5 Signs Your Startup May be in Danger

Like the human body, businesses experience symptoms when they aren’t doing well. The human body offers a number of telling signs, including headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, feeling unsteady or shortness of breath. When it comes to a startup, signs can be just as physical, but can manifest in a number of ways, from hemorrhaging cash to disorganization to operational dysfunction. There are countless signs, but you’ll find five listed below.

You Can’t Focus

If your company doesn’t have consistent focus that’s a bad sign. In its early months, focus and footing are invaluable. While the “do everything for everybody” approach is admirable, it’s an unfeasible endeavor that can sink your business. Startups tend to have limited resources, so founders must choose wisely when deciding what they want their business to accomplish. Shifting gears mid haul could end tragically.

You Can’t Stay the Course

Again, don’t let your company’s mission escape you. An original idea can easily become diluted when unnecessary changes are made to pricing or delivery. If your company has always been known as a tool for creating custom phone cases for $9.99, don’t continually change the products or the cost on a whim. The inconsistency of your company means that customers can no longer depend on you to deliver a particular product and a particular price point, and it also reads as a loss of passion for the original product.

You’re Not Ready for Success

Having a great idea means nothing if you haven’t decided that you’re going to succeed. Not only does a startup have to have a strong or interesting idea, its founder has to have a desire for success. Rookie mistakes, such as dumping all funds into marketing and failing to hire competent workers, can ensure failure. Instead, put money into polishing a product or service, and if you can’t realistically do everything for your business, hire someone who can.

You Don’t Know if Your Business is Legally or Morally Sound

Grooveshark is a prime example of a great startup that found itself struggling due to legal oversights. However, Grooveshark certainly isn’t the only company that’s gotten shut down or dissolved due to an error in judgement. Turntable.fm, Napster and a number of other met similar fates due to difficult conversations that involved royalties, copyrights and permissions. Do your research.

You Didn’t Make an Independent Product

If your business hinges on someone else’s business or services then it’s possible that your business could bite the dust. Twitter and Facebook are just two examples of businesses that other startups gather around and attach themselves to, leaching from. Unfortunately, businesses such as TwitPic and Lookery found that big social media platforms didn’t want others to drink from their success, and took look legal action against them. If choosing to lean on major social media platforms, it’s necessary for startups to establish an independent identity that distances it and makes it a more reliable product. Likewise, don’t solely look to Google results, and stir clear of channel dependency. The dangers of putting all of one’s proverbial eggs in one basket are that they’ll all get smashed if dropped.

Eddie Dovner is an entrepreneur, inventor, and CEO who is based in West Palm Beach, Florida. Learn more about Eddie Dovner by visiting his pages on LinkedIn, Twitter, and SlideShare. Also, please learn more by visiting EdwardDovner.org and EddieDovner.com.

Common Traits of an Entrepreneur

When most people think about being an entrepreneur, they imagine a business person obsessed with making a profit. While the monetary rewards of owning a business are not to be discounted, there are many other things that drive and empower individuals to pursue their own ambitions. Here are some of the most common traits of an entrepreneur.

The Need to Make Things Better

At the heart of all small business ventures is an overwhelming drive to improve the world. Even if a change is small or seemingly insignificant, the power to alter their environment becomes primal. They are willing to sacrifice a steady paycheck at a regular job for the chance to offer a better product or improved service.  

A Craving for Independence

A small business person with a vision will seek an environment that allows the freedom to try out new ideas. They often reject conventional methods. They come to understand the functions of their enterprises at all levels and are willing to get directly involved whenever necessary to maintain their independence. This need for independence is the motivating force that drives them through setbacks and long tedious hours. 


Business acumen is essential, but it takes more than just a casual review of the basics. Entrepreneurs immerse themselves in the industry environment to become experts in their fields. They often cross train in a variety of disciplines.

  • Technical training
  • Market research
  • Process and organizational methods
  • Area specific knowledge

They know that the more they understand, the better their odds are of success. They also realize that outsourcing some tasks to contractors or other more qualified experts is sometimes necessary.

Always Making Connections

No single owner can be everything at all times, and burnout happens regularly. That is why it is important to develop a robust network. Other professionals provide the essential support that keeps a business venture moving forward. Contacts can be called upon for more than just sales and advice. They are there to provide other needed services that can come in handy during a time of crisis.

A true entrepreneur knows that success means more than just money. It is the power and freedom to enjoy the lifestyle of the exceptional.

Eddie Dovner is an entrepreneur, inventor, and CEO who is based in West Palm Beach, Florida. Learn more about Eddie Dovner by visiting his pages on LinkedIn, Twitter, and SlideShare. Also, please learn more by visiting EdwardDovner.org and EddieDovner.com.

Branding & Identifying Your Target Market When Starting a Business

Have you ever considered starting your own business? For those who have, I’m sure you’re aware it’s a lot of work. But have you considered how you define your business? Who you hope to reach with your new company? The following are some questions to ask yourself when starting a business that can guide your path to success. Check out these awesome tips to help you get started.

Identify your target market

One of the most important tips for building a startup company is knowing who your target market is. It is extremely important because you will need to find ways to differentiate your company from the other companies out there in the market. You should start out by asking yourself, What will be our demographic range? What will be some of our marketing techniques? Why would someone want to work here? These are all great basic questions to start out with and will help you immensely- especially in the early stages.

