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2015’s best cities to start a business

SMU's Jerry White talks about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur

Excerpt

The following is from the current edition of WalletHub. Jerry White, director of the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship in SMU's Cox School of Business, provided expertise for this story.

May 13, 2015

Jerry White:

Jerry White
Jerry White
What tips would you offer an aspiring entrepreneur?

You need to have knowledge and experience in the business you want to go into. If you don't have that, go to work for an established competitor for a few years and learn the business. Also, learn the difference between profit and cash flow. Cash flow is probably the most important financial management concept an entrepreneur has to deal with.

How important is the city an entrepreneur picks to start a new company?

It is always important; sometimes, critically so. The availability of your target market, sources of financing, availability of skilled workers in your industry, business friendly local government, etc. can make a big difference in an entrepreneur's ability to survive and grow.

Which are some of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make?

The biggest mistakes are:

    • Failure to understand how to calculate the amount of financing needed and to arrange for it.
    • Hiring friends instead of the most qualified person they can afford.
    • A belief that "if you build it they will come," when the truth is if you build it and market the heck out of it, they might come. Then again, they might not.

Read the full story, other interviews and the rankings.

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