Our blog is dedicated to the startups and small business owners who need tactical information that’s relative to how things are done now and beyond.  Technology is here to stay and we’re arming you with how to use it in sync with your entire business strategy, finances, marketing, and sales.

Why New Business Owners Need to Focus on the Future

Written by Monique Mills, MBA, PMP, Founder of TPM Focus What is that? The phone pictured above was taken at the house where the Movie 'A Christmas Story' was filmed in Cleveland, Ohio. It's an all-time classic that comes on TV every holiday season.  While...

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Startup Founders: Are You Walking Blindfolded?

Startup founders:  Are you walking blindfolded into the startup world?  Once a business idea comes, many people take off with it.  The excitement and potential success of it consume them and additional ideas start to flow.  Maybe a friend, classmate, or...

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What Are the Keys to Your Success? Talented Employees

You Can't Have Impact Without Talented Employees One of the biggest challenges of any company, particularly new enterprises and small businesses, is finding and retaining talented employees. After all, the employees are the keys to your company’s success...

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How to Prepare for the Entrepreneurial Journey

It's easier said than done, but you must prepare yourself for the entrepreneurial journey.  Most entrepreneurs start out as solopreneurs–by themselves.  But at some point, you realize that the isolation will only get you so far.  There are a finite number...

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New Entrepreneurs Ask This Question the Most

THE QUESTION New entrepreneurs OR those who have just founded a new company from an idea, consistently ask this question:  “Where do I find customers?” WHY MOST ENTREPRENEURS ARE ASKING THIS QUESTION When you first have the idea for a business, you think...

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The Stages of Mentoring

Purpose of Mentoring Mentoring is a popular buzz word now as more and more people aspire to climb the ranks professionally and enter unchartered territories in their careers, and particularly when pursuing entrepreneurship.  Mentoring starts with the...

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Conquer Business Planning for Tech Startups

In today’s startup frenzy, although business planning is most important, we understand the pressures many entrepreneurs are under to move fast and show what they’ve accomplished to attract investors and talent.  We know from first-hand...

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3 Reasons NOT to Give Your Software Away for Free

Value Your Product If your software provides value to customers, this post is meant for you.  Below are the Top 3 reasons you should not give your software away for free, particularly if you are trying to build a company: Free customers almost never turn...

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Consulting is All About People

It’s All About People Consulting is all about people.  Good consultants are great listeners and naturals at building genuine relationships with others.  Most began consulting because they had a skill set or specific knowledge that is useful to others and...

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3 Ways to Support Small Businesses Using Social Media

There are campaigns everywhere encouraging people to "Support Small Businesses" because they are the heartbeat of our country. The message is equally important in 2018, but now technology plays a major role in the success of any company.  This post is...

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Practice Getting Customers

Interviewing potential customers is a major component of building a startup from an idea. Startups are all about finding customers, not building and pushing something you’ve dreamed up. It’s important that you are providing a solution to someone’s...

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How to Minimize Failure with Design Thinking

This is a MUST READ if you're considering starting a new business or adding a new product or service to your existing business.  Why?  Because many companies fail simply because they didn't consider the steps outlined in this post. At TPM Focus, we assist...

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Ways to Create More Content

You Need to Create Content As a business owner in 2018, you surely hear the words: "You need to create content" more often than you'd like.  It's a fancy way of saying, "Create things on the internet in the form of blog posts, podcasts, audio recordings,...

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How to Shut Down Your Business

Do you need to shut down your company? It happens.  It's a reality.  Some businesses work and others don't.  Sometimes you burn out and can't operate it anymore.  Sometimes your interests have changed and you'd rather move on.  It's okay.  It's...

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Cold Calling is for Suckers

Cold Calling is not dead, but... You need more. You need more than the yellow pages and a phone. It's 2018 and with caller ID and the ability to stop and block calls with the simple flick of a thumb, it's harder now, more than ever, to reach...

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Check Out Your Competitors

Have you ever become a copycat by mistake? Let's say you have a great idea and you want to start a company from it. Great! There's a series of steps you'll have to go through, but the focus of this article will be on doing competitor research....

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Are You Still Undecided About Using Twitter?

Recently, we did a post about utilizing Twitter for business purposes.  There has been controversy over rather or not Twitter is "dead".  We don't think it is and recommend using it if it makes sense for your business.  Basically, if your customers and...

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Do You Need a Business Mentor, Coach, or Consultant?

Do you need a Business Mentor, Coach, or Consultant?  There are differences between what you should expect from a business mentor, coach, or consultant.  If you don't know what you need, then this post will help you determine what to seek out in order to...

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Let’s Grab Some Coffee

"Hey friend!  Let's grab some coffee next week.  How's Wednesday morning?" Maybe it stops at “Let’s grab some coffee?” and the ending is not included, but you soon find out the part about “…to pick your brain” once you get to Starbucks. How many times have...

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Users or Customers? Which is it?

Whether they are users or the customers, the question is: "What's in it for me?"  Although many people won't say that aloud, they're thinking it anytime someone tries to sell them something. When you are communicating about your business, your...

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Why They Should Buy From You

As a business owner, it is your responsibility to tell people why they should buy from you.  People must know how you provide value to them and why it's worth paying for.  If that isn't done well in both your communications, sales, and...

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Your Business Will Die Without Digital Marketing

Your business will die without digital marketing.  This is not a threat, it's a promise.  With the increased busyness of everyone and the exponential growth and use of the internet, you absolutely must do digital marketing for your business or...

