Clifford Schorer
Adjunct Professor; The Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia Business School
01:09

What Successful Businesses Have in Common

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Good entrepreneurs who stay flexible, says Cliff Schorer.

Clifford Schorer

Professor Schorer is a serial entrepreneur who specializes in the start-up acquisition and development of small and mid-sized companies. He focuses on businesses with unique ideas or technologies that are in need of guidance during their initial growth phases. Cliff has been involved with companies in the high tech arena, his last position being CEO of GeoVideo Networks, a Lucent Technologies Venture. Prior to that his career included businesses in the real estate, office-supply and health care industries. During the early 1990's he spent a considerable amount of time in Russia using his entrepreneurial approach to assist in the privatization process During his extensive professional career, Schorer has lectured in numerous business and academic forums both in the United States and abroad. He has developed financial management software programs for business education through his publishing company Bized.

Transcript

Clifford Schorer: I think if I would — if I tried to narrow it down to its essence it would be the entrepreneur themselves. Very rarely does a business or never does a business plan come true. You have to be flexible. You have to work your way through the challenges, learn what's going on, and I think if the personality of the leader is one that's open to new ideas, responds to a market quickly, that they'll figure it out. I think that the greatest trap is really when you are fixed on your idea and believe it has to stay exactly the way it is to be successful. That's pretty dangerous.

Question: What can entrepreneurs do wrong?

Clifford Schorer: Well, I'd say that's half of it. I'd say equally important is the fact that they run out of money. They constantly underestimate the amount of capital they need and they constantly are in a position where they are spending their time trying to raise the next payroll when in reality they should be building a business. So I'd say those two are pretty important things.

Recorded on: 5/13/08


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