10 Tips For Business Startup Owners

Owners

Every business owners 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, the owners 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 business owners doubt 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

Business owners need to realize that you are business startup out of the gate. This means watching the 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 the cost structure. It may need cash down the road and being on the hook for high rents or loan commitments can make it difficult to spread the wings. 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 owners business startup and move it forward in new ways. Keep the door open and continue to educate their selves by learning from others. Reading books that focus on self-help, business, motivation, leadership, and communication can continue to motivate them and their company. If keep their learning continuous, they’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.

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5 Details Angel Investors Look For In A Business Plan

plan

As a business startup, you have no doubt developed a business plan that outlines your need for funding to get your company off the ground. While you may have a clear purpose and objective, angel investors are looking for specific details that let them know that your business start-up has what it takes to make it in the marketplace.

With a seed investor seeing hundreds of business plan proposals each year, you need to make sure yours hits the high notes and resonates with them. This means that you have to hone in on what is important to them and help them see why they need to put their funding dollars into your business. Use these tips to enhance your business plan and garner the attention of an angel investor for your business start-up.

Industry Experience

Angel investors are savvy when it comes to industry experience, and they want to see that you have what it takes to make it in the marketplace. They want entrepreneurs that have intimate knowledge of the industry they are looking to break into and have even worked in a similar business for a time or two. This can help your business plan sing as you are able to relate your experience to what your business should and shouldn’t do to succeed.

Market Need

Using your business plan to show that there is a definite market need for your product or service can help your angel investor see the potential of your business start-up. They will easily understand the consumer problem you are looking to solve and see how your offerings fit the bill. Be detailed in your references and be sure to show how the market will respond to the availability of your product or service.

Competitor Knowledge

Knowing your competitors is key to understanding where you will stand out and separate yourself from the pack. Remember that your private investor may not be as fluent in your competitors as you are and you need to break it down in your business plan for them to grasp as fully as you. This can prove to be beneficial in gaining the funding your need to grow your business.

Business Traction

Showing what your business startup has done so far to generate revenues is a boon for potential angel investors to see. This lets them know you are on the right track and that your company has traction. Be sure to detail all your revenue streams as well as any upcoming deals you have secured to ensure they see the big picture of your business’ potential.

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What Sets a Small Business Apart from a Large Business?

You probably hear terms like ‘small business’ and ‘large business’ quite commonly whether you are looking for software solutions, investment opportunities or something else. Sometimes, it can be difficult for business owners to figure out if what they own is a small business or a large one. The confusion is valid because you don’t often find clear definitions to help you distinguish one from the other. However, it is essential to know the difference so you can pick the right services. This is because most service providers design their service packages differently for small and large companies. There are also other reasons why you would want to know their differences.

Why Know the Difference

You need to know the size of your company because of the laws that apply to these entities. Large businesses have to follow a different set of rules and regulations than small businesses. In addition to that, several federal programs are available that are different for small businesses and large businesses. As an example, you won’t qualify for certain programs unless you are officially a small business and are entitled to the program. You can get into trouble if you think your business is small but the government deems it otherwise.

Also, keep in mind that when you operate as a small business, but spend like a big one, you can put your venture in trouble. So, what sets the two apart from each other?

The Differences between Small and Large Businesses

The Size

How do you determine the size? How do you know that the size of your business is small or large? The federal government has its ways of determining the size of a business. They will look at either the number of employees you have or your yearly receipts. However, the standards are not uniform across industries.

What this means is that a small business in one industry might not be small in some other industry. In most cases, your average yearly receipts have to be over $7 million for the federal government to treat your business as a large one. The number of your employees should be more than 500 for your business to be considered large.

However, this standard of 500 employees is more applicable to the manufacturing and mining industry. However, keep in mind the varying standards across industries. For instance, in some service industries, your yearly receipts could amount to over $21 million, but the federal government will still not consider your entity as a small business. The agriculture industry’s standards can be quite the opposite of that with the government treating businesses with average yearly receipts of more than $500,000 as large businesses.

