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Writing business plans to find angel investors interested in funding internet entrepreneurship is similar but not identical to writing proposals for brick-and-mortar only businesses.  A company that is going to be operated solely online still needs a strategic business plan that defines the business in detail, identifies market strategies to build a customer base, analyzes competition, lays out the operations and management plan and presents the financial plan. However, there’s a twist because investors will want to know how you plan on making your website stand out in a very crowded electronic superhighway and how you plan to attract and keep customers, who you will never meet, on the website long enough to spend money. There are millions of websites already up and running, but due to a lack of business planning they are virtually alone in a virtual world.

A strategic business plan for an internet based company must include the traditional business information, but it also requires planning for online design and content, online marketing strategies, website support and upgrades, online product ordering and security. Even planning for customer service has unique features in that contact will be primarily electronic. Angel investors will want to know how you will blend online and offline promotion strategies to insure maximum exposure. Internet marketing strategies address the marketing funnel in which customers are attracted to the website and then moved along a narrowing path to ordering and payment using a variety of well-designed enticements. A well thought out business plan for an internet based business addresses plans for accessing the right kind of business management technology to insure sales are captured using a virtual gateway and online shopping cart.

In other words, angel investors will review the business plan for thoroughness on two levels instead of one – traditional and electronic. Just because the business will be internet based doesn’t mean you can skip the traditional strategic planning. It only means you need to expand and integrate the unique features and requirements of an online business.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at 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.

Writing Business Plans that (Really) Matter

Business plans are not all alike and neither are angel investors, venture capitalists and loans. Then why do so many business plans seem like carbon copies of each other? Rubber stamping, so to speak, a business plan and only changing the names isn’t going to generate much interest among savvy investors. How many small businesses are ready to become the next corporate success story, but can’t seem to get investor interest? There are plenty, and many will never get a chance to find success because their business plans don’t pique the interest of angel investors or any other investor for that matter. The business plans are just too ordinary and fail to convey the uniqueness of the new idea, concept, product or service.

If you took a test and it said to name the most common mistake made on business plans, would you know the answer? The answer is: The business plan begs for money but doesn’t beg for understanding. A business plan is much more than a plea for money. It’s a driver’s manual that defines goals and objectives while providing the road map to a new destination. If the directions are clear and point right towards what makes your idea market unique, investors can’t get lost on their way to the endpoint. That’s where the financing waits. Focus on what makes your concept unique and prove you have carefully thought through the components of success – people, opportunity, context or relationship to industry and market, risks and rewards. In other words, write a business plan that really matters and not just one that fills in the blanks and makes a pitch for money. Don’t be ordinary…be unique. It’s what entrepreneurship is all about.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at 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.

Pros and Cons of having an Angel Investors

Pros and Cons of having an Angel Investors

Financing a business can be a hard task, especially if you do not have the finances to begin with. But the lack of funding should not hinder you from realizing your dream of launching your own business and becoming a successful entrepreneur. With so many financing options available to everyone, all you need to do is explore your options and see which one will suit your profile and your financial capacity. One financial vehicle worth checking out though is angel investors. When getting an Angel Investors it’s like choosing your business partner. Few questions that you need to ask yourself before deciding to go for an Angel Investors. Can you work with them? What can they give you? Is the deal they are offering sounds fair to you? Is the location accessible to you? Now, that we know the question that we need to ask ourselves. Let’s now discuss the pros and cons of having an Angel Investors.

Some  advantages of having an Angel Investors are they prefer to fund High risk businesses. They want to invest huge amount money and would understandably require you to give up huge portion of the ownership and profits. Business angels make investments in virtually all industry sectors. Sector aside, however, it should be noted that what most attracts angels to an investment is high growth potential. Some Angels are also more flexible in their financial decisions than venture capitalists and they have different investment criteria, longer investment horizons, shorter investment processes, and lower targeted rates of return. Raising funds from business angels does not involve the high fees incurred when raising funds from financial institutions. Most Angels also has business experience and so they teaches young business entrepreneur to succeed. This free assistance and advice from an investor is priceless for young entrepreneurs starting out and would not normally be affordable by other means. Angels can be found everywhere unlike Venture Capital which is more formal to the market. Obtaining money from a business angel has a leveraging effect in that it makes the investee firm more attractive to other sources of possible finance. Angel investments certainly heighten venture capital interest in such ventures. They are also instrumental thanks to the loan guarantees they offer their investee firms, in addition to the money they personally invest.

