketing projects, just connect with me right away by text at 617-504-4222, email at jack@derbymanagement, or through LI, and I will send you the instructions and talk through any questions you might have.  The syllabus and the projects go out to the new, already over-sold, class on December 26th.  It is a very rewarding process on both sides of the zoom screen.

AS LONG AS WE'RE DISCUSSING TUFTS... 

I have some gifted 2020 alums and many 2021 Seniors who are highly capable and are looking for entry level sales and marketing positions.  My computer science majors are not having any difficulty in finding jobs, nor are my finance-oriented students who have been interning for the last two summers in Wall Street firms.  Given the state of the current economic questioning, the same cannot be said for many of my other students and recent alums. 

If you are considering hiring an entry-level person as...

  • a marketing or sales intern part time for the spring semester and/or full time for the summer 
  • a full time marketing or sales person who graduated in May ( I have 2)
  • a full time marketing person graduating with an MBA from BU in May.
  • a full time marketing or sales senior graduating in December  (I have 1) 
  • a full time marketing or sales senior graduating in May  ( I have many)

Just connect with me since I have numbers of bright, hard-working, and driven individuals that I would highly recommend...all of whom, of course come with "The Jack Derby Seal of Approval" .

Have a great day selling today! 
Please celebrate a very safe Thanksgiving !

CONFIDENTIAL SOUNDING BOARD

If at any time, you have a need for a confidential sounding board in business planning or for Sales or Marketing, just connect with me at any time.  Text or email me, and I will quickly set up a call. 

I'm a pretty good listener. 

Obviously, no cost for a call or two; just an opportunity to listen intently and make a few recommendations based on decades of experience.

 

  

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Tags: sales management boot camp, Tufts marketing projects, Tufts internships, free marketing projects from universities, entrepreneurship, sales success, thanksgiving

Tufts Stuff... Marketing projects & jobs opportunities


With teaching every Wednesdays at Tufts, I always have a process (should not be surprising to anyone who knows me) to making sure that everything is in place since I well know by now that both time and students are unforgiving.

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Tags: marketing effectiveness, marketing productivity, Tufts marketing projects, free marketing projects from universities, marketing plans, how to write a marketing plan, entrepreneurship, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center