HOW DO I FUND THIS BUSINESS??????????

Today I heard from an old friend asking how to find Venture Capital investors for a startup company. SILENCE from my end. There isn’t a question I get asked MORE than the million (literally) dollar one….HOW DO I FUND THIS GREAT IDEA???

Sadly, the financial institutions America was built on have closed their doors to small businesses forcing inventors and entrepreneurs to get creative in the way they build their businesses. I have personally invested over 40k in my invention and am inches away from a first run of manufacturing. THIS is called BOOTSTRAPPING your business. If you have never heard the term “bootstrapping” you haven’t pitched to investors yet. ALL investors want to know that before THEY invest in your idea and YOU, that you have sacrificed something to get it started. Investors HATE risk and love sure things, yet, many of them started their businesses with sweat, blood and tears and respect other business owners who have done the same.

Equal to an idea is the person who stands behind it. Investors are going to look at YOU perhaps in some ways MORE than the product you may be selling. Are you passionate? Do you articulate the idea well? Can you sell it? Are you in tune with the finances behind it? Have YOU sacrificed to get it going?

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check out this book about Bootstrapping business: Click Here!

I chat with a LOT of women/men trying to start businesses that could change their lives. What I can tell you is that the NUMBER 1 hurdle is MONEY. If you plan to head out to find an investor for your business, you had better have a business plan (I will blog later about how to build one of those) and a solid financial strategy. Asking an investor to simply LOVE you and your idea without giving them the reasons it will be financially beneficial to them, is like going to the store and expecting to walk out with a cart full of groceries without having to pay for them. It isn’t going to happen. Being prepared and having a plan is integral for startup business and just as you wouldn’t bet on a horse at the track who had never run a race before, an investor won’t look your way if he doesn’t believe you have invested in your business, YOURSELF.

why chromosomes matter when it comes to funding…

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jwherrman/how-venture-capitalists-see-women

 

A female investor friend of mine sent me this article today and after digesting the information within the article, I felt inclined to write.  I don’t find the data in the article surprising at all.  I, myself, have experienced first hand, the trials and tribulations associated with trying to gather investors in support of an idea that is NOT technology driven but has lots of data that says it will be a success.  EVERY meeting I have goes well.  Investors sit, listen and digest what I say..but…getting investors to write checks is a totally different story.

 

Women have not evolved in the business world as quickly and effectively as men have.  Men are savvy with networking and back scratching.  They invite their potentials to fantasy football parties, cocktail hours and golf games to get into the personal worlds of people they intend to nail down for business.  Women suck at this.  Women in business fight for their right to be there.  Women lack skill when it comes to working together.  Women still threaten other women in a narcissistic and almost predatory way.  This HAS to change.

I recently applied for a female networking group in HInsdale, Illinois.  I am a realtor, but applied for this group as an entrepreneur (even listed my new business).  I was eager to meet professional women in a town nearby, happy to help others.  To my surprise (kind of) I was REJECTED from this “professional” networking group.  Hmmm.  The response I received back was that they already had a realtor in the group.  Someone grew big old muscles and felt threatened by me.  I thought this over and giggled.  What kind of professional networking group wouldn’t want to grow their numbers and expand their potential networks for their businesses….women!  Women have yet to figure out in the REAL world that networking is the key to success in every aspect of life.  From dating to business, women fail to realize that sometimes the best referrals, expanded circles of friends and potential leads are within circles of friends, neighbors and relatives they already have.  MEN get this.  Male networking groups of any kind do NOT reject potentials because they don’t want to step on toes.  Males thrive on competition, respect their opponents and utilize even their closest counterparts in business for ideas, mentoring and expansion.  Women don’t.

It comes as no surprise to me that male start-ups get funded at faster paces and with greater result than female ones.  Until women begin to realize that networking and business circles are enhanced by other women with like, core business values, men will always surpass us. 

I recently joined a female driven jewelry MLM company I have been watching for years.  I am enamored with the business climate, culture and presence of women HELPING women to succeed.  Women in like towns, with like friends, are supporting one another and building teams around the premise…”If I succeed, I want to help someone else succeed”.  Yes Yes and Yes.  I am thrilled to see a corporation that is finally allowing women to compete in a healthy way, teaching the benefits of networking.  Way to go Jessica Herrin (CEO) for helping women finally see the power we have in the workplace and the power we have when we come together to help, not harm one another.