The same rule applies to the number of employees as well. For example, if you are a part of the wholesale industry, and you have more than 100 employees, your business could be termed as a large business. On the other hand, if you are in the manufacturing industry, the government will write you down in its books as a small business even if you have 1,500 employees.

Internal Structure and Hierarchy

A large business will often have a more clearly defined structure and hierarchy. Almost every case in question will go through various departments before the company comes to a final decision. On the other hand, the structure is not fully defined or is not as detailed. The employees and the owner are not too far from each other. A complaint from a customer can reach from an agent to the owner pretty conveniently. On the other hand, there are several roles beneath the manager that can handle numerous tasks and take decisions.

Due to the hierarchy that normally exists in large businesses, they often delay their decisions. Contrary to that, small businesses take their decisions very quickly. The hierarchical structure also gives rise to a culture of workers performing their respective tasks only. In a small business, the same person could have multiple roles.

Financing Options

There is a stark difference between the financing options that small business and large business owners choose. Large business owners have good PR, a name in the market and some level of dominance in the industry. Such a position allows them to go for options like investment banks. They can naturally attract well-known investors of the country as well when they are in need of finance.

On the other hand, small business owners try to avoid bank loans because of the hardships they face when it comes to paying back debt. In most cases, small business owners rely more on their savings or funding from someone in their family.

Salaries and Perks

Since large businesses are financially more independent, they can offer their employees attractive packages and benefits. Health insurance, dental insurance, yearly bonuses, provident funds, etc. are just some incentives that employees at large companies enjoy.

On the other hand, people working at a small company do not get such benefits in most cases. They can have attractive salaries, but a small business owner cannot afford medical insurance and comprehensive benefits for employees. It is one of the reasons why most of the people working at a small company often look for opportunities at large companies.

Nowhere does it say that small businesses have less potential for growth and expansion than large businesses. For this reason, small business owners should be confident in their efforts to grow. While large businesses have access to big bank loans and broad markets, even a small mistake in their predictions and estimates can result in huge losses.

On the other hand, small business owners face smaller risks when you consider the volume of their loss. Be sure to identify your business size and take advantage of all the benefits that the federal government has made available for small businesses.

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4 Ways An Angel Investor Can Benefit Your Startup

If your startup business needs a boost to propel it forward and into the market, an angel investor may be able to give you the financial help you need to make your dream a reality. While it will take effort, a great pitch, and a stellar business plan to garner their attention, once you do, you have much to gain from their knowledge and experience besides just financial capital for your company.

Consider your angel investor the sounding board for the big decisions you have to make. They will help you keep your business on a path to success and give you the confidence as well as accountability every step of the way. Your startup business could benefit in a big way from an angel investor as you’ll find they have much to offer in relation to running a solid business.

Advice and Guidance

Angel investors are a wealth of knowledge and can provide that guidance you need to steer your startup business in the right direction. While their business funding may allow you to open your doors, their continual advice will help you maintain your operations for the long haul. They most likely have assisted others in their business ventures and can help you avoid mistakes that might be costly to yours.

Networking Connections

Having a partnership with an angel investor immediately gives you access to a flurry of network connections that can help you accelerate your business. They know other investors as well as individuals that may be interested in joining forces to help get your business off the ground, giving you the opportunity to advance in the market.

Marketplace Awareness

Along with their industry network, you’ll also be able to take advantage of your angel investor’s expertise when it comes to knowing the market. They most likely will have intimate knowledge about your competitors and what trends are making waves this season. They can allow you an inside look at how your startup business can reap the rewards of similar strategies and gain you valuable market share in the process.

Creditability

Attaching your startup business to an angel investor can work wonders for your reputation. It can add instant creditability and make others stop and take notice. Angel investors are well known in their community, and you will be too as you attach your business to their name.

Working with an angel investor can allow your startup business to flourish beyond just business funding with them. You’ll have access to them, their contacts, and their generousity, making you a little wiser about the market and how you can succeed in it.

 

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

Secret to Finding Angels Investors: Great Business Plan

One of the most daunting tasks for business startup owners is finding an angel investor who would be willing to finance the bulk of the company’s expenses. And while there are a lot of possible investors out there, the number of people competing for these opportunities is also huge.

