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Here’s what we’re reading this month. Enjoy our roundup of sales and marketing resources and interesting articles for early stage growth companies, that will offer some great takeaways for your firm.

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5 Ways the Best Companies Close the Strategy-Execution Gap

Executives say that they lose 40% of their strategy’s potential value to breakdowns in execution. In  Bain & Company’s experience, however, this strategy-to-performance gap is rarely the result of shortcomings in implementation; it is because the plans are flawed from the start. Successful companies close the strategy-to-performance gap with a new strategy approach best described as “Decide-Do/Refine-Do.” This agile, test-and-learn approach is better suited to today’s tumultuous environment and helps bridge the chasms that exists at so many companies between great strategy, great execution, and great performance.

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4 Tips for Raising Capital During the Holidays

The holiday season is often a stressful time, especially for founders who are fundraising. Some investors even slow down their activities during the holidays. That said, there are patterns and specifics for each type of investor. Also, end of year can actually be a great time for closing the rounds.Here are some tips to maximize your financing during the holidays.

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The Best Retirement Plans for Small Businesses

There are long-term planning issues that are critical to your personal success as a small business owner, and they aren’t going away, particularly when it comes to planning for your retirement. You don’t have the luxury of an employer offering a 401(k) or pension plan, complete with a selection of appropriate investment vehicles, to ensure your financial future. What do you do? It’s all up to you and here are some options to explore.

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How Dynamic Planning Can Transform Financial Planning and Analysis

CFOs are responsible for delivering information to an organization. However, the priorities with analytics are often with the operational and sales departments and the finance team is left churning out backward-looking reports and producing monthly reporting packages. Forward-looking CFOs are seeking ways to demonstrate their relevance to an organization beyond reporting the financials, to become “architects of business value” if you will.

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Hitting the Bullseye Creating Your Brand Identity

Effective branding is all about not only understanding who your target audience is but also knowing how to get through to them. Branding, in general, is only effective if you communicate a value proposition to your target audience. In order to get through to your target buyer, you have to do a few things first to best understand their hot buttons. Read more.

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What do CEOs Expect from a Strategic CFO?
Perhaps a New Business Model

Disruption, shareholder activism, digital transformation, demographic shifts, industry convergence are some of the forces that are altering the landscape in which most CFOs now operate. As these demands mount, the nature of the CFO role is evolving, with many senior finance executives devoting more of their time to strategic issues and less to traditional “steward/operator” responsibilities. 

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The New Rules of Customer Engagement: How Leading Companies Are Connecting with Customers to Drive Greater Growth

How can a company know if it is succeeding at customer engagement? To help companies understand where they fall on the engagement spectrum, we examined what separates leading companies from the rest of the pack. Leaders view engagement as a means to a business outcome, such as revenue. They invest more in staff resources to focus on customer engagement, are more likely to have an executive who is responsible for engagement, and provide consistent, seamless customer experiences.

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Fast Growth Companies Share One Thing in Common

Fast-growth companies share one thing in common. Regardless of who their customers are, their business model, the type of product, industry, or region of the globe they’re operating in, they all make a product that a large group of people loves. They’ve built products that, in the eyes of their customers, are simply must-have. While creating a must-have product alone is not sufficient for breakout success, it is the baseline requirement for rapid and sustainable growth.


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