My hope as an entrepreneur and owner is that women will continue to overcome societies hurdles.  Women need to recognize that the time has passed for exclusion and that its way cooler to expand your networks socially, economically and culturally.  Living in an exlusionary environment will definitively limit how far you and your network can grow.

 

EVERYONE SHOULD WATCH THIS!

This is so darn cute it and TRUE it brought me to tears. If you are out there dreaming, working hard, trying to get an idea to market, a business started, a dream to come true…YOU ARE AWESOME!! I AM on your team…cheering YOU on!!! We could all use a little more of THIS every day! Please please please…don’t ever give up!

blogging. sharing. learning. NETWORKING.

I LOVE reading blogs of all kinds and writing is has passion of mine since I was a kiddo.  Many people have yet to explore the world of blogging and it floors me.  Anyone in business, starting a business or thinking about business should see blogs as a FREE way to market yourself, your idea and find people with like interests and hobbys.  

 

WHO TO FOLLOW?

Choosing your favorite blogs and writers is the fun part.  You can find blogs about almost EVERYTHING on the planet.  From Star Wars to CEO’s bloggers are a unique resource for very current information you just might be searching for.  Look outside your “box” too…read a blog you might think isn’t a fit for you and you might be surprised.  I have found extremely talented writers who are blogging about piddle who are uber successful people…who might become a networking friend.

 

WHY BLOG?

There are too many reasons to explain why I personally blog, I have several, but entrepreneursupergirl was inspired when a college friend saw some of my facebook posts and asked me to meet for coffee to talk about a new idea she had.  I had insight I could share with people testing the waters of new business and/or patenting an idea.  I hope somebody out there values something I have said, the hope has always been to inspire people to get off their “idea couches” and put a plan into ACTION.  Blogging is also a BLAST.  It is a great way to read people’s ideas, hear perspective and learn something you may not have known before. If you are here, you get this already.  If you are a newbie, just dive in….!!!!!

 

I’m a bit of a blogaholic….it seems I can never read or learn enough!!!!!

Show Me the Mooooooonaaaaaaaay!

Besides being one of my favorite Tom Cruise films of all time, this scene exemplifies what every investor wants from their investment. Very few angel investors and especially venture capitalists bite off risk they can’t chew like a steak before swallowing. Key players in the investment field spend the majority of time crunching numbers not ideas. Believe it or not, a very marginal idea with a large margin of financial opportunity might inspire a VC or Angel to jump quicker than an incredible idea with small margins/long term profitability. MONEY motivates people to MOVE.

Think about this in a more personal way. If you had a small investment to make with a corporation…would you choose one that had a long standing record of success or one that has small numbers and is new to the marketplace? My guess is that you would choose the sure thing. The FACEBOOK merger made a lot of wary investors JUMP to attention. They saw a HUGE player in the internet marketplace and decided HE couldn’t be shortsided…he had to be stacking the “BOOK” (LOL) so to speak in the favor of those jumping on-board the online mega player. Investors that I know personally oversold FACEBOOK based on its online reputation alone, not the facts. This, proves that even a seemingly sound investment, publicly traded, can be volatile and risky. Imagine, investing in a no-named entrepreneur. Yikes. Would YOU?

Thankfully, there are risk takers in every game of life. Some of the largest profits sit outside the box of financial “sure things” in the form of start-ups. If the right investor is able to swoop up a gutsy bootstrapping entrepreneur and buy an equity stake large enough to make he/she a major player in a corporation, a start-up has the potential to be the “deal” of the century. FACEBOOK was insane before it went public…the shares were overpriced and over traded because FB had proven itself in the marketplace as a private player. Nobody could touch what Zuckerburg had built…imagine the profitability factor of the investors early on. The ones who believed in that pimply faced boy with an idea NOBODY had ever heard of. Who knew? HE DID.

As you move your business into the space of venture capital or angel investment, think long and hard about what you might be willing to give away in shares for an investor “SHOWING YOU THE MONEY”. Sometimes, a major player can change the course of your long term strategy with connections and other times they can rob you blind. As I state all the time, always, BE PREPARED. Know your financials, know your space and know the terms you would negotiate if a financial snark swam up at a bar stool next to you. You just never know.

Make sure, when the deal is done, that you look more like ROD and less like Jerry Maguire.

Dancing and hip thrusting at the end of a GREAT business deal is simply put, WAAAAAAAAAAAY more fun!!!!!!!!