In fact, some information regarding investments showed that less than 10 percent of business startups in the United States get the nod of the most sought after angel investors in the land. This figure, however, should not discourage business owners who are competing for some financial support from investors. After all, one in every ten applicants gets the nod of an angel investor.

The question, therefore, is how will business owners ensure that they will be the one who will get the coveted nod of an angel investor? The answer is simple – a good business plan!

While angel investors take into consideration a number of things, one of the most important criteria that they look at is the business plan. Thus, having a well-polished plan is something that business startups need to have, especially if they want to secure the support of an angel investor.

There are a number ways to come up with an investor-ready business plan. But one of the first things that the entrepreneur must look at is the actual idea for the business.

Ideas should not be the one-paragraph description of what the entrepreneur wants the business to be. Rather, it should be as detailed as possible so that it covers items such as the target market, marketing strategy, capital allocation, and return of investment for possible business partners.

Having a detailed business idea is a good start into coming up with a business plan. This will assure possible investors that you are serious about the business and are not just toying around with the idea.

Ideas are one thing, but a detailed understanding of the things that would have to be done to make the idea a real thing is another. Angel investors prefer the latter.

Once, would-be business owners have a detailed idea regarding the comings and goings of the proposed business, then this is the good to time come up with a good business plan.

Business plans are actual documents that detail a number of things that angel investors want to see. In addition to the description of the proposed business, the plan should also include a step-by-step process on how the objectives and vision of the company will achieve.

It is necessary for the business plan to be detailed, but not long enough to bore the angel investors to death. Moreover, it should be written in a way that the investors will understand its contents.

Having a good business plan is a good way to attract angel investors. Therefore, business owners must thrive to come up with something that will entice possible partners to enter into an agreement with the company.

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

Four ways to secure the nod of angel investors

Securing an investment from an angel investor is considered as one of the most difficult aspects of establishing a business startup. For many, this is even harder than coming up with a good idea for a successful business venture.

Fortunately, there are numerous angel investors out there who can provide financial support to business startups that have potential to make it big in the market. But for entrepreneurs, the common problem is not finding them. Rather, they have a hard time securing the nod of these angel investors. Here are some ways to improve an entrepreneur’s pitch in order to be able to secure investments from angel investors:

Know the audience

A business pitch should vary depending on the character of the potential angel investor. Entrepreneurs should not rely heavily on a “standard pitch” and develop something that could connect more to the possible partners. A pitch should vary depending on various factors such as age, gender, background, and knowledge on the specific market, among others.

Be in charge

Business owners must show to their potential angel investors that they are the ones in charge of the startup. One can get the trust – and later on the deal – by showing that he or she can effectively manage the business to make it successful. In order to do this, business owners must show their expertise on the market as well as exude confidence that the venture will succeed.

Entrepreneurs, however, are cautioned not to show too much confidence on the business. After all, potential angel investors prefer realistic figures over imaginary ones.

Present relevant information

During presentation of business pitches, a number of business owners often start by presenting too much information as regards the market and the business operations itself. Most of the time, this approach is seen as a move that often ends the potential deal. Rather than presenting too much information, entrepreneurs must stick to basic data that will inform angel investors about the market and keep them interested.

Among these data include the current status of the market, as well as the basic figures concerning the business such as the capital and potential revenue in a matter of years.

Be practical

Finally, business owners must keep it practical when presenting before potential angel investors. While it is necessary to inform them of the business operations, going through every single detail of the business is not an appropriate content for a pitch. Instead, entrepreneurs should just highlight the said information and ask the potential partners if they want to know more about this.

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

Angel Investors Offer More Than Money

Angel investors are known for investing billions of dollars investing in start-ups and have funded tens of thousands of small businesses. So it’s reasonable that entrepreneurs developing business plans will associate angel investors with money first. Yet angel investors have a lot more to offer business than just financing. They also have entrepreneurial skills, market knowledge and business savvy, which are all assets that new businesses can and should use to their benefit.

