170608_Chris_Trujillo_Book_(2)Most reasonable entrepreneurs know that they need to have a plan. They may spend hour after hour crafting an old-school, 100 page business plan, or at the very least they’ll write down their ultimate goal on a coffee shop napkin. When starting that plan they might pick up any self-help business book at the local bookstore or type a couple search words into Google. There is a lot of information out there. But what happens after a savvy entrepreneur, with that one of a kind idea, makes that plan? Where do they go from there?

That’s where CSUF Entrepreneurship mentor, Chris Trujillo, comes in. Chris is a serial entrepreneur and has condensed all of the lessons he has learned from launching businesses into his book, “After the Business Plan”.  So, what’s inside the book? We were able to do a quick Q&A with Chris to learn a little bit more about his book.

Who are you? Who did you write this book for?

170608_Chris_Trujillo_Book_(1)My name is Christopher John Trujillo and I have always had a passion for entrepreneurship. During college at Purdue University, I was actively involved in the university’s entrepreneurship community and co-founded a startup that received $30,000 in grant funding from a tech accelerator program in Iowa. Back home now, in California, I organize local entrepreneur meet-ups in southern Orange County and mentor entrepreneur students at Cal State Fullerton. Recently, I co-founded Entrepreneur School, www.entrepreneurschools.org, with Michael McElroy, to teach entrepreneurship to children and teens.

After publishing two children’s introduction to business books, The Young Entrepreneur and The Young Investor, I have now written “After the Business Plan” for new entrepreneurs who want answers to common startup questions. If you have finished your business plan, have a solid preparation for launch, or are just interested in learning more about business, “After the Business Plan” is the book for you.

What is After the Business Plan about?

“After the Business Plan” is not a book to help you create the perfect business plan. Nor is it a book to help you test whether you have a solid business idea. It is a book to walk you through the major steps you take to launch your business.

All successful startups must master these steps, for example: How do you hire an employee? When do you classify a worker as an independent contractor instead of an employee? Which entity is the best for your business? Where do you apply for funding? How do you record mileage for tax deductions? With this book, not only will you learn the answers to these questions, but you will also find out where to find many necessary legal documents online and discover some very helpful websites.

When will After the Business Plan be published?

“After the Business Plan” will be published June 30, 2017.

Where can people get After the Business Plan?

“After the Business Plan” will be available to purchase online through the Amazon and Lulu bookstores. Cal State Fullerton students can use the promo code TITANS to receive a discount on their purchase.

Most importantly, why did you write After the Business Plan?

I was frustrated by the lack of resources available addressing many issues that a startup faces while preparing to launch. Searching for more information than what is provided by the SBA (Small Business Administration) and state and federal government publications, I couldn’t find a comprehensive, user-friendly resource with the answers to all my questions. After consulting with attorneys and CPAs, browsing online resources and reading government publications, I realized it would be useful to condense all that I learned into a book which also includes some practical advice based on my own startup experiences. I believe that while personal experience is often the best way to learn, having accurate information beforehand can help an entrepreneur make the right decisions while preparing for launch. Since business law differs for each state and may be revised often, I plan to publish “After the Business Plan” for every state with annual updates. I advise aspiring entrepreneurs to just work on your idea every day, even if only for 20 minutes, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly an idea can transform into reality.


We are definitely looking forward to the publication of this tremendous research and we are always looking to add innovative entrepreneurs and professionals to the CSUF Entrepreneurship community. To find out how you can participate in this community as a mentor, speaker, or even as a donor please give Entrepreneur in Residence Travis Lindsay a call at (657) 278-3930.


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

CSUF Marketing Consulting Projects Make a Difference

CSUF Consulting Team Clear Vision with their professor Scott Sorrell (front left)

CSUF Consulting Team Clear Vision with Professor Scott Sorrell (front left)

As many students know, the practical experience one gains during their time in college is the most valuable and is almost always crucial to employers. The CSUF Consulting program empowers students to work with companies and nonprofits in Orange County and Los Angeles County that requires hands on work, giving them practice and a deeper understanding than what a textbook can bring. And the clients get an amazing return on investment in the form of a comprehensive report and presentation focusing on strategically important matters for their organization. These projects focus on what is important to the clients whether that is social media, email marketing, customer retention, or public relations. The possibilities are endless.

One of the courses that features a CSUF Consulting project is Marketing 462: Marketing for Entrepreneurs. Professor Scott Sorrell is one of the professors who teaches this unique course.

