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Tips on Starting a New Business Courtesy of "Mad Men"

Season four of the hit TV series "Mad Men" sees the opening of a startup ad agency. Rhonda Abrams in USA Today offers up some great points on what the founders of Sterling, Cooper, Draper, and Pryce—and new business owners like them—did well, and where they need to improve.

Here are a few key takeaways all new entrepreneurs should remember:

  • Pull together a team. You can’t do it all. They can't. You can't. Find people who balance your weaknesses.
  • Take chances.  Come up with fresh approaches and new thinking to differentiate company.
  • To quote John Wooden, “be quick but don’t hurry.” You have to make quick decisions. When opportunity arises to start the new agency, the principals didn't dawdle. They pulled the trigger and worked nonstop day and night to make sure they got the launch right.
  • Be flexible. They understood that they might have to expand or shrink staff quickly to meet their needs.
  • Be frugal. While they did a mixed job on this aspect of the launch, they didn’t spend the money on an expensive conference table. Remember, frugal is the new cool. Especially among startups.