The disadvantage of Angels Investors are less likely to make follow-on investments in the same firm. Unlike, venture capitalists spend around two-thirds of their funds on expansion funding of their existing portfolio firms. Angels also prefer to have a say in the running of the firm, which may force the entrepreneur to give up some degree of control and some may have limited expertise in running the particular type on investee firm they fund, making their contribution less value-added and more interfering. A very few Angel Investors may turn out to be “devils” who have self-serving motives for investment, rather than promoting the good of the firm. Unlike many venture capital firms, Angel Investors do not have the national reputation and prestige of a big-name institution, which can be crucial if the firm is successful enough to seek assistance from an investment bank for a private placement or IPO.

Angel Investors are risking huge amounts of money and would understandably require you to give up huge portion of the ownership and profits. Most business and financing experts suggest that you explore your options first and try to apply for a small business loan through government agencies like the Small Business Administration (SBA). But if you are willing to get an angel investor in, make sure that you and your financing partner iron out the details of your partnership before you finalize the business launching and take his or her money to fuel the start up. You can also check out some angel investors network to increase you’re to increase your chances of landing one angel as well.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at 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.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at 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.

Right Investor for the Right Business

Right Investor for the Right Business

We often asked ourselves how and where to find the right investors for our new business. Choosing the right investors is like looking for your perfect mate, finding the right financial adviser can be tricky, especially if you lack experience. It helps if you know what you’re looking for: Finding an adviser you trust and respect is critical, experts say, so don’t just sign on with the first person you meet. But how do you really know the right investor for your business. The first investor that you will consider is your family member; however at some point it’s not always a good idea. Money matters are a very serious subject, and that is one you want to avoid if you want to have a good relationship with your family. Put your relationships first and look elsewhere for business investments. So, who do you look for? Here are some people or group of people you may want to consider.

Lending Clubs, this is the easiest way of getting financial support. Lending clubs are made up of a bunch of investors that loan out money to people and businesses with good credit. They are a great resource and should be the first place you look.

Commercial Banks, if you are putting up a new business you may want to consider asking for a bank loan. Before doing so you will need to have put together a solid business plan before you ever hope to get financing.

Partnership, if you are having a hard time looking for a private investor to finance you, you may want to consider looking for a partner. You may encounter a silent type partner whom they let you run your business or an active partner, who is very much involved in running your business. The best place to look for a partner is at chamber of commerce or you may want to join an organization or group of business minded individuals.

Angel Investors, One of the most common people that you will encounter if you are starting up a business. Angel investors are wiling to invest on small businesses. Angel investors will provide you with funding however; they will be in close contact with you to make sure that their investment is going in the right direction.

Venture Capital, most venture capitalist usually invests on established businesses but if you are able to convince them to invest then you should consider yourself lucky. However, if they say no, these people will able to refer with other private investors that are willing to invest on small start up business.

Remember that in order to find the right investor, you should have a very detailed business plan to present. Investors will provide funds and expertise, but they will not advise you on how to write a good business plan. The key is, don’t be timid or afraid to ask. People will help you if you just ask and if you ask enough people you won’t have any problems finding a private investor for your startup small business.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at 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 out

Control and Angel Investors

As you consider the various types of funding for a new businesses or business expansion, one of the important questions that arise concerns control. How much and how often will the angel investors get involved in your business once the funding is approved? The answer depends on a lot of factors including the negotiated terms and the success of the enterprise that is funded.

Many angel investors aren’t interested in having a say in day-to-day operations. They simply want you to accomplish what the business plan said you would accomplish and earn the investment return that is expected.  The investors know what progress is being made because you will have to submit financial and performance reports on a pre-established basis. This is true for all types of investors whether they are angel investors, equity partners, venture capitalists or banks giving business loans

Security Issues

Control issues really come down to how secure the angel investors feel about the success of your enterprise.  Though it goes without saying that investors approving start up funding or business funding for expansion believe the projects will succeed, they are savvy enough to know there is always a degree of risk. The higher the risks, the more control the angel investors will require.

