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How to Pitch Successfully and Recruit Investors? 0

Posted on October 03, 2014 by Tiffany C. Wright

 

Investor presentation

Before you present to investors, you must pique their interest enough to see your presentation!

Have you decided that you want to pursue investment from angel, or other, investors? Do you know how to reach out to investors and interest them in hearing what you have to say? I have written a fair amount on that very topic, but today I thought I’d share someone else’s perspective. Enjoy! – TCW

How to Pitch Successfully and Recruit Investors?

By Asaf Matyas

A small talk with a potential investor could lead to your dream investment. But how do you approach such a conversation? You are working day and night on your startup. You got a winning team and are doing your best to develop a great product. Now all you need is to find investors. You know that what separates you from your life’s dream is one phone call. Well, there are some good news and some bad news. Starting with the good – it’s possible! The bad news is that it’s going to take, apparently, a lot of time and effort to succeed. If it took Churchill one hour to write every minute of his speech, than writing yours, which presents your startup, generates impact and willingness to hear more, will be a much difficult task. By combining several tools and one simple solution, you too can transform the most complex product or service to be exciting, simple and valuable. Let’s get started:

Set a goal for your Pitch

Before you sit down to write your pitch, set your self a clear and defined goal. This goal should include a timeframe, clarity and quantity.

What’s your end goal? Getting funded? Another meeting? Cooperation? Advice?

It needs to be even more focused. For example, you would like to get funded: how much cash do you need? When will you need it? In stages or all at once? You need to know exactly what you are going to ask for. If you don’t have a clear goal, the chance of reaching it becomes a product of luck.

After you are clear about the goal of your pitch, you can sit down to write it.

Teaser: stimulate the investor

So you got a great opportunity and you are a sitting alone in a room with your potential investor. That doesn’t necessarily mean his brain and attention is given solely to you. Your mission, right from the beginning, would be to capture his full attention and have him completely focused on you.

There are several ways to generate attention in a very short time. One of them, is to present a big fact that is relevant to your product or market. This will generates curiosity and the listener will likely try to understand what is it about. The teaser could also be a personal story, an interesting article from a newspaper, a breakthrough research, anything that will skyrocket his attention. Your teaser will work best if the value in it will be “flooded”.

“Value flooding”: what’s in it for him?

As a way to turn your product or service to fascinating, you have to ensure, that the person sitting in front of you, understands the value relevant for him. Once we can connect between the teaser and the value, we are creating a “mental shortcut” and the level of attention grows significantly.

For example, when we walk down the street and see a scratch card Ad saying “scratch now and win 1,000,000$” – the Ad both grabs our immediate attention and floods the value – we want to win those 1,000,000$.

So even if our chances of winning goes against all statistical and logical calculations, our attention was already caught because we were immediately presented (“flooded”) with the value, even before explaining the general idea or logic behind it.

Make it Simple

After we managed to grab attention, it is time to tell the story of our product or service. Here comes the real challenging part: can you really explain, sometimes in a single sentence, what does your company\product\service does? The true greatness of really good or complex products is the ability to make them simple and tangible.

Make sure not to use extremely high or too complex language, which usually creates opacity and covers the inability to generate a clear definition. If you managed to do so, in a minimized form, it will leave you with more time to invest in the other parts of your pitch.

Why you?

Towards the end of your pitch, it’s time to explain why you. Why you are the one who can turn this vision into reality. This is a critical point as you ask your potential investor for his trust (… and money).

Here is the point to emphasize your unique background in the field, winning team combination or previous successes. It is important to remember that most decisions we do are irrational, so it is imperative to use your attitude and presentation methods to strengthen your message, no less than the list of your titles or achievements.

Tip: we tend to associate self-confidence – and hence trust – when the shoulders are straight up. So straighten up!

Combining these ingredients, which builds a winning pitch, will require your time and efforts in order to sharpen your messaging. Sometime, using external consultants as well as using new technologies could upgrade your performance.

Note: apart from using the old PowerPoint, I can highly recommend Prezi and Bunkr.

Each year there are hundreds of new startups being founded, and with them grows the competition for investors. The first impression and effect you project at the beginning could be that critical point that would separate you from the rest, and will cause the investor to invest in you, over the other sea of startups.