Angels spent considerable amount of time in a process called due diligence. They use their knowledge and business analysis skills evaluating business plans with two goals in mind: earn a designated return of investment and limit risk of loss. Investors consult with a number of professionals and get expert advice from a network of attorneys, accountants, business analysts and investor associates. For every entrepreneur initial rejection of funding by potential investor can also be an opportunity. Opportunity to learn from the reason of rejection, the business plan can be perfected for future requests using the information gleaned from the review process.

If the business plan is accepted, many angel investors offer time and advice as well as money. It’s not a case of interfering in the business or its management but rather a case of providing insight based on management and business experience. Most business owners welcome this insight as having enormous value. Angel investors giving feedback, mentoring entrepreneurs and promoting business growth are giving entrepreneurs assets that are at least as valuable as money for business growth. For some businesses, they are more valuable.

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

Typical Angel Investor? Is there such thing?

Typical Angel Investor

Have you wondered where angel investor come from and what type of people to deal with and present your plan to?  Is  it a Donald Trump type of person – flashy and quite wealthy? Or is it someone more like your neighbour down the street who is quietly amassed a small fortune yet live prudently? The truth is angel investor could be either a person or a group of people.

The stereotype of an angel investor is someone who is a hardened business entrepreneur who has amassed great wealth but is always ready to earn more. Picture someone who is swoops in, evaluates the business plan, does some inquiries and then funds a start up with the expectation of high returns. In reality,  the angel investor may not be  as wealthy as you think but they are financially savvy. Most are still employed but they are looking for a way to grow their money by promoting innovative new business.

Angel investors fill a gap that exists between the venture capitalist and the commercial lender. Venture capitalists and financial institutions lend larger amounts with the former willing to accept high risk and the latter expecting minimized risk. Many angel investors invest smaller amounts of money, $20,000 instead of $200,000, but there are no limits so $500,000 up to $2 million is possible. They don’t want to play an active role in the business, but do have business savvy. Mostly they just want to make money.

Angel investors are also groups of people who pool their money to fund startup businesses. They include investment clubs, professional groups like doctors or lawyers and even other entrepreneurs. The reason there is a bit of mystery surrounding angel investors is simply because they keep a low profile, so are difficult to categorize. What you do know is that they are financially savvy, thorough in their evaluation of businesses and hopeful of earning a high return on their investments. So don’t stereotype angel investors because they can be anyone.

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

The power of ‘value proposition’ over angel investors

All entrepreneurs know that angel investors rely on business plans in coming up with a decision to whether or not approve a funding request. Unfortunately, while this knowledge is already known to many, a lot of business owners still have a hard time crafting an exceptional plan.

The problem is with the content. More often than not, entrepreneurs only focus on what they believe are the most important aspects of the business plan: the company’s history, its marketing strategies, and its financial reports and outlook. While these are all necessary in convincing the investor that his or her money will be on the right hands, it lacks an important element that could mean the difference between a yes and a no – the value proposition.

The value proposition is an element in the business plan that defines why the consumers would avail of the product or the service. It provides the “benefits” that the purchase of goods or services would provide for the consumers.

This is something that an angel investor would want, as it would differentiate the business from its competitors. Moreover, it would provide potential investors with an idea on how the business fares when it comes to the alignment of its operations with the market.

Having a carefully crafted value proposition could attract more investors to provide funding for the company. For instance, a consulting firm would not be able get the nod of an investor if its value proposition is limited to statements such as, “it could help customers get a high return on investment.”

A better proposition would be, “customers will be able to experience an improvement of return of investment by using the company’s state-of-the-art and up-to-date propriety software and equipment.”

By tweaking the value proposition to provide a clearer picture of the business’ understanding of its target market, entrepreneurs would be able to convince angel investors that it is ready to accept financial support for possible expansion.

At the end of the day, the business plan remains the most important weapon that business owners can use to convince angel investors to pour money into their businesses. Having a carefully crafted value proposition within the plan would ensure that the business has a good chance of getting that evasive nod from an angel investor.

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

Business Plan Starts with a Mission to Succeed

Business Plan

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 fulfilment of the mission. A change of proposal is merely a strategy for keeping the business on track to fulfil 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 access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.http://www.funded.com