Outside the classroom, Scott is the CEO of Sales Adrenaline. He is known as “Mr. Charge Higher Prices” and is a professional speaker and business growth acceleration consultant. He brings his considerable business expertise into the classroom to teach Marketing and Entrepreneurship students fundamentals and tactics that are applicable for small businesses to large, entrepreneurial corporations. Scott augments his course by inviting a variety of guest speakers to his class, all experts in a different area of marketing.

Every semester, the students in Scott’s class work with their clients to develop innovative marketing solutions.  Once assigned to a client, the student teams are assigned a mentor with a wealth of marketing and business experience to help the students more fully develop their recommendations for their client. Once all teams have been assigned a client, they commence their consulting process with an in-depth interview with the client to find out the client’s wants and needs, their weaknesses, what they want to change or improve, and what their goals are for their semester-long project.

Following the interview, the teams work and develop a scope of work that details what they are proposing to provide to their client by the end of the semester. With four to six members on a team and each member responsible for their own section of the project, there are several branches of marketing initiatives that these teams can research and develop. These marketing initiatives that the teams develop for their clients can range from developing a new website, to creating a public relations campaign for the company, to assisting with an entire marketing plan for the organization, and much more. Every project is unique and custom built for each client.

“The course is a lot of work,” Scott admits. However, each project is “a huge opportunity for learning. That’s why I tell my students, ‘Don’t focus on your grade, focus on excellence.’”

CSUF Consulting Team Gravity Ball with their Professor Scott Sorrell (far right)

CSUF Consulting Team Gravity Ball with Professor Scott Sorrell (far right)

At the end of the semester, after meeting with their clients multiple times and discussing with them the progress that they have made in developing a comprehensive marketing strategy report, each team delivers a comprehensive presentation to their client where they discuss their findings with them and how best to implement their recommendations.

Collectively, the students will spend hundreds of hours on each project in order to create an actionable plan that their clients can implement right away. “Many students will say it’s the hardest course they’ve ever taken,” Scott points out. However, the difficult workload and sacrifice required of the students that take Marketing 462 hasn’t seemed to deter students away from their positive outlook on the course: “I’ve had students tell me they’ve learned more in this class than their entire college education combined,” he adds.

One of the overlooked benefits for the clients who have a CSUF Consulting project done for them is that the teams can review their client’s current or potential marketing plans and determine whether or not the ROI justifies their continuation. “What those students come to understand and appreciate is that they just succeeded in saving the client probably tens of thousands of dollars pursuing a marketing avenue that would have been a dead end for them,” states Scott.

In addition to the course helping students gain experience, it also significantly helps the clients because they get amazing work at an amazing price. They pay a relatively small “donation-sized” fee to have a CSUF Consulting team develop innovative marketing solutions for their company. The work that these teams do helps clients develop ideas that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to with their current resources and because CSUF Consulting teams provide a fresh perspective that can unearth hidden opportunities.

The course also requires a lot of work from a professor standpoint. In addition to regular duties all professors have, such as giving quizzes, midterms, and other assignments, Scott manages and mentors all of his consulting teams. This consists of multiple critiques and reviews of each team’s letter of engagement, reading up on the periodic individual section reports, staying in communication with the teams and their clients, evaluating their final presentations and then reviewing their final reports (which can run upwards of 200 pages).

But despite the endless work, Scott doesn’t seem to regret taking on the position one bit, “Why do I do it? Love. I love these students. I love giving to them because they’re an amazing investment.”

Students interested in the Marketing 462 course or companies interested in applying to be a client for future consulting projects that take place during the fall and spring semesters every year can contact Client Project Specialist Charlesetta Medina at cymedina@fullerton.edu or visit the Center for Entrepreneurship office, located in room 3280 at Steven G. Mihaylo Hall on campus.

Written by Traci Muldoon


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/IncubatorFor more details on how CSUF

Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

Why Cal State Fullerton Teaches Entrepreneurship

STEM Entrepreneurship Awards Ceremony

The next generation of Entrepreneurs

What that title is getting at is what is our mission or, in other words, why do we do what we do. And, as you will find out from this CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider (sign up to become an Insider now so you don’t miss any of the news, events, or lessons from CSUF Entrepreneurship!) from Director John Bradley Jackson, the reason is very simple: It makes a difference.