Sometimes, this small conversation could make your life dream come true – don’t let it slip away.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Asaf_Matyas
http://EzineArticles.com/?How-to-Pitch-Successfully-and-Recruit-Investors?&id=8538998

 

 

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Engaging Business Funding Expert Announces Radio and Podcast Interviews 0

Posted on September 10, 2014 by Tiffany C. Wright

Tiffany C. Wright, the author of The Funding Is Out There! Access the Cash You Need to Impact Your Business, will be the featured guest in several upcoming radio and podcast interviews. She will appear live on the Michael Dresser Show, Dresser after Dark, on Tuesday, September 9, at 5:55pm ET.

via Engaging Business Funding Expert Announces Radio and Podcast Interviews.

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Three Creative Ways to Access Business Funding 0

Posted on September 05, 2014 by Tiffany C. Wright

The Funding Is Out There! book coverTallmadge, OH – Below are three of the numerous ways business owners can obtain financing, taken from the informative new book, The Funding Is Out There! Access the Cash You Need to Impact Your Business. These three business funding sources apply to companies whether they have $250,000 in revenue or $25 million. Businesses currently seeking funding can put these sources to immediate use. Otherwise, use these sources to generate ideas and spark your creative thought process to access the cash you need to impact your business.

Barter/Swap. As a business owner, you have a product or service that someone wants — and therefore something to barter or swap — or you would not be in business! When I was at Enron, we entered into swaps to trade space on one telecom network for space on another. And yes, GAAP recognizes barters and swaps as a legitimate revenue source or expense. Bartering positively impacts your bottom line and conserves your operational cash flow.

Find a strategic investor. Strategic investors invest actual funds into your business, while generally operating as a strategic partner. Ask yourself: “Is there at least one Fortune 1000 or other large company that could benefit directly from my company’s product or service offering?” If so, reach out to those companies. It is often less risky for those companies to invest in smaller companies developing a new technology, service, methodology, or procedure than to attempt to do it in-house.

Tap your suppliers. For most distribution and manufacturing companies and certain service companies, payments to suppliers are one of the largest expenses the company incurs. If you are rapidly expanding and need funds to pay suppliers, ask your suppliers to advance you the money.  If you can successfully make the case that your expansion will significantly increase your supplier’s revenue, you may induce your supplier to provide a short-term or mid-term loan. At the very least, you can negotiate extended payment terms.

For more tips on financing your business, information about The Funding Is Out There! Access the Cash You Need to Impact Your Business, or speaking to your organization, please visit http://www.thefundingisoutthere.com or contact Trevor Wright at 404-642-0509. The Funding Is Out There! is also currently available on Amazon and will be available everywhere on October 1.

About Tiffany C. Wright

Tiffany C. Wright is the president of The Resourceful CEO, a company that delivers informational products and services to provide business owners with a de facto member of the executive management team. In addition to helping former clients obtain funding, she has helped companies in various industries significantly increase revenues and improve profitability. She has an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management.

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The Funding Is out There, Addresses SMB Funding Concerns 0

Posted on September 02, 2014 by Tiffany C. Wright
Logo

Tallmadge, OH — (SBWIRE) — 08/28/2014 — Despite the recovering economy, business funding is still a major concern for many of America’s small and medium businesses. A new book, The Funding Is Out There! Access the Cash You Need to Impact Your Business, alleviates some of those concerns.

The Funding Is Out There! book coverThe Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland published the following, based on its research, “the fraction of nonfarm, nonresidential loans of less than $1 million—a common proxy for small business lending—has declined steadily since 1998, dropping from 51 percent to 29 percent.” Although this statistic is due to a combination of factors, it bodes poorly for the majority of business owners who primarily pursue bank loans as their source of business funding. The new book, The Funding Is Out There! Access the Cash You Need to Impact Your Business helps business owners identify and pursue other options that are more suitable to their businesses’ stage and industry, thus arming business owners with options.

Most small and medium business owners excel in one area of expertise – for example, a particular trade, marketing, or sales – but few have a strong finance background. In addition, very few small and medium businesses employ Chief Financial Officers and when they do, most of these CFOs focus on minimizing taxes or streamlining accounting operations. Accounting is not finance and, consequently, business owners and their management team often find it difficult to tap into the base of knowledge needed to obtain the business funding they seek.

