Monday, July 8, 2013

Jan Triplett talks about the First Look Forums and the Business Success Center

Where are you from originally?
Corpus Christi, Texas

What university did you go to?
DU (Masters) UT (Ph.D.)

What brought you to Austin?
Get my doctorate at UT

What is the idea behind your startup?
To make it possible for businesses of any kind to find a mentor to help them ramp up through the First Looks Forum mentoring program.

What need does it fulfill?
It gets and keeps business owners on course.
What exactly does your product do?
Business Success Center ramps up new businesses and scales up existing businesses. Our focus is on sales, marketing, and financial management vision, strategy, and implementation of structure.

Who is it for?
Business owners of independently owned and operated businesses.

What was the most challenging aspect of starting up a business?
There are a lot of details in managing the First Looks Forum program. It brings in new mentees from new industries each month with new problems. They need to be prepared for meetings with potential mentors and followup sessions with us on what else they should consider. It also requires a lot of coordination with existing mentors plus adding and preparing new mentors to constantly improve the program.

What is the next step for you and your startup?
Find additional ways to strengthen the program and the working arrangement with Texas Entrepreneur Networks, our strategic ally for First Looks.

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?
To bring in experts to help before you need them. The other advice is to make sure that there is one person examining that advice. That expert guide needs to make sure the ideas work together and not just create more work. The danger is wasting time sorting through all the ideas for ramping and scaling a business that don’t work together holistically.

What Austin-based resource have you found to be the most helpful and why?
I have found the Austin Business Journal and its Ask the Experts section extremely useful. I am one of the ABJ experts but I learn a lot reading what the others say on a variety of business questions.  They are always short and to the point.

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