Securing Second and Third-round Venture Capital Financing
Widget sales are booming ? the competition is scrambling, demand is up, and the books are finally treading water. Your core management team has big ideas for the future of Widget Inc. Opportunity is abundant; but how will you fund that next big leap?
As your start-up matures, obtaining second- or even third-round funding may allow your business to expand and grow into new opportunities identified after your business was established. If your product or service has proven itself in the marketplace, you may be a candidate for an additional round of funding.
Some possible uses of post start-up funding include:
* Penetration of new markets, either by industry or geographic location
* Development of new products or services that compliment your key lines of business
* Acquisition of competitors, staff and/or facility expansion, or new equipment
If your company is struggling to make ends meet, post start-up financing is not an effective way to address red ink.
Consider other methods of debt management such as refinancing, streamlining systems of production, and bootstrapping before looking for additional funding. Investors will not be interested in extending additional funds to companies that have not yet established themselves firmly in the marketplace.
Identifying Post Start-Up Funding Sources
The best source for post start-up funding may be your original investment partner. However, sometimes asking your investor-partner for additional funds can be a lot like asking your parents for a raise in your allowance. You're going to have to really prove a need for it, and even then, your original funding source may have woke up on the wrong side of the financial plan.
Should this prove to be the case, there are additional sources to consider, including:
* Lending institutions (banks)
* Venture capital firms
* New private investors
* Other professional service providers within your core management team
If you developed a list of potential investment partners prior to start-up, renew your contact with these individuals. By telephone or letter, convey the success your product or service has experienced, as well as your purpose for the post start-up funding. With a solid track record in hand, you may be surprised to find how many potential second-round investment partners you have.
In addition, you'll be in a stronger position during the negotiation process, meaning you won't have to give up as much control to achieve your desired result.
Tips For Maximizing Post Start-Up Funding
* Don't commingle funds. Avoid falling into the trap of using new funds to level the books. If you obtained additional funding for expansion, do not deviate from the plan. Address any cash flow problems or existing debt service independently from your company's expansion needs.
* Learn from past mistakes. Undoubtedly, your company's start-up phase was a learning experience unlike any other. Recall the lessons learned from handling your initial start-up capital. Now that you've established a strong working relationship, call in your management team to gather additional opinions on the best way to disburse funds on each project.
* Look for new opportunities along the way. As you implement your expansion plan, be on the lookout for ways to streamline and maximize the results of your efforts. Don't be afraid to upgrade your plan; remember that your business plan should be a "living" document, able to flex as the status of your market and the general economy change.
Jim D. Ray is a seasoned entrepreneur and president of Web Presence, a national web design firm exclusively serving the small business market sector. To learn more, or for a free quote for your own web site, visit the Web Presence web site at: http://www.web-presence.net
Dream It, Create It, Become It! Design a Dream Board
Have you ever heard of "Dream Boards" or "Treasure Maps"? A Dream Board is a visual picture of the dreams you have for your life. Some of my clients also use this concept to visualize their businesses! It's their first business plan.One thing that is important to remember, though, is not to "get stuck" on your dream boards. We all have plans for our future, but it's important to watch the universe for signs of "its" plans for us. Otherwise, we might miss out on some great opportunities!
Youth Entrepreneurship, A Disappointing Truth
The psychology of entrepreneurship can be very rewarding to one who dreams of starting their own business. The freedom of being your own boss has billions of people seeking financial independence and other entrepreneurial expectations. But is entrepreneurship for everyone? Are their any restrictions on who can become entrepreneurs? Sadly, the answer is yes. Many people turn their heads when it comes to assisting young people with business projects, they believe age plays a vital part on the success of an entrepreneur, this in some cases causes the entrepreneur to abandon their dream.
16 Vital Traits Shared by All Successful Entrepreneurs
The first step in deciding whether to start a business is to ask yourself this important question: "Do I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?" A variety of experts have documented research that indicates that successful small business entrepreneurs, whether male or female, have some common characteristics. How do you measure up? It will be up to you -- not someone else telling you - to develop projects, organize your time and follow through on details.