According to Tiffany C. Wright, the author of The Funding Is Out There! Access the Cash You Need to Impact Your Business, “In running small and medium businesses and advising business owners, I realized that many SMB owners hit the business funding wall because: 1- They did not know the multiple sources of available funding; 2 – They did not know or understand the funding type or source that best fit their particular businesses; and/or 3 – They did not know how to package their funding request to meet the needs of the funding source. Therefore, I wrote The Funding Is Out There! to explain how to do all of this and I do so in easy-to-understand language, using examples and case studies from my many years of experience.”

The Funding Is Out There! is now available in eBook format on Amazon. Its release date in softcover and hardcover in bookstores is October 1.

Interested parties can obtain an advance physical copy through
http://www.thefundingisoutthere.com

About Tiffany C. Wright
Tiffany C. Wright is the president of The Resourceful CEO, a company that provides informational products and services to provide business owners with a de facto member of the executive management team. In addition to helping former clients of her interim CFO and COO services obtain over $40 million in funding, she has helped companies significantly increase revenues and improve profitability in industries ranging from IT to construction to business services. She has an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management and a BS in Industrial Engineering from The Ohio State University.

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Small Businesses Continue to Obtain Business Funding 0

Posted on August 21, 2014 by Tiffany C. Wright

The Funding Is Out There! book coverAtlanta, GA — (ReleaseWire) — 08/20/2014 — If you tune in to the pundits and news reports, small businesses continue to have a difficult time obtaining business funding due to the contraction that occurred in the banking industry as a result of the financial crisis in 2008 / 2009 and the ensuing credit tightening.

“Lack of capital is never the real, root issue, although it continues to be a bigger issue than before the recession hit. Small businesses can obtain capital in 2014. However, the primary issue is lack of knowledge of the different types of funding and financing and how to access that capital. In addition, the younger the business, the fewer the funding sources,” says Tiffany C. Wright, author of the new eBook The Funding Is Out There! Access the Cash You Need to Impact Your Business. “Unfortunately, most small and medium business owners and managers are wholly unaware of the variety of funding sources that exist for their business type. If they are somewhat aware, then they are highly unprepared to meet the funding requirements from both a relationship and financial packaging perspective.”

Wright asserts that there are always several business funding alternatives available for any small business. To access these sources, entrepreneurs and business owners must educate themselves and think creatively. “Most business owners think of bank financing when they hear ‘debt’ and venture capital when they hear ‘equity’. While these two sources provide a significant amount of small business funding, there is a vast pool of available capital from other funding entities that provide working capital and growth capital. Small and medium businesses can even tap into financing that looks somewhat like debt and somewhat like equity.”

The Funding Is Out There! Access the Cash You Need to Impact Your Business has over 30 in-depth yet succinct case study examples of what other real business owners have done to raise capital to grow their businesses. The material covers not just what is available but the how to obtain it – websites, templates, what works best and why for a particular business type. It includes everything from pursuing business-friendly community banks to forming strategic alliances to tapping supplier financing. This eBook shows business owners how to raise the capital they need to move out of survival mode and grow their business. The Funding Is Out There! helps business owners lay the financial framework to create a viable, sustainable business to sell or pass on.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2011, there were nearly 5.7 Million firms with employees in the U.S. 3.5 Million firms had 1-4 employees and another approximately 1.0 Million firms had 5-9 employees. Only 81,243 companies had 100 – 499 employees and even fewer, 17,671, had 500 or more employees. Therefore, small businesses have a huge impact on the economy. Wright says, “We must strengthen more small businesses into larger, more viable, and more financially stable firms. By doing this we ensure the continued strengthening of the American economy.”

The Funding Is Out There! Access the Cash You Need to Impact Your Business can be ordered from Amazon, online at http://www.amazon.com/Funding-Out-There-Access-Business-ebook/dp/B00JW3FYGG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1400191594&sr=1-1. The price is $9.99. For more details visit http://www.thefundingisoutthere.com.

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Protect Yourself: Sole Proprietorship vs LLC 0

Posted on August 05, 2014 by Tiffany C. Wright
The word "Company" in a hexagon

Your business is your company. Protect yourself from your company’s activities.

