Business Plan Starts with a Mission to Succeed

Business plans are intended to be flexible plans for succeeding, not just surviving, as a company. Yet, according to a famous Harvard professor John Kotter, 70 percent of business initiatives intended to bring organizational change will fail. That is a remarkable figure because it means efforts to adapt to a changing marketplace is failing. There is a barrier between the business plan founded on a mission and the real world.

The setbacks are sometimes one of losing sight of the company mission and weakening to plan. The purpose of the mission statement clearly states what your organization seeks to accomplish, It has a philosophy underlying it that does not change. The mission statement is a reflection of the nature of products or services sold, potential for growth, pricing strategy, customer service, and role in the community, competition and others.

The business plan needs to be developed so that each and every segment drives the business towards fulfillment of the mission. A change of proposal is merely a strategy for keeping the business on track to fulfill the mission. Leading change requires first turning to the mission statement and the business plan. A business that needs to change must be able to write a sense of urgency all through the organization because staying true to the mission statement is needed to succeed. If a change idea is needed, it means the business has gotten off course from its mission and its vision.

The business plan goals and strategies may need to be revised, but that should always be a step in the change process. In fact, business plans can serve as the direction for change as each section, from the Executive Summary to the Financial Statements, are reviewed in light of the need for change. Leadership will identify specific strategies for incorporating change and then communicate the revisions on an organization-wide basis. The change process must be empowering and encompassing, meaning employees at all levels should be embraced as change agents.

Business plans begin with a mission statement and then serve as a living breathing document. Leading organizational change is not always easy, but it can be impossible unless there is buy-in to the mission and the business plan. The strategies used to get that buy-in can vary, but staying on message cannot.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at http://www.funded.com created by Mark Favre. , it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need to access a network of angel investors, venture capital for start up funding visit http://www.funded.com.

Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Must Avoid When Pitching to Investors

Very few entrepreneurs are given a chance to pitch their businesses to investors. Unfortunately, not everyone who gets a chance to talk with potential source of financial support receives positive response. The reason: they often commit mistakes when pitching their business startups.

Here are some of the most common mistakes that business owners do when pitching their companies to potential investors.

Long elevator pitches

Elevator pitches are called as such because they are expected to be short – around a minute, which is the average length of a person’s ride in an elevator. And despite being called the “elevator pitch,” there are other instances when business owners are required to be brief when introducing their companies to possible investors. These include chance meetings in cocktail parties, meetings, or even introductions between common friends.

Such cases, which often happen in informal settings, are not boardroom meetings. And while investors may be interested in the pitch, talking about it for more than a minute or two is not appropriate. Doing so may put a bad impression on the part of the investor, therefore losing a possible deal.

Business owners must keep in mind that they should save the talk during an actual pitch.

Long presentations

During the actual presentation of the business, PowerPoint presentations are often considered as God-send tools. It provides the people around the room some visual information that could pique their interest on the topic being presented.

However, business owners must keep in mind that PowerPoint presentations are used as support and are not meant to be the star of the show. Therefore, entrepreneurs must be able to limit the length of the PowerPoint presentation so as not to bore potential investors.

These people want business owners to talk about their business startups and not just read from a prepared presentation.

Made-up proposals

Business owners want to impress potential investors. However, putting wrong information on the investment proposal, for instance blowing up the exit figures to impossible proportions, often raise eyebrows of investors.

Entrepreneurs must remember that investors value business owners who present them with the reality more than those who make-up information just to impress them.

Early discussion on valuation

Investors often turn their backs on business owners who start they pitches with valuation. Before doing so, business owners are expected to introduce first the business and its operations. Investors are there to provide money, but they would rather hear about the business first before getting information on the valuation which is, technically, their expertise. There is no need to walk them through on this process.

These are just some of the things that business owners must avoid when pitching their businesses to their potential investors. Following this would make them one step closer to getting some financial support.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website. Funded.com

How Do You Know Your Business Idea is Good?

Investors want to fund good business ideas. That’s a broad statement because what seems like a good idea to me may be different from what seems like a good idea to you. So many ideas never seem to go anywhere. Some are just so uninspiring that they can’t seem to get the attention of anyone, much less investors. You can even write a whole business plan around a bad idea, leading to great disappointment when investors spot the fact it’s bad.

