We have four service offerings to help entrepreneurs share plans, solicit feedback, and gain perspectives that allow them to prosper.
Four Services We Offer That Help Entrepreneurs Bootstrap a Business
We have four offerings to help entrepreneurs share plans, solicit feedback, and gain perspectives that allow them to prosper.
- Bootstrapper Breakfasts: allow you to have a serious conversation with other bootstrappers and get a variety of perspectives on a situation of challenge you are facing. It’s a little bit like a blind date: at most breakfasts, a third to a half of the attendees are either there for the first time or have not met each other before. Putting a challenge on the table and responding to clarifying questions and suggestions from different perspectives can help jiggle you out of a rut and consider some options you may not have considered. You can see the Silicon Valley schedule at https://www.meetup.com/Bootstrappers-Breakfast-SV/ and find links to other groups on the Bootstrappers’ Breakfast website. We started offering Bootstrapper Breakfasts in Silicon Valley in October of 2006.
- Office Hours: allow you to schedule a conversation with me and often another member of the SKMurphy team and get more focused attention on a particular challenge. The advantage is that you can go a little deeper. It’s intended to be a no-cost no-obligation version of what you would experience in a paid working session or consulting engagement. You can learn more about Office Hours at “SKMurphy Office Hours For Startups: Set Your Own Agenda.” We started offering the formal Office Hours program in 2012.
- Mastermind Groups: allow you to meet with a small group of the same entrepreneurs twice a month. Here you can go deeper and have conversations with peers who understand your business. More about our Silicon Valley Mastermind Groups. We have offered Mastermind groups in Silicon Valley since 2011.
- Startup Advisory Consulting: SKMurphy provides direct support for founding teams to generate leads and close deals. We help founders engineer their sales methods into a reliable process that they can manage, delegate, and scale. We provide win/loss and other kinds of competitive and market analysis for the niches they are targeting, and we help them identify and select niches where they bring differentiated–and often unique–value. Normally the best way to see if this is a fit with your needs is to schedule an office hours session. We have offered Startup Advisory Consulting since 2003.
Here are some of the key features of each of these services:
- Friendly, informal meeting environment offers you the chance to compare notes on challenges you and other attendees are facing.
- It’s also a low key environment to help you to practice and refine your elevator pitch.
- We also offer “3×5 card” workshops that take fifteen minutes and provide you with new tools for managing growth.
- Solo entrepreneurs are welcome and have found the breakfasts useful for finding cofounders–either other folks around the table or introductions from entrepreneurs they have met at a breakfast.
- Solo entrepreneurs benefit from meeting on a consistent basis to focus on developing a successful business
- Collaborate with other professionals that have diverse backgrounds and valuable experience that builds a strong network
- Mastermind groups help expand your thinking and assists with moving through challenges.
- Continuity in a rich learning environment builds trust by working through processes together
- Accountability in a mastermind group quickly builds momentum toward your goals
- A chance to work on a focused problem and get the same advice you would in a consulting session.
- These are normally delivered over Zoom or Skype and are available to teams all over the world.
- You can have other team members and advisors take part in the call if you wish.
- We will provide a summary of findings, suggested next steps you and your team can take on your own, and an outline two or three ways we can provide consulting support within two working days of an office hours session.
“Entrepreneurship is neither a science nor an art. It is a practice.”
Our typical consulting client is a team of two to five engineers or scientists who are bootstrapping a B2B product. We support them in taking a scientific approach to starting and scaling a business by formulating and testing critical hypotheses. But entrepreneurship is not a synonym for management science. Disciplines like industrial engineering or operations research are normally considered members of the set of management science. They substitute decision making based on models and simulation for naive methods based on intuition and rules of thumb. Examples would include inventory control theory, queuing theory, game theory, and decision analysis, among others.
If we could eliminate the human element, then markets become much easier to predict and much more amenable to techniques that are used in chemistry and physics to great success. But a startup that treats markets made of people as a collection of molecules at equilibrium in a gas is unlikely to prosper. But startups are not contending with a natural phenomenon like gravity or seismic activity but a co-evolving set of suppliers and competitors who react to–and even anticipate likely moves by–a new entrant. So while you can design and build a bridge based on scientific laws for gravity and engineering principles to resist and ride out earthquakes, competition is less predictable because it’s made of people and not governed by natural laws.
Because we spend much of time in the early market, we are intimately familiar with challenges and can help you look at a situation both from a prospect’s perspective and that of competitors. This allows us to help you generate the leads and close the deals that will move your business forward.
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- Scott Swaaley, Founder & CEO of MAKESafe Tools on SKMurphy’s Mastermind Group
- A Mastermind Group Can Help Entrepreneurs Achieve Their Goals
- SKMurphy Office Hours For Startups: Set Your Own Agenda
- Office Hours: Schedule Time To Walk Around Your MVP
- Office Hours: Schedule Time to Review Your MVP Readiness
- Early Market Discovery Requires Models from Physics, Biology, and Psychology
- A Scientific Approach to Startups Won’t Create a Science of Startups
- Recurring Problems Have Both Technical and Psychological Roots
- Texas Hold’Em as a Model for Technology Startups