I personally never advocate operating as a sole proprietor. Let me say that again. I do not EVER recommend that a business owner operate as a  sole proprietor. Is it easy to set up shop as a sole proprietor? Yes. And that is why so many people do it. Essentially, as soon as you print business cards and get get your first customer, if you operate alone and did not form a separate business entity for your business, you automatically default to sole proprietor. In other words, by doing the above, you ARE a sole proprietor.

Why I Discourage Operating as a Sole Proprietor

So why do I not only not recommend operating as a sole proprietor but strongly discourage it? The main reason? As a sole proprietor, your business assets AND everything you personally own in your name is subject to attachment should someone get injured from your business activities. If you are married, your spouse’ assets are subject to attachment too if you own them jointly. As a sole proprietor, you are the business and the business is you. Let me say that again for emphasis: As a sole proprietor, you are the business and the business is you. This is not one of those froo-froo statements that applies to owners who do not separate themselves from their businesses. This statement is legal fact.

Easily Separate Personal Assets / Responsibilities from Your Business

Woman relaxing on couch

You’ll relax like this knowing your personal assets are protected!

You can easily separate your personal assets and legal responsibilities from that of your business by forming a limited liability company, more typically referred to as an LLC, or a corporation. Admittedly, in the vast majority of states it is much easier / simpler to form an LLC. It generally costs $75 to $150, depending on your state, to form an LLC. Please be aware that in some states, for example, Ohio, state law does not permit you to form a one-person LLC (called a single-member LLC). In that state, you will need to form a corporation as a sole shareholder to reap the business protection benefits. (Other business formation options exist. These are the subject of previous articles.)

Additional Steps to Take

After filing LLC formation documents, known as Articles of Organization, with your state’s Secretary of State, file for an employee identification number, or EIN, from the IRS. You can do this online at http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Apply-for-an-Employer-Identification-Number-%28EIN%29-Online . Then use the Articles of Organization and your new EIN to open up a business bank account in your company’s name.

Maintenance of Protection

To ensure you maintain your business legal and structural protection, you must hereafter make sure you do all your business activities in the name of the LLC and sign all documents as the president/managing member/VP (or whatever title you choose) of the LLC.  Never sign just your name without the company and your relationship to the company as this could be construed by an attorney as signing on your own personal behalf, and not on behalf of your company.

For more information on LLCs and sole proprietorships, check out http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/smallbusiness-ownership-form-10893.html .

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Interview of Tiffany C. Wright on the Hollis Chapman Show 0

Posted on July 25, 2014 by Tiffany C. Wright

Hollis Chapman show

Join me for my interview by Hollis Chapman on the Hollis Chapman Show!

Topic: My new book, The Funding Is Out There! Access the Cash You Need to Impact Your Business

Friday, July 25, at 1:00 pm EST / 12 noon CST / 10 am PST

http://blogtalkradio.com/hollischapmanshow

Here answers to the following questions and more:

  • How does a new company get funds? Should you apply under your company LLC?
  • How has passion helped you get over the rough spots?
  • Small and medium businesses are unaware of the variety of financing sources.But there are so many hoops to jump through!
  • Information that increases their odds of obtaining the financing they need to grow their businesses-what should we do first to get started?
  • Advice that enables small and medium businesses to optimize their banking relationships

http://blogtalkradio.com/hollischapmanshow

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Opening a Small Business Bank Account with Bad Personal Credit 0

Posted on June 09, 2014 by Tiffany C. Wright
Blank check

Your business checking account is a critical component in operating your business.

This article is a continuation of my previous article, Opening a Sole Proprietor Bank Account with Bad Credit . The “Opening a Sole Proprietor Bank Account” discussed what actions to take if you have bad personal credit when opening an account as a sole proprietor and provided some how-tos. However, this article discusses the legal options to explore to remove or lessen the impact of bad personal credit on your business bank account, and what actions to take to utilize those options.

To develop business credit and protect your assets, open a bank account as a separate legal entity, NOT a sole proprietor

Instead of operating as a sole proprietor, which means that you simply start operating a business under a name that is not yours, I highly recommend adding a few steps and forming a separate legal entity. If you convert your sole proprietorship into a legally separate business operating as a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, limited partnership, or other separate legal entity, to open a business bank account you will need the articles of organization (LLC) or incorporation that you filed with the state.