A good business idea is much more than just an idea. You can sit there all day and come up with ideas, but that doesn’t make them good. Good business ideas have certain qualities that differentiate them from other ideas. For one thing, a good business idea fulfills an unmet customer need, and it is often a need the consumer doesn’t even recognize yet. That may sound odd, but great ideas are often not great until someone invents a product or service.

Determining if a business idea is a good one requires more than just knowing the market will appreciate products or services. The idea must be feasible and realistic in terms of production costs, the time from funding to sales, profitability and safety. A good business idea is also one that can be brought to fruition because the entrepreneurs have the knowledge and skills needed.

There are more qualities associated with good business ideas, but one of the most important is related to innovation. Good business ideas offer a new twist on products or represent creative and innovative new products. The new twist or innovation should represent something that matters to people which means it brings some kind of satisfaction.

There are no hard and fast rules or magic formula to define a good business idea. Instead, investors will consider all of the qualities of the idea coupled with the marketing, competitive and financial factors.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com created by Mark Favre. , it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need to access a vast network of business people, entrepreneurs, partners and service providers to help you start, finance and run your business, check out Funded.com.

How Do You Know Your Business Idea is Good?

Investors want to fund good business ideas. That’s a broad statement because what seems like a good idea to me may be different from what seems like a good idea to you. So many ideas never seem to go anywhere. Some are just so uninspiring that they can’t seem to get the attention of anyone, much less investors. You can even write a whole business plan around a bad idea, leading to great disappointment when investors spot the fact it’s bad.

A good business idea is much more than just an idea. You can sit there all day and come up with ideas, but that doesn’t make them good. Good business ideas have certain qualities that differentiate them from other ideas. For one thing, a good business idea fulfills an unmet customer need, and it is often a need the consumer doesn’t even recognize yet. That may sound odd, but great ideas are often not great until someone invents a product or service.

Determining if a business idea is a good one requires more than just knowing the market will appreciate products or services. The idea must be feasible and realistic in terms of production costs, the time from funding to sales, profitability and safety. A good business idea is also one that can be brought to fruition because the entrepreneurs have the knowledge and skills needed.

There are more qualities associated with good business ideas, but one of the most important is related to innovation. Good business ideas offer a new twist on products or represent creative and innovative new products. The new twist or innovation should represent something that matters to people which means it brings some kind of satisfaction.

There are no hard and fast rules or magic formula to define a good business idea. Instead, investors will consider all of the qualities of the idea coupled with the marketing, competitive and financial factors.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com. , it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need to access a vast network of business people, entrepreneurs, partners and service providers to help you start, finance and run your business, check out Funded.com

Funding Business Expansion through ‘Private Equity Financing’

Expansions are believed to be the best indicator that businesses are doing good. Unfortunately, while every entrepreneur seems to be of the opinion that bigger businesses are always better, the act of expanding a company is easier said than done.

It is easy to determine if a business is ready for expansion. In fact, there is only one major indicator: there is a bigger demand for the product or the service that the company offers. However, having a bigger demand does not necessarily mean that the business owner can easily whip out a plan on how he will expand his or her business – there is a bit of a problem called money.

A business owner would be lucky if he or she has some savings that can be tapped for a business expansion. This is not generally the case. And while there are a lot of options when it comes to financing a business expansion – angel investors, bank loans and support from venture capitalists – there is one option that has started to get attention of business owners over the years: public equity financing.

As the name implies, private equity financing means that an investor would be invited to put his or her money in a business in exchange for a partial ownership of the company.

This in itself would make a lot of entrepreneurs turn around and look for other ways to finance their business. A lot, of course, would not want to hand over the reins of the company that they built to another person in exchange of financing a business expansion.

But looking at it clearly, public equity financing is not as bad as it sounds. For one, agreements between the parties will still have to be forged – meaning one does not necessarily have to hand over the control of the business to the investor as the original owner have an option to retain the majority of the company, thereby putting him or her in direct control of the operations.