Learn your competitors’ brands

Now, like I said before, differentiating yourself from your competitors is very key. How do we this? Well, the first thing you should be doing is a lot of research on your competitors. I know it may sound obvious, but it can be helpful and pay large dividends in the future. When studying your competitors, it can be very useful to see what their strengths and weakness are,  because you can learn to use their weaknesses towards your advantage. Also, you should be asking yourself,  How are these companies different and what are they doing to keep customers from coming back?

Brand personality

Brand personality gives consumers something they can relate to, as well increase brand awareness and popularity. Having a great brand personality should also be on the top of the list for those who are looking to start a company from scratch. When your brand personality is great it allows people to always have positive thoughts about your company as well as encourages them to be a part of your growing company. The more time spent into the brand personality the more attractive your business will be to others. Two key questions to ask yourself within the realm of brand personality are: How can we relate to the customer? How can we make the customer trust us? If you can answer these well, you should be in a good spot.

Define your brand as a “person”

So you should have some good ideas to start with, but once you have collected all the basic ideas you should be starting to decide who your brand is. For example, if your company were a person, who would it be? The answer to this question will vary, but it can be very helpful for you when you’re trying to figure out the feel of your budding company.

While the above are important, these are just a tiny piece in the puzzle that is starting your own successful business. For more information, check out: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/253750#sec

Eddie Dovner is an entrepreneur, inventor, and CEO who is based in West Palm Beach, Florida. Learn more about Eddie Dovner by visiting his pages on LinkedIn, Twitter, and SlideShare. Also, please learn more by visiting EdwardDovner.org and EddieDovner.com.

Emerging Industries for Entrepreneurs to Invest in for 2016

While you might have an entrepreneurial spirit and mindset, you may not have a solid idea of the type of industry in which you’d like to invest. As someone who’s shuffled from a snack company to selling armor and equipment, I know a few things about finding your niche. 2016 is a tree blooming ripe with a variety of industry opportunities just waiting to be plucked by hungry entrepreneurs.

Eco-Friendly Building 

Everything is going green, including the materials we use to construct buildings. Improvements have made green building materials more affordable and sustainable than ever before. Building owners realize using sustainable building materials results in lower energy consumption and less waste production.

Translation Technology and Services

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there will be a nearly 50 percent increase in translation jobs between 2012 and 2022. Entrepreneurs can jump on this opportunity by offering translation services to businesses looking to go global. Web page content, apps and social media pages need to be translated and optimized for different countries. There’s never been a better time to be multilingual.

Wind Energy 

Going back to environmentally friendly practices, universities, corporations and municipalities are more open than ever to the idea of buying renewable energy. Business owners have developed a desire to decrease their carbon pollution output and the amount they spend on traditional energy sources. One thing to keep in mind with this particular industry is that U.S. policies can restrict how the wind energy business operates. What this means is that entrepreneurs interested in this industry should not only pay attention to government policy decisions but think about going international with their business as well.

These are just a few examples of industries in which entrepreneurs can expect to create thriving businesses. That being said, you’ll still want to do your homework and put in several hours of hard work to truly take advantage of opportunities. Best of luck!

Eddie Dovner is an entrepreneur, inventor, and CEO who is based in West Palm Beach, Florida. Learn more about Eddie Dovner by visiting his pages on LinkedIn, Twitter, and SlideShare. Also, please learn more by visiting EdwardDovner.org and EddieDovner.com.

Startups That Will Soar in 2016

Eero, Hungryroot, Periscope, The League and Meerkat are just a few examples of cool and interesting startups launched in 2015. However, no matter how successful 2015 was, in terms of bringing forth a parade of fresh startups, 2016 promises to be an even better year for the launch, development and creative direction of newfangled businesses.

There are already a number of young startups identified by venture capitalists to be huge within the tech industry, as well as other industries. For example, Datadog has been regarded as “crack for developers.” Also, the San Francisco-based media tech company Inverse was founded in 2015, and it endeavors to equip tech-savvy male millennials with all the latest news in music, digital culture, science, television and movies.  Vulcun, a fantasy league for e-sports, will also grow in the upcoming year because more and more people tune into final tournaments for Counter-Strike or League of Legends. The company will support the e-sports phenomenon by developing incredible digital goods.

Kafka, a fault tolerant and highly scalable computer “messaging” system developed by emerging open source leader Confluent, is an open-source project and streaming data platform that allows for the transmission of data between computers.

VarageSale is a new enterprise that promotes person-to-person transactions and the purchase of low-cost items without incident. The app is fast, and it’s a safe place for buying and selling items within a community. Carousell is another app that helps individuals sell items. It’s an app permitting users to sell unused and underused clutter.

Juicero, which has $90 million in funding, is barely out of the development stage but has caught the attention of Silicon Valley. Headed by Doug Evans, Juicero hopes to become the Keurig of fresh juice.

Banjo offers pertinent social media based on location in real time. It’s faster than other tools in the social web, quickly identifying important real-world events.

Some other startups to look out for are Mic Networks, Laurel and Wolf, EverString, Segment, InVision, Databricks, Visier, UserTesting, Nextdoor and FullStory.

Eddie Dovner is an entrepreneur, inventor, and CEO who is based in West Palm Beach, Florida. Learn more about Eddie Dovner by visiting his pages on LinkedIn, Twitter, and SlideShare. Also, please learn more by visiting EdwardDovner.org and EddieDovner.com.