Oil Change Guys History; Part IV
One trait of franchisors and something you will find in all their biographies both; official and unofficial is their competitiveness and refusal to give up. Now onto Part IV of our saga:
10 Essential Tips for Starting Entrepreneurs - Ignore these at your Peril!
1. Do What You LOVE: If you've chosen your business because you read that this niche was the next hot one, or because your favorite uncle (or your best friend) thinks you'd be well-suited for this business, you may as well pack up now and save yourself some time and money. If you don't love what you do, it will show...potential customers will know it and will go elsewhere. Is it possible to be successful anyway? Sure -- but it won't be easy and it won't be fun...and isn't that why you want to be in business for yourself anyway?
Entrepreneurship: Insight and Closer Look At The Entrepreneur
Life as an entrepreneur is the American Dream. To be able to be your own boss, own your own business, never report to anyone else, work from home, make unlimited earnings and income potential, etc. Owning your own business most definitely has its perks. But on the other hand, there are the downsides. However, being an entrepreneur myself I view these only as challenges. The will to work hard, fanatically, solitary isolation, being slammed of your ideas from other people, the uncertainty of making the business grow to fruitation are all quite scary considerations. But it's best to know that it is out there, that it is the negative side. To be willing to gamble your money, other peoples money, to invest a massive amount of time and energy into your business is something that should be considered.
The New Paradigm for Entrepreneurial Success
Entrepreneurship is a great magnet to deliver new ideas, unique approaches and innovative technologies. When conducted in a proper way, turning people into entrepreneurs improves a country's economic situation and aids sustainable progress. However, transition to become an entrepreneur is not that aspiring to all. Risks and uncertainties involved in starting a new business coupled with stagnant economy discourage people to step up the plate and take a swing.
Become a Recognized Authority in Your Field - in 60 Days or Less!
You don't have to be rock-star famous before you are recognized as an authority in your field. You just have to begin to get the word out. Your goal is to be the person that people think of when your field is mentioned. At first, that may happen only locally, but take heart. Start where you are, with what you have, and you'll light a spark that could eventually become a firestorm of publicity.
Innovation incubator: Build it and keep it running
If your company is like the one I work for, your people are talking about the need for innovation. Mine has just announced a new program "that will bring a standardized approach to gathering and evaluating your ideas for generating new revenue and improving our business." An Innovation Team has just formed, with a new electronic mailbox and a contest offering cash prizes for the year's best ideas.
Entrepreneurial Excerpt from a Speech to Small Business
Having built a business from a bucket of water and sponge, which started over 25 years ago in a National Franchise chain in 23 states, I feel comfortable discussing entrepreneurship.
Independent Auto Detail Shop VS Biz Op or Franchise
Owning a detail shop can be an exciting and rewarding business indeed. Many times an owner of an independent Detailing Shop will wish to add those items he/she believes their customers want. Since an independent detail shop is not a franchise or affiliate they can try new things and do what ever they want. They use their knowledge of the industry, a little intuition and luck; it is a best guess issue. For an independent detailing shop entrepreneur; there is no proven business plan to go by, but the savvy operator who is in touch with their customers seldom has to face a shot in the dark.
Two Types of Business Plan Executive Summaries
Companies seeking capital often ask how long the Executive Summary of their business plan should be. The answer depends upon the use of the summary, mainly determining if 1) it precedes the full business plan, or 2) it will be used as a stand-alone document.
Build Your Own Board Of Experts
The most successful entrepreneurs rely on their advisory boards to help spot new opportunities and potential pitfalls.
Top 10 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make Before They Even Start
So you want to start a business. You have an idea. Lets say you want to be a carpenter. You print some brochures, some business cards, and take out an ad in the Yellow Pages. You pay $600 for a website and a domain name that tells everyone about your amazing credentials and experience. You distribute your fliers at a local grocery store. And then you wait. And wait. And wait?