One has to keep in mind that investors, at least most of them, are merely concerned with the profits of their investments and would not want to be bothered by the rigors of administrating a business. Moreover, by being technically a part-owner of the company, the original owner will have an assurance that the investor is putting a great deal of interest in the business that also carries his or her name.

This is why public equity financing works both ways in expansions: investors get their bigger profits, while original owner gets to expand his or her business.

Looking for partners

The challenge in public equity financing, like in other forms of investor-related concerns, is for the business owner to find and convince one to be an equity partner in his company.

Finding will not really be a problem, as there are always those who have some extra funds that they intend to invest in a business eyeing expansion. The major concern is to be able to convince them.

In convincing potential equity partners, business owners must keep in mind that they have to convince the former that they will earn profits from their investments. This can be achieved by presenting relevant information as to the operations of the business.

This may include, among others: discussions on the competencies of the current management to handle the expansion, the risk exposure of the equity partners, the business plan and objectives, the financial history and performance of the business.

The entrepreneur should also be ready in negotiating with the terms of the deal, including, as stated earlier, the level of control – or the lack of it – that the equity partner would have once the agreement is in place.

Finally, entrepreneurs must be able to list down his or her reasons for the decision to expand and, more importantly, to utilize public equity financing as a means for the business expansion.

Like what had been repeatedly said, capital for business startups and expansions will never run out – one just has to know what he or she is looking for and, more importantly, where to look for it.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at http://www.funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.http://www.funded.com

 

 

Copyright 2014 Funded.com LLC

Top 5 Most Profitable Industries

Top 5 Most Profitable Industries

The capability of entrepreneurs to effectively and efficiently manage their own businesses is among the requirements to succeed in this field. However, there are other factors that contribute to the actual results of a venture.

One of these, apparently, is the general performance of the sector in which the entrepreneurs establish their businesses. According to a new report, healthcare and the real estate sectors remain the most profitable sectors, comprising almost half of the list.

Despite this, what topped the list is something that is not surprising as deals with money – accounting and other related services. These are some of the most profitable sectors are as follows:

Accounting and related services

There is no denying that proving accounting and related services, such as bookkeeping and payroll services, top the list of most profitable industries at the moment. According to latest reports, the sector has a net profit margin of 19.8 percent – primarily due to high demand and low equipment overhead and equipment costs.

Legal service

Next to accounting, which is also not a surprise, is legal services. With the rise of legal issues arising both between individuals and companies, there is nothing new with reports that among the sectors that reap a big margin is the field legal service. The only surprise, perhaps, is that it did not top the list this year contrary to the last.

Oil extraction; Machinery rental

Tied on the third place are sectors concerned with oil extraction and the leasing/rental of industrial and commercial machinery equipment.

The high ranking of these two is primarily on the current policy that focuses on increased production of crude oil and the rising number of constructions and industrial development in the country in recent years.

Dental services

The fifth on the list, dental services, is quite a surprise. Who would have thought that a specialized sector would be able to compete with, for instance, industries dealing with oil extraction? On another thought, however, the number of people requiring tooth extraction – not to mention other related dental services – will remain a demand so long as the humanity survives.

Real estate leasing; Brokers; Medical service

Tied on the sixth to eighth places are the real estate leasing, real estate brokerage, and the medical profession.

According to latest reports, the improvement of the economy has resulted in the better performance of the housing market, thus the good profit margin of real estate brokers. Moreover, however, this has also pushed the profits of those engaged in rental services, the prices of which have shot up in recent months.

Meanwhile, doctors, as expected, are in the list – primarily due to the increasing population, and partly due to the issues on health and lifestyle that is affecting the new generation.

Other health practitioners; Management companies

Tied for the ninth and tenth spots are other health practitioners and management companies.

Dentists and doctors are not the only ones reaping the increase in profit margin in the past months. Expected to join them are other health practitioners, who are very much needed just like the doctors and dentists in this part of the world.

With the growing trend of businesses outsourcing management strategies to experts, those who have management backgrounds have jumped at the bandwagon and established their own companies that provide the current demand – for a profit, of course.

These ten industries are just some of the most profitable sectors that those who consider establishing businesses – or even just applying for a job – should think about. Runner-up include outpatient care services, schools, real-estate related activities, death care services, and mining support.

 

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.Funded.com
Copyright 2014 Funded.com LLC

Basic Principle of Financing

Poor management is often referred to as the main factor of why businesses fail. Lacking or poorly timed financing is a nearby second. Whether you are a starting up business or expanding your business, adequate capital is important. Yet it is insufficient to essentially have enough financing; understanding and planning are necessary to control it well. These qualities will ensure business owners to avoid mistake like having a wrong type of financing, or underestimating the cost of borrowing money.

Ask yourself this question before inquiring about financing:

  • Do you need more capital or can you work on with your existing cash flow?
  • How do you characterize your need?  Do you need the money because you want to expand? Or as a cushion against risk?
  • How vital is your need? You can get the best terms when you foresee your needs rather than looking for money under pressure.
  • How big is your risk? All businesses suffer from risks and danger, and the level of danger will influence expense and accessible financing plan B.
  • How strong is your management team? Management is the most important element surveyed by money sources.

Possibly most importantly, how does your need for financing mesh with your business plan? If you don’t have a business plan, make writing one your first priority. All capital sources will want to see your plan for the start-up and growth of your business.

Don’t assume all money is similar

There are two types of financing: equity and debt financing. If you are looking for money you should consider your business debt to equity ratio – the difference relatively concerning dollars you’ve borrowed along with dollars you’ve invested in your organization. The harder money masters include invested in the organization, the more it really is for you to entice loan.

If your company has an excessive percentage of equity to debt, you may want to seek debt financing but if your company has a high percentage of debt to equity, experts say you should increase your ownership capital for added funds. In this way you will not be over-leverage to the point of ruining your company’s welfare.

Equity Financing and Venture Capital

Most small scale businesses use limited equity financing but with debt financing, additional equity mostly come from non-professional investors like friends, relatives, employees or customers. However, the most common source of professional equity funding comes from venture capitals. These are institutional risk takers and may be groups of wealthy individuals, government-assisted sources, or major financial institutions. Most specialize in one or a few closely related industries.

Venture capitals are sometimes seen as deep-pocketed financial gurus looking for start-ups in which to invest their money, but they most often prefer three-to-five-year old companies with the potential to become major regional or national concerns and return higher-than-average profits to their shareholders. Venture Capitals earn money by owning equity in the companies it invests in. They generally prefer to influence a business passively, but will react when a business does not perform as expected and may insist on changes in management or strategy. Changing some of the decision-making and some of the potential for profits are the main disadvantages of equity financing.

Debt Financing

Banks, savings and loans, commercial finance companies, and the SBA are some of the sources for debt financing. State and the local government have come up with programs in the recent years to give encouragement to the growth of small business to help increase the economy. Family members, friends, and former associates are all potential sources, especially when capital requirements are smaller.

Banks traditionally have been the major source of small business funding. Their main role has been as a short-term lender offering demand loans, seasonal lines of credit, or single-purpose loans. Banks generally have been unwilling to offer long-term loans to small firms. The SBA guaranteed lending program encourages banks and non-bank lenders to make long-term loans to small firms by decreasing their risk and leveraging the funds they have available. The SBA’s programs have been an integral part of the success stories of thousands of firms nationally.

In addition to equity considerations, investors or lenders mostly require the borrower’s personal guarantees in case of default. This will assure that the borrower has a sufficient personal interest at stake to give attention to the business. For most borrowers this is a burden, but also an obligation.

 
More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.Funded.com
Copyright 2014 Funded.com LLC

Guidelines For Successful Postings

Guidelines For Successful Postings

Rules and Guidelines For Successful Postings

Posting your Funding request is essential part of raising capital as creating your Business Plan. In order for you to get the funding you should be able to catch the eyes of the investors. Here are some tips you can follow to attract Investors and funding providers.

Title. Make your title attractive this is the first section our investors will see. Include the title of your business or invention. Make it enticing and give them something they want to hear and continue reading to your letter.

Posting. Write a short summary of your Business idea or Invention that will catch investor’s attention. Make it 2 to 3 paragraph short and make it concise and simple. Avoid too much information and do not copy and paste your Executive Summary. Your posting is not to be confused with a chat or blog. You are selling you and your business to investors and funding providers to raise capital and any posting that is not about your business is not allowed. Remember, concise and to-the-point.

Attach your Business Plan or Executive Summary. If you are looking for an Angel Investor or Venture Capital make sure you attach your Business Plan don’t wait for the investors to ask your Business Plan. Remember your Business Plan is the eye view of your business/invention.  If you don’t have a Business Plan yet at least upload an executive summary.  (You can use the Free Executive Summary template available upon creating your membership). This will give the investor the immediate reaction that you are serious in getting funds.

Private or Public posting. We have two ways of posting your request either public or private post. If you publically post be aware that everyone who not a member of funded.com will see your postings. While private posting only our registered investors and funding providers can see your funding request.

Avoid Personal Information. Even though we pre-screen funding providers, it is an ever increasingly large group and it is ultimately up to you to protect yourself from anyone saying who they are not and promptly reporting any concerns to us. Therefore we suggest not putting your email or telephone number on a public post. Private postings may not have the traffic like a public posting but is limited to our investor network that is viewing your funding request. Keep in mind that if there are investors that are interested in knowing your business venture they can always email you via funded.com and you will receive an email notification on your personal email if they replied on your posting.

Be patient for responses give some time to our investors to see your request. If you are not getting any responses try to re-write or revised your posting. You may also call us and we can look at your posting and give you tips for success.  Try to be more creative and remember you want to create interest in your business or idea and sometime it takes time for investors and funding providers to notice you, especially the right one that will fund you.

 

 

 

Educate Your Investors: Effective Ways to Secure Business Funding

Educate Your Investors Effective Ways to Secure Business FundingSecuring the nod of potential investors such as angel investors or venture capitalists is not an easy job. Most of the time, they have the money but they are not familiar with the industry that your working for. Prior to pitching your startup, it is important that you have some idea on how you will respond to the queries of your potential investors.

Be ready to answer questions such as: What is the scope of your industry? Why should I invest in your company? How much will I get when I fund your business? What is your edge over other companies?

Being prepared to answer such questions will greatly improve your chances of securing business funding. The key is simply to make the investors understand your industry and where you are coming from. If you do that, there is no doubt that you will be able to get the venture capital that you really need.

Aside from being able to respond to the questions thrown at you, you should also try to observe the following tips on how to effectively educate your potential investors about your industry:

1. Explain your industry in a familiar manner – It is important that your potential investor understands your industry. And you can only do that by explaining it to him or her using a familiar context. For instance, if your industry is something that concerns e-commerce, then you might want to explain it by using a relatively known concept such as trade or marketing.

2. Avoid jargons – When talking about a concept that we are knowledgeable of, Continue reading “Educate Your Investors: Effective Ways to Secure Business Funding”

Secure Business Funding with a Winning Business Plan

Secure Business Funding with a Winning Business PlanA business plan, by definition, is a piece of document that provides details on how a company should function. For some, a single sentence detailing an objective of the startup can be considered as a business plan. This, however, is not the type of plan that a business owner would want to present to a potential investor. So what makes a winning business plan that could assure financial support from potential investors?

To answer this, we must first enumerate and define different types of business plans that an owner can use for different purposes.

1.      Mini-Plan

A mini-plan is a short document that is used to test a business concept or pique the interest of a potential investor or partner. It usually runs from one to ten pages, depending on the type of the business, and contains all key elements and aspects of the company.

A mini-plan is not intended to be a substitute for a full plan. Instead, it can serve as an outline or introduction to a full-length plan that will be produced later on. This plan is definitely not the type of document that you would want to send to a potential investor.

2.      Working Plan

If you are a business owner who want to increase the productivity of your company, then you might want to consider writing a working plan that could complement a well-written mini-plan.

Unlike the mini-plan that is limited to all the key aspects and elements of the company, a working plan is mainly focused on the details of the operations of the company. Continue reading “Secure Business Funding with a Winning Business Plan”