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Small Business Marketing

Are you falling short doing your small business marketing?  We know, it's tough.  There are 24 hours in a day.  It seems that there are 100 social media platforms to post on and a new one announced every day.  There's email marketing.  There's Google...

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It’s Not Scalable? What Do You Mean?

This article was written by Monique Mills, Founder and Principal of TPM Focus Let's talk about scalability. As a startup and small business consultant, I hear a lot of great business ideas. A lot. I also hear a lot of great business ideas that will be more...

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How to Get Your Customer’s Attention

The internet streets are busy.  It's hard to get anyone's attention unless you really have something they want or are specifically searching for.  Just imagine Times Square in New York City times a million---that's the internet.  That's why...

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If You Hate Writing Blogs, Do This

It's no secret that the amount of content you create and put into the world (marketplace) displaying your expertise and how your business can serve the target customer is directly related to the amount of revenue you will generate.  So, if you've already...

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Email Marketing IS Necessary

Email marketing IS necessary in building your business.  Are you sometimes personally annoyed by all of the emails you receive each day?  Let's keep that point in mind as you consider your email marketing strategy for your business moving forward.  I would...

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Email Marketing in Sales

For most businesses, regardless of industry, some type of email marketing is necessary to sustain your sales.  Fact:  You will send a lot of emails that will go unanswered.  A lot!  Statistics show that maybe 1-5% of your emails will actually get a...

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No One Wants to Steal Your Business Idea

Seriously, no one. It might be a great business idea. It could be an idea that’s going to make someone a LOT of money. It may be an idea that seems simple enough to implement, that you think someone else can easily do it. But in reality, the...

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Why Hire Consultants?

Top 7 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Hire Consultants Consultants: Provide objectivity Can act as a change catalyst Can identify problems as an outsider looking in Have the right expertise when you need it Can be hired to create new businesses Can be hired to influence...

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Are Business Plans Out of Style?

What is a Business Plan? Business plans can be defined as: a document, usually 10-20 pages long, that describes the opportunity, product, context, strategy, team, required resources, financial forecasts and expected returns of a business...

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It’s Not Possible for EVERYONE To Be Your Customer

Despite how useful your product or service is to the world, it's not possible for everyone to be your customer.  When many new entrepreneurs are first getting started with a fresh idea for a new business, they are commonly asked who would be their customer. They...

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When to Act on Your Business Idea

Everything is just so uncertain when you first start a business or even when you have an idea that you think you want to execute on. Yes, the thought of it gets you excited and nervous all at the same time. It’s completely normal and EVERYONE...

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Chasing the Carrot–Who Got Funded?

Who got funded? This question is so popular these days so much that there are entire websites and platforms that will give you the details about who got funded by who, how much, when, other companies they’ve funded and so on.  Who would’ve...

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The Obsession with Startup Pitch Competitions

It seems there’s a new startup pitch competition announced every month in cities all around the U.S.  Many pitch competitions are located in the “hot” cities with thriving startup communities while others are held by smaller cities that are trying to...

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Tough Decisions – Hiring and Firing

Seeking the right people for your business is an ongoing challenge for any business, no matter the size.  But when you’re just starting out and especially if you’re a small business, you have to be nimble and quick.  If you realize someone is just not...

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Mind Your Business

Everyone is looking for the one who got it right, with hopes of duplicating the formula.  NEWS FLASH:  There is no such thing. “One can learn from a successful business model, but copying it verbatim almost never yields a similar result.” You cannot copy...

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Components of The Business Model

First Things First The business model of your company represents the value you’re delivering (or planning to deliver if you haven’t started your business yet) to customers and how you will make money (profits) from providing your service or...

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The Low Down on “Free”

There seems to be some misunderstanding in today’s world and quite honestly, it’s not getting any better. We’re in the world of “finding free”, particularly when it’s a service-based business. Have you ever scheduled one of those “Free 15-minute...

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Top 2 Reasons Startups Fail

We prefer not to use the term “fail” as we don’t believe there is failure in startups, only testing. You only fail when you give up. When you have the courage to step out on faith and start a business of your own instead of just talking about it, you’re...

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Most Important Skill for Entrepreneurs

The most important skill any entrepreneur should have is the ability to sell.  This is directly related to being able to communicate effectively. [bctt tweet="If you can’t sell yourself, your product, or your service you’re out of business b4...

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Exit from #Startuplife

3 Pots of Gold in #StartupLife Think of the rainbow as your startup journey and the pot of gold as your financial goal at the end, your exit.   In layman’s terms, there are 3 categories of exits one can typically expect if their startup is successful:    ...

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WordPress! WordPress! What’s so great about WordPress?

What's so great about WordPress?  If you’ve recently decided to start a business, we’re pretty sure the first thing you thought about spending money on is…a website!  Are we right?   And if you spoke to a web designer, we bet (with a 99.99999% chance) that...

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The one thing successful entrepreneurs possess…

Are you able to influence others?  Being an entrepreneur and being a leader is not mutually exclusive.  In fact, successful entrepreneurs possess a well-developed ability to influence without formal power.  What does that mean?  Well, it means...

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Need Help? Partner Up! – Strategic Partnerships

Are you an entrepreneur who needs a partner?  If you are like most entrepreneurs, you have great aspirations for your business, but you realize it’s impossible to accomplish it all alone.   Typically, the next thoughts include: “Who can I get to build this...

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Just Say “No” to the…

Just say "No" to the 1 millionth startup pitch competition Random coffee meeting request to “pick your brain” 100th entrepreneur networking event of the month… …and get back to work on your startup! This may seem like harsh words, but there...

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