Why Every Student Should Start a Business
With the economic downturn, students in all the major business schools have been dropping out of their entrepreneurship classes and transferring back to classes where they think they have a secure future. Students and professionals who were once planning to start businesses now have decided to go back to their cushy jobs. Everything is going back to normal. Or at least that is how it looks. Below are nine reasons why any student should start a business:You gain experience. Owning and running your own business is an incredible way to gain experience and credentials regardless of whether you decide to stay in business once you graduate. Jaime Gonzalez of Oklahoma State University received the highest job offer in his entire graduating class. Now, there are two kickers: First, he was the founder of an IT consulting company, and second, he had a 2.4 GPA. Hmmm...I wonder if starting a business helps in getting a better job when you graduate? You have nothing to lose. I think it's safe to say that most students dip into their parents' checkbook when it comes time to pay the bills. In general, students aren't paying child support, rent, utilities and many other expenses. The worst thing that could happen if your business fails is that you get a job, have an incredible credential on your resume, and have experience that will increase your chances of success in the future. The best thing that can happen is that you'll become the next Microsoft. I don't know about you, but I think that is better than choosing between no job and jobs that you're in just for the money. Two-thirds of millionaires are entrepreneurs, according to Thomas Stanley and William Dank, authors of The Millionaire Mind. If it's the money you want, then consider entrepreneurship. You receive not only a salary, but also a lot of money if you're lucky enough to sell your company or take it public. Michael Furdyk, a successful young entrepreneur, was able to sell his business, MyDesktop.com, for $1 million when he was 16 years old! You develop networking skills. You've likely heard that your network increases your net worth. Consider the fact that by running a business and constantly being in a business community, you will develop excellent contacts. If you choose to get a job after you graduate, you will have a great pool of people who will be more than happy to hire you or send your resume to somebody who wants to. You increase your value. Put simply, starting a business in college increases the value of "the brand called you" and gives you more options. For example, an entrepreneur with a large brand value can publish a book, star in a documentary movie (i.e., Startup.com), or go straight to the top of another company. I recently met one of the founders of Diversity Planet, a job site for minorities. He spent a year working very hard on the company and has since left to take a reporting job with Dateline NBC at the ripe age of 20! People don't often don't get an opportunity like that until they are much older. Operating a profitable business in the long term is less risky than being an employee in the long term. For example, just look at the recent economic downturn. Tens of thousands of people have been laid off. I can guarantee the owners of profitable businesses are still with the business. They will be the last people to go down with a ship. Business owners can have multiple streams of incomes from different customers. If you're an employee, you only have one stream of income and therefore are bearing more risk. You will learn more about yourself and what they don't teach or prepare you for in school. Furthermore, entrepreneurship is the combination of all the disciplines of business. It includes knowledge of marketing, accounting, management and operations. Already having knowledge of these topics before you take classes on them allows you to see more clearly how everything applies. Also, you will be able to learn early-on what subjects you like so you can make better decisions on what to major in and what industries to target. It is yours. You make the rules, create your own hours, work from wherever you want and choose who you want to work with. You can also pick what interests you the most in the world and then start a business that is related to that topic in some way. If you like art, you can start a design business. If you like marketing, you can create or choose a product and then market it. If you like writing, you can write a book and do your own public relations and marketing. If you like the Internet, you can start a Web development business. You'll grow. I personally have grown a lot from owning a business. I used to be terrified to speak in front of others. Now I look forward to it. Before owning a business, I had probably read a total of five books outside of school, and I only read them because my mom made me. Since starting my business, I've probably read more than 100 books. The business has also allowed me to learn more about myself. I know that I will be an entrepreneur forever in some way, shape or form!
5 Tips to Step Boldly into the World & Set Yourself Apart from Others
"Real champions believe in themselves even when no one else will!" Author Unknown
Near-death Experience is the Mother of Invention for Two Dallas Electricians
To morning commuters, the hulking truck encircled with barricades and traffic cones may be nothing more than a road-clogging nuisance.
How You Can Earn $1000 A Week Part Time
About 6 years ago I started to notice that certain friends of mine had quit their jobs but continued to live very luxurious lifestyles - seemingly without doing very much. I thought they must just be using up their savings until I discovered they were all making a fantastic living by spending just a few hours a week doing something I had never heard of before - "financial spread betting".
Could a Non-Profit Structure Be Right for Your Business?
If you have a business idea, or an idea for a servicefor your community, there's one decision you must makeearly on: are you going to structure your project as afor-profit business, or as a non-profit corporation?
The Six ?F? Words Every Entrepreneur Should Know
Start your own business, and soon enough, you find yourself in a situation where there are many things you want to say, all of them unprintable.
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