Often in life, we wait until a change in circumstances to make a big decision. Exit planning is an example of something so many entrepreneurs put off. In business, our focus is firmly on the here and now decisions: marketing, HR, inventory, cash flow, etc. It doesn’t feel like there is the time or the impetus to create an exit strategy, especially if you don’t plan to sell soon.
But, you can’t be complacent about exiting your business. A study by Securian Financial revealed that 72% of small business owners have no exit strategy at all. The reality is it can take years to execute a successful exit, so the endgame needs to be in your mind from the start.
Business owners and founders having trouble getting the funding they need seem to be forgetting an age-old adage: Practice makes perfect.
A recent study by Intuit Canada found that 44% of Canadian entrepreneurs have been turned down by an investor. Up to 68% don’t have a cash flow statement on hand when they pitch, while 35% don’t prepare a business plan at all. One in 10 reported that, when it comes to a meeting with an important investor, they don’t prepare anything at all.
That’s a serious problem says Michele Romanow, serial entrepreneur, frequent angel investor, and the youngest of the stars of CBC’s Dragons’ Den. “Practice, practice, practice,” she intones, cautioning young business-starters against the idea that they can make things up on the fly.
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.
Most aspiring entrepreneurs understand that you can’t build a business if you won’t commit to delivering a product or service, but many are hesitant or refuse to commit to any financial forecasts. Yet every business requires revenue and volumes, as certainly as it requires a product to sell. Thus, financial projections for up to five years are a necessary element in every business plan.
External investors will demand a financial forecast, but it’s equally valuable to you, even if bootstrapping. How else will you be able to convince yourself and your team that your business is viable? You need these projections to set internal goals and milestones, and to measure your progress toward reasonable success objectives.
Other deal trends continued to point to investor caution and negotiating leverage. The percentage of deals with participating preferred provisions increased from the prior quarter across all deal stages. The data also saw an increase in the utilization of pay-to-play provisions in Q3. In another signal of investor caution, we witnessed the percentage of tranched transactions reaching 20.5% of deals in the quarter, a marked increase from the prior quarter.
Pitching to investors is a crucial moment in your company’s life. It’s easy to get so caught up talking about all the big-picture awesomeness of your product that you forget to go into the specifics of your business plan. But investors expect your to address both the business and product sides of your endeavour. If you spend to much time explaining one side or the other, it might leave investors unsatisfied or confused about your company. So, in order to help you better understand what specifically investors are looking for in a presentation, we at YetiZen have decided to describe some of the most common mistakes in investor pitches and how to avoid them.
I believe there are really only two kinds of small businesses – healthy ones and unhealthy ones.
Like Teach For America, VFA will bring promising college graduates to work in underserved communities for at least two years. Startups that focus on up-and-coming industries (i.e. education innovation, energy, biotechnology) will be offered a VFA fellow for a salary of $32,000 to $38,000 annually. At the end of the two years, the companies can opt to hire fellows under new terms.
Posted in News and Views, Tools and Information
Tagged business, business plan, economy, entrepreneurs, funding, money, small business, start ups, technology, This is really cool, Venture for America
In a casual conversation someone quipped, “You know the real problem with politicians…they just won’t stay bought.” There was muted laughter. It’s too true to be funny.
Politician. The word has precise sound to it, as if your mayor had been called by God to run. As if people go into public service like it’s a ministry. For the good of all with pure, honorable intentions. But the job is nothing like that. It’s a lot of arm twisting and ear bending by people all wanting you to do conflicting things. And in the end, nobody’s really happy with you. As Parker and Stone pointed out, the public sees you either as a ‘Giant Douche’ or a ‘Turd Sandwich’. Why would anyone want a such a shitty job?
Posted in Peter Mehit
Tagged America, banks, Biane, bribes, budget, budget deficit, business plan, congress, corruption, county supervisor, debt ceiling, Democrats, Depression, economy, ethics, funding, Goldman Sachs, house of representatives, Independents, jobs, lies, meltdown, political campaigns, politician, public good, Recession, Republicans, senate, stupid politicians
Intellectually speaking, the bankers have no clothes. Unfortunately, the officials in charge of making policy on this issue are still unwilling to think through the implications; capital requirements need to be much higher.
Posted in News and Views, Op-ED
Tagged business plan, Depression, economic crisis, economy, financial crisis, financial institutions, funding, meltdown, people hate banks, Recession, They are all a bunch of bastards