International business consultant Frank Cespedes explains how you can build your platform, drive effective sales, and increase the growth potential of your business.

I’ve learned so much from my mistakes, as well as the mistakes and wisdom of my peers. In business, and in life, you have to keep listening and learning if you want to succeed.

Many entrepreneurs get started and get stuck! So, how do you grow your business when you don’t know where to start? I asked Frank Cespedes, Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School, to help me shed some light on this topic. Frank has consulted businesses around the world and his latest book, Aligning Strategy and Sales: The Choices, Systems, and Behaviors that Drive Effective Selling, has been hailed “The best sales book of the year” by Strategy+Business Magazine. Here’s what Frank had to say:

It’s tough to start a business that gets traction with paying customers. Data indicate that less than half of US start-ups survive beyond three years. But it’s much harder to grow. Even for businesses that attract venture funding, fewer than 6% achieve more than $10 million in revenues and fewer than 2% more than $50 million. The increase in angel groups, the advent of crowd-funding, the slow but steady spread of VC money beyond its traditional few cities, and mechanisms like incubators make it more possible to start a business. But as one investor says, “It has never been easier to start a company, and never harder to build one.”

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