Over the last three years, I had the honor of partnering with colleagues at the College of Engineering and Computer Science and the College of Education at Cal State Fullerton on a $1 Million grant from the National Science Foundation to teach disadvantaged middle school students needed skills in Entrepreneurship and STEM. The skills that we taught these bright students will stick with them for the rest of their lives and will help them once they enter our global economy no matter what path they decide to take.

I’m certain that at least a few of these students will decide to become innovators and may even start businesses that better our world.

Speaking for all of our Entrepreneurship professors and mentors I can tell you that one of the primary reasons why we teach and coach the next generation of entrepreneurs is because we believe that it makes a difference. It makes a difference in the lives of the students, of course. But it also makes a difference in our communities as well.

We regularly see the difference that our students make in the businesses that they start or work for. We also see it in the difference that they make in the companies that they do consulting projects for. What all of this leads to is a more innovative and creative world to live in.

In the case of the middle school students that I had the pleasure of teaching the last three years we probably won’t see that impact for quite some time. But for the students that the Entrepreneurship professors and I have taught and our mentors have coached we have already seen the difference that an entrepreneurial education can make.

Sincerely,

John Bradley Jackson
Director & Professor
CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship, CSUF Consulting,
& CSUF Startup Incubator

Continue reading

Uber’s Management by Committee: Good or Bad Idea?

Hailing an UberFrom Yahoo! Finance: “According to three sources familiar with the matter, Uber will be run by a committee consisting of 14 executives, all of whom directly reported to Kalanick before he announced on Tuesday he would be taking time away from the company following recent scandals and the death of his mother.

“Whether Uber’s new governing structure succeeds — and how long the team will govern for — are two questions that will follow the executive committee, particularly over the next few days and weeks. With over 12,000 employees, Uber is a large company faced with many layers of decision-making and the serious challenge of transforming Uber’s culture following a recent slew of scandals related to allegations of sexual harassment.”

Putting it mildly, this leadership situation is unique. But will it work? To find out, I asked a couple of the best experts on leadership that I know of for their opinions on this matter.

Dr. Atul Teckchandani, Assistant Professor of Management at CSUF, leads our CSUF Consulting teams that focus on leadership issues for our business clients.

Travis Kalanick never had a second in command at Uber. Recently the company announced they were going to look for a COO – but things have deteriorated significantly since then and finding a COO is no longer a top priority. My suspicion is that the governance-by-committee approach is more out of necessity than out of effectiveness. Having the top 14 executives at the company come together every time a decision needs to be made is extremely inefficient. But there’s no logical replacement for Kalanick and bringing in an outside hire would be even more disruptive. I suspect that the governance-by-committee approach is going to stay in place until things stabilize for the company.

Dave Kinnear, Executive Leader Coach for Vistage International, mentors our students in the classroom and has office hours at the CSUF Startup Incubator frequently.

Governance By Committee

There is an old saying that “A camel is a horse put together by committee.” I’m not at all sure this is fair to either camels or horses, however, the sentiment that too many conflicting opinions can ruin a project holds true.

For the Uber Executive Committee to effectively lead Uber and transform its culture, they will have to agree on who will make the final decision and empower that person to do so. From what I have been able to learn, Kalanick was that person who made the final call. They must also agree on how information will be brought to the committee, be processed by the committee and be communicated to the rest of the Uber organization.

I seriously doubt that the Board of Directors will be totally absent from the significant decisions that the team has to make. This particular board has shown that it knows how to step in and govern (see the above background information on how they handled the Covington report). I am confident that the Leadership Committee will have guidelines from the board on what committee recommendations must be run by the board prior to final decisions and actions.

Absent Leaders are Not That Unusual

One of the goals I like to establish with business leaders is that they build a high functioning leadership team that can operate without them. If we do not build such a team, then we earn the epithet of micromanager. Plus, we limit the scalability of the organization by being the bottleneck for decisions. My observation is that just like a wine bottle, the bottleneck is always at the top in organizations.

My concern for the Leadership Committee at Uber is that they may not have been allowed to be autonomous up until now, and so will not understand how to function without direction from the top. I hope I’m wrong about that concern. That is why I call this an interesting experiment for Uber.

Many of the leaders with whom I work have no concern or problem taking long vacations — mostly unplugged — and letting their teams run the show. They avoid making decisions from afar. Most have reported that things actually seemed to run better while they were gone! And their teams love the autonomy.