Some potential barriers

In most states an LLC is the easiest to form and operate. However, some states, for example, Ohio, do not allow you to form a one-member LLC, which is what a sole proprietorship would be. In that case you can form a corporation. However, another option is to form a two-member LLC but only provide the second member with a 1% stake in the LLC. This structure gets more complicated and will require a discussion with an attorney. This is why a corporation will be the easiest to form.

Man signing document

Your resolution must be signed by all parties.

Resolutions required for multiple owners

If you decide not to operate as a sole proprietor (which is one owner – you) and, instead, add one or more additional owners, you will need to provide the banker opening your account with a resolution from the other owners or board. The required resolution must grant you the right to transact financial business for the company in general, or grant you the right to specifically open and control the bank account. However, you do not need to worry about running out and hiring an attorney to draft a resolution. All major banks and many smaller banks provide resolutions that business owners can sign and submit. You can also use these resolutions as samples.  To open the business bank account, you will also need the tax identification number for the business and a form of personal identification.

If you have poor personal credit

If you have a poor personal credit score, the formation of an LLC, corporation or similar separate legal entity eliminates the use of your social security number to open a business bank account. File the required documents with the IRS to obtain an employer identification number, which is the tax id for businesses. This process is fairly straight forward and can be done online at the www.irs.gov site in under 20 minutes.

Personal credit AND asset protection

Your company’s business bank account is the first step in building credit for your business separate from yourself. Take advantage of this opportunity by creating a business considered legally distinct from you from the beginning, before you open a business bank account. Even if you have great personal credit, you will protect your personal credit by keeping your business credit inquiries off of your personal credit report. In addition, converting your sole proprietorship into a separate legal entity will help prevent pursuit or attachment of your personal assets for issues arising from your business.

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Opening a Sole Proprietor Bank Account with Bad Credit 2

Posted on June 02, 2014 by Tiffany C. Wright
Woman at table signing check

You can use preprinted checks or check printing software for business checks.

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I have written several articles on business bank accounts and, for smaller businesses, separating personal finances from business finances. In this article I weigh in on two separate topics that I combine for this article: opening a small business bank account as a sole proprietor; and opening a small business bank account if you have bad personal credit.

Opening a bank account as a sole proprietor

You can open a bank account as a sole proprietor but this bank account will be tied to your personal financial status. Remember, from a legal perspective, as a sole proprietor, you and your business are one and the same. In everyday terms this means that, if you have judgments or liens levied against you personally now or in the future, your business bank account can be seized. It also means that, if your business ends up with outstanding liens against it, your personal bank account assets can be seized.

I know the overwhelming majority of small businesses do not have employees and operate as sole proprietorships. However, the bank account seizure potential is an excellent reason to form a separate legal entity for your business!

Risks of poor credit – opening an account

If you enter a bank with a poor personal credit history and ask to open a bank account as a sole proprietor, the biggest risk you will encounter is that the bank may have a policy of checking your credit score before opening a bank account. This is different than determining if you have bounced checks. Banks with a credit score policy will check your personal credit score. If the bank deems your credit score too low, it may not allow you to open a business bank account.

Crossed out credit card

With bad credit your business bank account may not qualify for an associated credit card.

 

Risks – failure to qualify for credit-based account perks

However, if your personal credit score drops after you open an account, or if your bank did not have a credit check policy, once you open your business bank account, you can relax. Unlike some credit card issuers, banks and credit unions do not assess fees for lower credit scores. Instead, you may not qualify for some of the credit-based services associated with many business bank accounts, such as account overdraft protection, an overdraft line of credit, or business credit cards. In addition, if you are granted an overdraft line of credit, your interest rate on your credit line may be higher. How much higher depends on the bank.

How do you circumvent these issues?

So how do you reduce the risk of rejection or the risk of your personal credit interfering with your business credit and vice versa? Form a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, or other separate legal entity and open an account under the tax identification number of your newly formed business. For basic business checking accounts for separate legal structures, banks do not check the company’s credit history.

Want to know more about this option and the way to proceed in opening a bank account? Check out the next post for the answers.

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Crowdfunding Campaign: The Funding Is Out There! 0

Posted on March 26, 2014 by Tiffany C. Wright

This video, “The Funding Is Out There″ explains how pursuing business financing can be similar to tramping around the woods in an unknown state park trying to find your way out. This video helps you understand how you can make it through these funding difficulties and find the right path to the best funding source for your company’s age, industry and stage of business.

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