Whether you have just started your business or are an experienced entrepreneur, advice is priceless. It’s important to learn from professionals with different experiences than your own. Learning about diverse entrepreneurial experiences can give your business an advantage in your industry.
Feedback from successful entrepreneurs is rarely free, but Kris Duggan wanted to change that.
In 2018, Kris launched his initiative to help 100 entrepreneurs via video calls. He hosted 45-minute calls a few times a week throughout the year. During this time, he learned a lot about budding entrepreneurs’ strengths, weaknesses, and future outcomes.
After giving out a year of free advice to over 100 entrepreneurs, Kris came to a few conclusions. He estimates that around 80% of the entrepreneurs he coached have the potential to thrive. Around 10% are sure to be successful, while the other 10% will most likely fail.
During his year of free coaching, Kris gave honest feedback to every professional he encountered. He delivered the bad news when he felt that a company was moving in the wrong direction and provided projections for the futures of successful companies.
Most of the entrepreneurs Kris coached were somewhere between complete success and failure to thrive.
Topics of Interest
Kris described the middle 80% as being “delicate,” which means that small changes could make or break these businesses. He and the entrepreneurs discussed specific strategies to improve business projections. However, the entrepreneurs had to decide how to apply this advice to keep their businesses afloat.
Some of the topics Kris Duggan covered in the year of free coaching included:
- Salary negotiation
- Sales team growth
- Sales manager tips
- Product-market fit
- Financing or selling companies
- Venture capital
- Executive team building
- Product pricing
- Making the first ten sales
- Hiring COOs
- Feedback on business models
- Business growth planning
- Startup tips and tricks
- Minority and women-focused companies
- Business-to-business model
- Business-to-customer model
- Transitioning from B2C to B2B
Kris covered far more niche topics regarding entrepreneurship and business. He followed the lead of his audience, covering topics of interest that were relevant to their startups. This style of professional coaching is less common; most business coaches provide a single “formula for success” for entrepreneurs to follow.
By allowing the entrepreneurs to voice their topics of interest, Kris stayed up-to-date on current struggles within the business world. Instead of touting a one-size-fits-all recipe for success, Kris gave pointed advice that entrepreneurs could directly apply. This is extremely beneficial to new professionals who need practical, specific advice.
Focus on Underrepresented Groups
Kris wanted to reach out to female entrepreneurs and minority-run businesses. He claims that these startups are at distinct disadvantages, so they need extra help. Kris believed that underrepresented entrepreneurs are in the best position to benefit from free advice.
Kris’s focus on minorities and women gave disadvantaged startups the chance to thrive. He noted that the entrepreneurs he coached were usually prepared with specific questions. His prediction that underrepresented groups would reap the most benefits from free advice came true. These groups were willing to learn, get feedback, and grow.
Out of all of the positive outcomes from Kris’s free year of coaching, this is perhaps the most important. Women and minorities face unique challenges in entrepreneurship that they must overcome to run successful enterprises.
By giving back to his entrepreneurial community, Kris sent an important message: that even the most disadvantaged startup can begin to thrive.
Moving Forward in Business
Kris predicted that the majority of entrepreneurs he coached were at a fork in the road. They could either sink or swim using business advice and strategies they discussed together. Ultimately, these professionals have to apply these methods to their businesses to get their desired results.
Kris Duggan believes in helping new professionals gain their footing in the world of entrepreneurship. The professionals’ eagerness to learn and preparedness gives him confidence in their business ventures.
During each 45-minute video call throughout 2018, Kris gave a growing startup the chance to learn from an experienced professional. This type of candid feedback can save businesses from stumbling through unexpected challenges. If you’re a budding entrepreneur, consider taking advantage of free advice. It’s not just free: it’s priceless.
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