Growth Opportunity

A spokesperson for Uber declared that the leadership team was strong and that “The entire team is excited by the opportunities ahead of us.” This rings true to me. But it remains to be seen if this group can actually perform as a team. As a friend (an entrepreneur and athlete) puts it, “I’d rather play on a championship team than on a team of champions.”

If the Leadership Committee members at Uber truly believe that the team and company is more important than individual egos, then they have a good chance of coming together as a championship team and transforming Uber. I wish the Leadership Committee and Kalanick good luck and success.

What do you think?


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

Trade Secret Protection – Key Points for Entrepreneurs to Know

Stephen LaCount Intellectual Property Talk Trade Secrets CSUF Startup Incubator IrvineDuring Stephen LaCount’s talk titled Intellectual Property and the Entrepreneur at the CSUF Irvine campus Stephen went over a lot of interesting topics; topics that are immediately valuable to the entrepreneurs that were there. One of the parts of his talk that I liked in particular was his information on trade secret protection.

Here are some key takeaways that I had:

  • If you do it right, a trade secret can last forever (i.e. Coca Cola)
  • “Trade Secret” means information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process that: 1. Derives independent economic value… from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by other persons… and 2. Is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.
    • This is from the Model Trade Secrets Act
  • One example that Stephen gave was how Texas Instruments successfully sued someone who flew a plane over a factory that they were building so that he could get pictures of how they were doing things, which violated their trade secrets
    • (I tried finding this story but, alas, couldn’t find it)
  • If the company or person with a trade secret doesn’t properly maintain it’s trade secrets then they will go to the public domain
    • That is, obviously, not good, so you have to work to protect your trade secrets
  • How to protect your Trade Secrets:
    • Restrict visitors to your work site – control or deny access to sensitive areas
    • Limit disclosure – implement strict “need to know” standard
    • Internal procedures and safeguards – you will need to create these, train your people on how to properly follow them, and have a system that ensures employee fidelity to your procedures and safeguards
    • Explicit written agreements: what is being disclosed and for what purpose?
      • Any relationship of importance should have a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) attached to it
    • Stamp and legend documents: such as “Confidential and Proprietary”; “Do Not Duplicate or Distribute”
  • Even though there is a lot that goes into protecting a trade secret there is no paperwork that you have to file with the government and a trade secret theoretically will never expire
  • What about past employees? Do they have to protect trade secrets from their former employer?
    • The answer is, of course, yes. Past employees do have a duty to protect the trade secrets of their former employees

The part about trade secrets was only a small fraction of Stephen’s overall talk and we will be working on putting together video segments of this talk for our Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series and Stephen’s segments will be published over the next couple of months.

So make sure to check back in frequently so you won’t miss any of the videos or, better yet, become a CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider. Insiders get a weekly update featuring the ideas, news, events, and success stories that are coming out of the CSUF Entrepreneurship community.


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

Start or Grow Your Business – Use Business Model Canvas [Event this Thursday]

Marc Pakbaz to give important talk on how to use the business model canvas to help your business grow for SCORE this Thursday

Marc Pakbaz to give important talk on how to use the business model canvas to help your business grow for SCORE this Thursday

CSUF Entrepreneurship mentor and friend Marc Pakbaz will be hosting an important seminar for SCORE this Thursday on the Business Model Canvas that we think you will find valuable. Below is an introduction to what the talk will cover and you can register by going to the event link here.

Starting a new business or managing an existing business is an everyday occupation for a business owner. There are so many variants to manage. How to identify them and how to prioritize them? These are the questions that we will answer in this workshop.

Marc Pakbaz of SCORE presents this workshop. Marc is a serial entrepreneur and a business speaker with an abundance of international experience. Marc has an MBA and a Doctorate Degree in business. He owned and sold two companies.  In 30 years career, he has helped more than 200 entrepreneurs to start, run, buy or sell their companies.  Marc is a Business Mentor and frequent guest speaker and lecturer. Recently, he served as Guest speaker in University of California Irvine (UCI) and California State University, Fullerton.


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

 

Baby I’m A-Wishin – Piano Play by CSUF Alumnus Jonny May

Jonny May’s ’17 most recent YouTube hit is out and it’s called Baby I’m A-Wishin (see below).

As you know from our previous posts, Jonny is a recent grad and a resident at the CSUF Startup Incubator where he works on growing his business, Piano with Jonny. Piano with Jonny is a great way to learn how to play the piano in a fun, interactive way and at your own pace. If you’ve thought about learning then I suggest you check it out.

Until then, check out his most recent video.


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge