10 Tips For Business Startup Owners

Every entrepreneur can use some advice when it comes to making sure their business startup gets off on the right foot. From the best way to run your business to following your dreams, these tips offer sound recommendations that can help your business startup maintain its operations and find success at every turn.

Sure, your business may run into challenges, and you may make some mistakes along the way, but it is how you recover that matters. Use these tips to your advantage when it comes to ensuring you avoid the pitfalls that others have fallen into as a first-time entrepreneur.

1.      Be Passionate About What You Do

When it comes to business, doing what you love makes it that much easier to do well. Find a business that you can excel at and throw yourself into. You should have an underlying passion for the market, product, service, or brand that you are selling. In order for it to succeed in the market place, you need to believe in it, and then your customers will follow suit.

2.      Believe In Yourself

Every entrepreneur doubts themselves at one time or another, but you need to fully believe in your capabilities. Mistakes are inevitable, but understanding that you will fail at times can help you rebound and move forward with great resilience. Recognize that you have what it takes to make it and send that doubt packing as only when you truly believe in yourself and what you are doing will success come knocking at your door.

3.      Listen To Advice From Others

Many others have come before you with their own business startups. Learn from their challenges and heed their advice. They can allow you to steer clear of potential issues and make it easier for you to operate as a business startup. From finding funding to working with an angel investor, other entrepreneurs have experience that you can gain from and use to your advantage if you are willing to listen.

4.      Watch Your Overhead

You need to realize that you are business startup out of the gate. This means watching your cash flow and setting up shop in that swank office building on 5th Avenue may not be a possibility at this time. Keep things simple and observe your cost structure. You may need cash down the road and being on the hook for high rents or loan commitments can make it difficult to spread your wings. You’ll get there. Have patience and watch for the right opportunity to grow.

5.      Know Your Competition

Ignoring your competition as a business startup will get you nowhere. Be sure to thoroughly investigate everything there is to know about your competition and make your products and services better. Find out where your competitors are lacking and seize this opportunity to secure market share. Knowing your competition can give you that leg up your need to get ahead in the market and appeal to consumers in a new way. Do your homework and keep an eye on your competitors at all times.

6.      Practice Your Pitch

You are the greatest salesperson for your business startup. Whether you are looking to secure funding from an angel investor or looking to gain more customer loyalty, you need to have a pitch on the ready to tell anyone and everyone you come in contact with. Be concise in your approach and be sure to mention your goals, values, and vision. You never know who you’ll meet, and you need to be ready with a pitch that impresses.

7.      Get Out And Network

Networking is a key part of any entrepreneur’s success. Connecting with others in the industry can help you develop relationships that may come in handy for your business startup down the road. Plus, you will continue to learn from these individuals and a new opportunity with one of them may be just around the corner.

8.      Ask For Help

As much as you want to do it all, there comes a time when we all need to ask for help. There is no shame in getting someone involved in your business startup to help take it to the next level. You are going to need help as time goes on to evolve your company and reaching out to someone you trust may be the best thing that you can do for your business startup. You’ll be able to offload some of the burdens and free yourself up to focus on new projects that have been sitting on the back burner.

9.      Continue Learning

With the most successful CEOs reading four to five books a month, taking a page from their playbook can help extend your business startup and move it forward in new ways. Keep the door open and continue to educate yourself by learning from others. Reading books that focus on self-help, business, motivation, leadership, and communication can continue to motivate you and your company. If you keep your learning continuous, you’ll find plenty of new ideas just waiting to be realized.

10. Don’t Give Up

Above all don’t give up on yourself. Even when times get tough, and you feel like throwing in the towel. Take a step back and appreciate how far you have come. If you have the drive and motivation to succeed the potential to make it in the market is there. You need to believe that you can do it and push yourself harder than you have ever done before. With hard work comes success and you are most likely just on the cusp of winning.

 

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com. If you need to access our network of angel investors or a business plan for start-up funding visit  Funded.com

A Guide to Crafting the Perfect Startup Pitch

As an entrepreneur with a unique business idea, your most difficult task is to make others believe in your idea as much as you do. Your knowledge of your business and the passion for its concept reflects in how you pitch your startup. While learning comes from failures, your target should always be to ace your pitch the first time you deliver it. The idea of pitching your business to the experienced investors can be quite daunting. You are standing in front of the people who can look right through you and your words. Any mistakes or misinformation can ruin the opportunity of a successful investment.

If you have watched a few episodes of the Shark Tank, you would know how brutal investors can be with their probing and reprimanding. While their harsh words can be quite painful, the more disappointing part is when you are not able to get the investment you want.

Regardless of all the internal and external forces, favoring and non-favoring odds, it is your perfect pitch that can win the investors over. What you need to focus on is how you can craft the perfect pitch that has the thinnest chances of being turned down by potential investors. Here are the tips that will help.

7 Tips to Craft and Deliver the Most Successful Business Startup Pitch

1)    Keep Your Pitch Short

Do whatever it takes—hire professionals or spend hundreds of hours brainstorming—but come up with a shortened, succinct and most effective version of your pitch. Don’t make your investors yawn. Split your pitch into three to four different phases and transition through them smoothly. For example, split your pitch into four parts that could look like this:

  • Tell the story how it started.
  • Explain clearly what your product/service is.
  • Give out numbers i.e. revenue, sales, profits, losses etc.
  • State the size of the investment you are looking for and explain what the purpose for which you need the said amount.

So, you could give 2 and half minutes to every part and complete your pitch in 10 minutes. Increase the time for the section which you believe needs more attention.

2)    Be VERY Clear about Your Product/Service

One of the biggest mistakes that startup teams make is not being able to explain the idea they are selling. It can often happen when you divide your product/service into multiple sections with each section solving a different problem. If you are not able to explain your product/service clearly, it is an indication of one of the two problems or both: 1) you have not worked on your pitch and 2) you don’t know your service/products very well yourself. As soon as the investors feel lost during your pitch, consider the opportunity lost too.

3)    Know Your Target Market and Product’s Uniqueness

Many entrepreneurs’ pitches have turned into nightmares because of this particular point. It is like an interviewer asking you, “Why should we hire YOU?” There might be many other products similar to yours in the market without you knowing about them. What you have to know is what makes yours unique/different.

You must also know the market you are targeting with your product. Keep in mind that investors are often not interested in products that only target a niche market. Take the example of selling Christmas trees that only sell in the Christmas season—indicates a niche market, a limited product.

4)    Know Your Numbers

If you have not done your homework on your numbers, you have no chance of getting an investor interested in your product. It’s sad but true. In fact, some investors are only interested in numbers as they believe it’s the numbers that tell the real story, not the business owner him/herself. Know your revenues, sales, losses, incomes, etc. Make sure you know your profits and revenues regarding months, quarters and years. If they ask you how much profit you made in last three months, you must come up with an answer immediately.

5)    Be Clear on How You Intend to Spend the Money

This section is where the investors will gauge how trustworthy you are and how good you are as a person in the leading position for your business. Of course, if you want money for your business you must also know where you are going to spend it. A few things that investors are trying to find out by asking “how you are going to spend the money” are as under:

  • You aren’t asking for money just because you haven’t been able to take a paycheck from your business.
  • You are not going to use the money to pay for debts and old investments.
  • You are not going to use the investment money for a business process that will not contribute to business’ growth and expansion.

If your demand for money ends up being for any of the reasons mentioned above, you are likely to be rejected for your investment.

6)    Show Your Passion

Barbara Corcoran, successful businesswoman and investor, says that she looks at the enthusiasm and passion of an entrepreneur for their business. She believes that you cannot fake passion. Whether you are pitching through an online platform or live in front of the investors, your passion can get them interested in your business even if it is not something they have done before.

7)    Choose the Right Platform

In today’s digital world, you can gather funds from investors through an online platform, which is the most popular and successful way for entrepreneurs to gather funds for their start-ups. However, when it comes to choosing the platform, you must pick one that has a reliable network of investors, significant traffic, reputable online image and great exposure for startups. One that fulfills all these requirements and more is Funded. Funded is currently one of the best and most reliable platforms for startups, especially when it comes to angel investors.

Final Word

As a startup, the presence and preparation of your competitors might be intimidating at first, but that’s what you need to change about yourself. Your competitors might have reached to a bigger network of investors, more inventory and better technologies to support their mission, but what can make the difference is your passion and confidence in your startup pitch.

 

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com. If you need to access our network of angel investors or a business plan for start-up funding visit  Funded.com

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 Funded.com. it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept. If you need to access a network of angel investors or business plans for start-up funding visit  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. it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept. If you need to access a network of angel investors or business plans for start-up funding visit  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. If you need to access a network of angel investors or business plans for start-up funding visit  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. If you need to access a network of angel investors or business plans for start-up funding visit  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

Copyright2013 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.

 

 

 

Five Common Mistakes When Pitching to a Potential Investor

Five Common Mistakes When Pitching to a Potential Investor It’s not often that business owners get the chance to pitch their startups to potential investors. Unfortunately, rare as the chances were, many owners fail to grab the opportunity that was given to them by committing serious mistakes that drive the investors away.

Here are the five common flaws committed by owners when pitching to potential investor:

Answering the wrong questions

Most of the time, the bulk of the discussion between the entrepreneur and the potential investor are centered on the description of the business and its operations. Unfortunately, most investors are not primarily interested with the “what” and the “how” of the business. Rather, they are more interested in hearing the answer to questions such as, “What will they get once they invest in your business?”

Failing to know more about the investor

Business owners who are desperate for financial support tend to grab every opportunity that they see. This is a very wrong thing to do. Sometimes, Continue reading “Five Common Mistakes When Pitching to a Potential Investor”

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”