Bill: So do you think of yourself as an entrepreneur? We’ve
got some advice for you. The 90’s were sort of the era
of the entrepreneur. There were so many of them with hot ideas
attracting all kind of attention and money. But most failed
not just because the economy turned on them, but because they
didn’t understand that it takes a lot more to getting
an idea to succeed than just patching it. You’ve got
to understand the careful care and feeding that it requires.
We’ll learn more about this in a new book written by
Marc Lane. It’s called “Advising Entrepreneurs:
Dynamic Strategies for Financial Growth.” Marc, tell
me about the unique challenges that entrepreneurs face.
Hi, Bill. Well, there are a lot of things that entrepreneurs
need to do to be successful. They need to distinguish themselves
in the marketplace. They need to have a sustainable competitive
advantage. They need to be able to brand themselves. They
need to be innovative at all times. They need to be flexible
and nimble. They need to be able to structure and design their
organizations in the most tax-efficient way. We can go on
Bill: But do they not typically understand that then?
No. Not only don’t they understand it, but sometimes
their advisors don’t even understand it. And sometimes
their advisors are talking passed each other.
Bill: So does it mean that they’re not just getting
the maximum potential out of their idea? Or is it causing
them to, in fact fail?
Well, I think that most people who have a business idea are
unlikely to come up with a totally stupid idea. The idea probably
has a germ of merit in it. The question is, how do we exploit
that? So it’s all in the implementation, all in the
Bill: You teach a lot of this. What kind of ideas have you
seen out there that could have succeeded, if not for understanding
these sort of things?
Well, so often we see people who don’t use the tax laws
right. For example, the government is willing to subsidize
your launch. If you design your structure properly, your after-tax
cost of investment can be reduced, and your after-tax return
of investment can be increased. It all has to do with how
the entity is designed, how your relationship with the entity
Bill: But are the business schools not teaching this?
Some are, some aren’t, but they’re teaching it
in a linear way. What you need is a holistic approach, a comprehensive,
integrated approach and that’s where they often fail.
Bill: Is this sort of a how-to book, then, for advisors and
Very much. I wrote it as a book for the entrepreneur’s
financial advisors. However, the thrust is these secrets,
if you call them secrets, is to be shared with the entrepreneur.
It’s the entrepreneurs who are typically buying the
Bill: Alright, Marc Lane. Again, the name of the book is
“Advising Entrepreneurs: Dynamic Strategies for Financial