A solid business plan will be realistic and a profit must be shown at some point even if not the first year or two. The best plans though are not guarantees the initial forecasts will be met. The types of control angel investors may require include the following:

  • Passive investing in which investors providing business funding rely on the quarterly, monthly and annual reports and have virtually no contact with the business management or board of directors
  • Passive investing in which investors are available for consultation when requested
  • Active investing in which angel investors sit on the board of directors and have full voting rights
  • Active/passive investing in which the angel investors advise the board of directors as mentors
  • Active investing in which the angel investors assume an executive management position like Chief Executive Officer

The Full Gamut of Control

As you can see, angel investor control runs the full gamut from no participation to running the company.  Some investors will take control of the majority share of stock to gain full control of the company like equity partners; however, that is not the preference of most angel investors. They are not investing to become business owners, but rather to make money. In addition, if there is more than one angel investor, the group may designate a single representative as the primary contact.

The control issue can be one of the more difficult areas to negotiate at times. Though an entrepreneur needs money, he or she doesn’t want to give up control of their vision or dream. You can take care of that issue by submitting a solid well thought out business plan that is realistic.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at  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

Private Equity Financing for Major Projects

If you are looking for private equity financing for a major acquisition or business expansion project, the best approach is to use a firm that raises this type of financing for businesses. There are many good reasons for making this recommendation, and they are all for the benefit of the business needing an injection of capital.

  • Can identify the private equity financing groups that are most likely to be interested in your expansion plans
  • Shortens the time frame for finding and landing project money
  • Able to streamline the proposal process because have knowledge of what particular investors require before considering a proposal
  • Can assist business through all phases of the request process
  • Saves business time and money by handling many of the time consuming steps required in the search for investment money
  • Understands the entire process from beginning to end

In fact, a professional that specializes in finding financing for major business expansions or projects can also assess the availability of other types of funding including venture capital, business loans, and even angel investors. The process involves much more than just submitting a business plan. You have to balance the timing of the request, marketing efforts, selection of potential funders, negotiation process and the closing of the deal.

Experience Equates to Time Saving Efforts

It’s true that the process of finding funding from any type of investor including private equity, venture capital, angel investors or business loans can be time consuming. It’s a process that cannot be rushed but it can certainly be streamlined. Each phase of the process can be approached methodically and with a well defined strategy which leads to a targeted and thorough proposal.

Many companies have the expertise needed to be successful at producing products or services which is why they are looking for new funding. Yet many of these same companies do not have fund raising experience. The lack of experience can seriously delay the process. There are a number of steps that must be taken and using a professional that understands these steps makes success more likely and more likely to occur sooner.

Every Step of the Way

Following are some of the major phases that must be completed when applying for private equity.

  • Complete accurate valuation of business and business expansion project
  • Identify the potential financing alternatives
  • Prepare time schedule
  • Develop in-depth marketing plan
  • Market the proposal to funders
  • Respond to funder questions
  • Meet with prospective funders
  • Prepare and review financing proposals
  • Negotiate final terms
  • Prepare legal documents
  • Close
  • Identify reporting requirements

When searching for private equity, startup funding or any other type of business funding, businesses will find that using professionals experienced at raising funding can benefit the entire process from beginning to end. If you are like most businesses, once you decide the funding is needed there is no time to waste.

Successfully Attracting Angel Investors

Successfully attracting angel investors, venture capital or equity partners requires well defined strategies that prove necessity of funding and a likelihood of profitability. Finding startup funding or major project funding can be challenging, and no one should tell you otherwise. The success of your search will be highly dependent on your ability to state your case and then back it up with in-depth analysis of the business or project based on realistic data and information.

A common mistake entrepreneurs make is using faulty data in the business plan. Angel investors are savvy and have been around the block (so to speak). In other words, investors willing to give a stranger business funding for a proposal have almost certainly developed business acumen and can spot unrealistic projections in a marketing plan or financial plan. Your business plan will be closely scrutinized and each number must be backed up with economic, marketing and financial information collected through research.  It’s unfortunate that many promising proposals submitted to angel investors are turned down simply because the projections make claims that are obviously unobtainable.

Would You Ask a Banker?

