6. Investors and The Rule of Rocks
Shark Tank has done a lot to raise the level of wishful thinking in America. Many people believe that if you find the right ten slides, or the perfect 30 seconds, you’ll be able to extend your hand and a check will float from the ether and drop into the palm of your hand.
Oh, that this were true.
Fundraising can be a tricky business, with many factors influencing the outcome. Avoid these funding myths and make sure you have the information and strategies you need to keep your company thriving.
Myth: Funding is synonomous with success.
Reality: Not every successful company seeks funds and not every company that does becomes successful in the long term. Don’t look for outside dollars because you think it’s impressive or could get you press attention. Funds from VCs or angel investors often come with management strings and pressure to perform. Ask yourself if you need money at all and if you’ve exhausted bootstrapping, loans from banks, friends or family, or even funding through revenue.
Small, local businesses lack access to capital. Banks will place restrictions before giving loans, like asking for collateral, wanting to see years of revenues, or asking for personal covenants. And then venture and angel investors aren’t interested in the low-rate returns hairdressers, restaurants and furniture-makers can offer; they want “high growth.”
That is why small, local businesses generally stay as small, local businesses. But what if small businesses could reach over the top of those market failures to the general public and investors who are willing to suffer the relatively low returns on offer? That might open up options.
Staying up to date in today’s constantly shifting business world is not easy, but being aware of SME trends as they are happening can put small business owners ahead of the curve. Spotcap, the fastest online credit platform, reveals the six most important global trends which entrepreneurs need to follow to stay on the ball with industry challenges.
- The bigger, the better
Big data is not just for big businesses anymore and will have a significant impact on the pace-setters of the small business sector. Entrepreneurs can seek to leverage large amounts of data across multiple delivery channels to uncover patterns in consumer behavior. Analyzing big data can help organizations to change the way they make decisions. According to a survey from IBM, 75 percent of all small business owners are increasing their investments in data analysis tools. These shrewd investors will reap the benefits of news features that allow them to sift easily through masses of valuable data and plan their next move accordingly.
Millions of Americans make resolutions to hit the gym, eat more salad and smile frequently. But don’t forget to pay as much attention to your money.
Keeping tabs on your investment portfolio can be just as important when it comes time for retirement.
Here’s CNNMoney’s suggested list of New Year’s resolutions for investors:
1. Find your password and log on! Many investors who have their portfolios in cruise-control mode. While you don’t need to trade daily, it’s important to at least do an annual checkup on your accounts. Log in or call your 401(k) or brokerage account provider and see whether you should make any changes.
At your annual physical, you get your blood pressure checked. The equivalent to that in investing is looking at your asset allocation — how much you have in stocks versus bonds versus cash and commodities.
Is your asset mix still appropriate based on your age and risk tolerance? It could be time to make a change.
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Tagged 401k, bonds, brokerage account, cash, commodities, investment portfolio, investors, New Year resolution for investors, New Year's resolutions, resolutions, stocks
Obtaining funds to start a new business or to expand an existing one can be a challenging and exciting experience. Before lenders and investors can commit to funding, they will want to know there is a high chance that your business will be successful.
Certain areas need to be addressed and prepared such as a coherent and comprehensive business plan that includes marketing strategies, financials, product or service offerings, competitor analysis, and short- and long-term growth strategies.
Entrepreneurs from early stage startups have to pitch to investors to raise financing, and many entrepreneurs are inexperienced or terrible at making the presentation. As a venture capital and angel investor who has heard many pitches, I’ve compiled a list of mistakes and things to avoid if you are an entrepreneur seeking angel or venture financing.
Mistake #1: Sending me your executive summary or business plan unsolicited.
Investors routinely discard or don’t read unsolicited emails. They get hundreds if not thousands of such emails, and they can’t spend the time sifting through them all to find that diamond in the rough. But what they will pay attention to is a referral from someone in their network — a lawyer, an entrepreneur from one of their portfolio companies, or a fellow venture capitalist.
Today, we announced that we have reached an agreement to sell a majority interest in Forbes Media to a group of international investors. This is obviously a momentous occasion for the Forbes family and the team here at Forbes. But, it represents an opportunity for extraordinary advances for us that would have been inconceivable just a few short years ago.
The web has blasted away the operating model for the communications industry that began back in the 1830s with the invention of the steam press, an innovation that made possible the cheap printing of newspapers and magazines on an industrial scale. Mass media was born. This new industry was largely supported by advertising; for most publications Forbes has been a happy exception circulation was a loss leader, that is, the cost of obtaining the subscription exceeded what the subscriber paid. Reporters and editors created content and advertising paid the bills.
Joining a business accelerator program isn’t the right choice for every entrepreneur, and it doesn’t guarantee success. For a selected few, however, it provides a much-needed jumpstart towards a more promising future. My third company, Retention Science, is a graduate of MuckerLab, a mentorship-focused accelerator based in Santa Monica, California. Here are my thoughts on the pros and cons of accelerator programs.
1. Curriculum and Clear Structure
Business accelerator programs typically consist of three to six months of crash courses, speaker series, and professional workshops designed to help you learn a lot in a very short period of time. Certain accelerators conclude their programs with a Demo Day, where entrepreneurs publicly debut their products to a group of peers, tech reporters, and investors. By establishing a clear schedule of classes and milestones, the program helps entrepreneurs stay focused and reinforces the need to be agile and move fast.