One test you can give your business plan is to ask if you would be willing to submit the proposal to a banker considering business loans. The analysis that requests for bank business loans get is always in-depth and thorough. There will be dozens of forms to complete, background and credit checks ordered, and economic data compared to the data in the business plan. Business funding or startup funding is only approved when you are able to provide:

  • Appropriate analysis of the market as well as finances related to the business
  • Detailed support for claims of potential profitability
  • Investment alternatives including angel investors or venture capital
  • Clear investor entry and exit strategy
  • Clearly written descriptions of business activities
  • Convincing arguments for investing in the enterprise

The convincing arguments for investing are critical to funding approval. The business descriptions and financial statements are essential to obtaining funding, but just as important are the arguments you make. The written and oral arguments are equally important too. You ability to communicate your business vision and need to angel investors and equity partners can make or break the deal. It is a critical component of the art of negotiation.

Making a Case for Private Money

The bottom line is that approaching angel investors is the same as approaching bankers and other types of lenders. The only difference is that the angel investors are considering giving you private money. Anytime you are asking someone to lend personal funds, the presentation of your idea must be well planned and efficient. It is the first real experience your business will have in the competitive business world.

Start Up Business Funding – Don’t Take No for an Answer

Your cousin Lou has told you that he wishes he could help out but start up business funding is out of the question. There’s the mortgage to pay and gas prices are rising and the kids need braces and on and on the excuses go. You received the same answer from Aunt Sally, your best friend Dave and even your own father. You have a great idea for a new business but can’t seem to convince anyone to help you get it off the ground.

Many entrepreneurs are rich in great ideas and have plenty of enthusiasm and a willingness to do what it takes to succeed. But desire and excitement are not dollars, and that is what is needed to get any business off the ground. Finding startup funding can be one of the most difficult challenges faced.  You haven’t proven yourself to potential investors, but you can’t prove yourself unless they give you business funding. It’s the proverbial catch-22. It reminds you of the time you were looking for your first job and the employers told you that you had to have experience first!

Plenty of Options for Those Who Persevere

Many entrepreneurs exhaust all of their own money before they even start looking for outside investors for start up business funding. If you were lucky enough to convince some of your family and friends to invest in your new business, there is still a good chance it was not enough money. That means you have to find other sources of funding in order to take the business to the next level which may include buying inventory, purchasing equipment, or making the next 6 months of payroll. The thought of your business never getting off the ground or coming to a screeching halt is distressing to say the least.

Fortunately, you have plenty of options when it comes to funding sources. Given the complexity of convincing financial institutions or private investors to invest in a tight credit market and limping economy, it is always best to get professional assistance. Gaining access to a network of funders is critical, and like any “private” club you need an introduction.

What are these sources of funding?

  • Angel investors and angel organizations – Earthly angel investors are really private investors willing to invest their own funds in fledgling businesses. The often invest in the form of equity or convertible debt. They truly seem like angels when you need funding, but these angels are investing because they believe they can get a higher rate of return by investing in your company as opposed to investing in traditional financial tools. Many angel investors are also interested in promoting businesses in which they have personal experience or a special interest.
  • Business Loans – These are loans from financial institutions like banks. Despite what you read, the banks are lending to businesses. But since credit is still tight due to the recession, you improve your chances of success by accessing those banks with a record of lending through the recession. That is where a professional can be of invaluable assistance in locating funds domestically or globally.
  • Venture Capital – Venture capital is money that is loaned by a venture capital firm or individual. Larger amounts usually come from firms. These firms are often looking for start-up businesses that have high potential for fast growth and early returns. They take an equity position in your business meaning the venture capitalists take part ownership. But there are innumerable ways to structure the financing and equity arrangements so don’t rule out this type of  funding as a possibility.
  • Equity Partners – This is start up business funding in which private individuals invest in your firm in exchange for part ownership.  Ownership can take the form of stock ownership, but in some cases the investor may want to be involved in a way similar to a partner.

Make No Assumptions

There are numerous types of start up business funding as you can tell. There is no reason to assume that since you are a new business that money is not available from traditional sources like business loans or non-traditional angel investors.  You can pursue startup funding from equity partners or venture capital firms. And while you are looking for business funding, you should go ahead and ask your cousin Larry if he is interested. He just might be the first one to say, “Yes.”