When And If You Should Raise Venture Capital

There are many sources of early stage funding: SBIR grants, angel investments, bank loans, credit cards, your friends and family, consulting revenue, but it seems that any time someone has a great idea (or thinks he does), that his immediate reaction is “I’ll fund this using venture capital.”

Venture capital definitely has its place in the finance and investing world, but it is not the only source, nor always the best source, of early-stage capital.

Venture capital is best at providing a large chunk of cash for a business that is growing so fast that cash needs just can’t be met through revenue generation. The goal is to grow the business so large that no matter how much of the company the VC owns, everyone gets rich.

When Not to Raise Venture Capital

If you have a technology that is still in the course of development, venture capital is probably not the best source of funds. If you are still developing a product and have no revenue and no means for revenue in the near future, the valuation you will get from a VC will take such a large chunk of your equity, that you will have only a tiny portion left after subsequent rounds.

If your goal is to get your technology developed and into the world as fast as you can, you may be satisfied with a small return on all of your hard work. I have met many entrepreneurs who feel that way when they are raising an investment, but feel very different when the company is sold and they are left with nothing but the ability to point to the technology and say “I invented that.”

If you are selling a product and growing revenue, but are desperate for cash, raising venture capital is a good way to lose a large portion of your company because while you are raising money, you will only become more desperate and willing to take any deal that is put on the table.

When To Raise Venture Capital

  • Seed capital – if you have a working prototype and have a reasonable expectation of multiple orders upon manufacture, seed capital ($3-5 million) may be just the thing to build your manufacturing facilities or complete your product design. If you actually have a product and actual (I mean, real, ready with cash) customers prepared to buy your product, you may be looking at giving up 20% or so at this stage.
  • Growth capital – if you have been selling your product and just can’t keep up with demand, a second stage round may be appropriate. Let me be clear, you need this capital to increase your production or to hire more salespeople to handle more territories or hire customer service people. Again, you may give up another 20% of your equity.
  • Acquisitions – if the best way to grow your business is to acquire your competitors or a complementary service, venture capital is a good source of capital as well. The amount you give up depends on the deals you are making and where you are.

I see many entrepreneurs who think that venture capital is the easiest way to raise capital (not so) or who are just not willing to risk their own capital (in that case, get a job). There are other paths to financing your company. Make sure that venture funding is the right way before you start down the fund raising path.

Why Passive Investing Beats Active Investing

I’m a big proponent of investing passively by maintaining a diversified portfolio of index funds. It definitely takes the fun out of investing, but as far as I’m concerned, taking risks with money that is earmarked for my daughter’s education and our retirement is not meant to be fun anyway. Its serious business.

So what do I mean by passive investing. For me, it means that I don’t stay awake at night thinking (and worrying) of ways I can beat the stock market and make millions of dollars or on the flip side, make sure that I don’t gamble away all my hard earned money.

If you want to hear stories of why trying to beat the market is a waste of time, I would definitely recommend reading the book “Wise Investing made Simple” by Larry Swedroe.

The best definition for Passive Investing I have seen so far is: An investment strategy involving limited ongoing buying and selling actions. Passive investors will purchase investments with the intention of long-term appreciation and limited maintenance.

Investopedia adds to this by saying, Passive Investing is also known as a buy-and-hold or couch potato strategy, passive investing requires good initial research, patience and a well diversified portfolio. Unlike active investors, passive investors buy a security and typically don’t actively attempt to profit from short-term price fluctuations. Passive investors instead rely on their belief that in the long term the investment will be profitable.

Passive investment management makes no attempt to distinguish attractive from unattractive securities, or forecast securities prices, or time markets and market sectors. Passive managers invest in broad sectors of the market, called asset classes or indexes, and, like active investors, want to make a profit, but accept the average returns various asset classes produce. Passive investors make little or no use of the information active investors seek out. Instead, they allocate assets based upon empirical research delineating probable asset class risks and returns, diversify widely within and across asset classes, and maintain allocations long-term through periodic re-balancing of asset classes.

Where as, Active management might best be described as an attempt to apply human intelligence to find “good deals” in the financial markets. Active management is the predominant model for investment strategy today. Active managers try to pick attractive stocks, bonds, mutual funds, time when to move into or out of markets or market sectors, and place leveraged bets on the future direction of securities and markets with options, futures, and other derivatives. Their objective is to make a profit, and, often without intention, to do better than they would have done if they simply accepted average market returns. In pursuing their objectives, active managers search out information they believe to be valuable, and often develop complex or proprietary selection and trading systems. Active management encompasses hundreds of methods, and includes fundamental analysis, technical analysis, and macroeconomic analysis, all having in common an attempt to determine profitable future investment trends.

So, in order to reach your financial goals, slow and steady wins the race! Hopefully, my review of the book “The Quiet Millionaire” written by Brett Wilder, can shed more light on the various aspects of saving and investing wisely.

Why Home Businesses Fail?

Delegation Marketing

It is a known fact that most based businesses fail shortly after they are started. Most businesses are started on a shoestring and usually the money used in starting a home business is from the cash flow of the business owner. The business will survive as long as the business owner is willing to fund the operation. Most all businesses never survive simply on their own cash flow because the business model is not one of survival. The model is a flawed model based on the duplication of others mistakes. Never could any business survive when failure is duplicated by failure.

How does this happen?

Home businesses are sold to individuals with each new business owner following the examples of the people who sold them the business. The one who sold the business idea to the business owner soon goes on to another business, and then they drop the one that they were initially selling. They flit from one business to another with every one failing, and eventually they stop because they finally decide they are tired of spending their hard earned capital on a losing proposition. The revenue that is realized from the business is very small or next to nothing, and after this is done for a few months, the new home business owner sees another opportunity and changes to the next greatest home business. Duplication of one business failure to another! This model has repeatedly been a failure system with few business owners winning. Why all of these years’ people have fallen for the hype and schemes that have easily extracted cash from people who desperately wanted to better themselves, and create income for their families is a great question? The only logical answer is that people are desperately trying to find a better way; therefore they think that if they keep trying they will eventually find the opportunity.

For years people have spent money hoping that the promises, which were part of the sales marketing hype that was used to sell the business, only to realize failure instead of success. All the marketing used to sell the based business is based on following the strategy of duplication. The business, under its current structure, is simply a numbers game. The people setting up the home business and the ones selling the home business all know that they have to find work through a certain amount of people to get another person to buy into the home business. These same people know that the staying power of each and every home business owner will only stay a short period of time before they are off to the next opportunity. The winner is the person who is in their face when the potential business owner is looking for that new opportunity.

Solution

Here is the solution to success down and dirty! You must find a home business that gives you a very high income. Treat the business as if you are looking at a franchise opportunity and that the opportunity is costing you tens of thousands of dollars. If you were looking at a McDonalds Franchise and being asked to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars would you do your due-diligence? You bet! You would make sure that what you were getting was proven and that other owners were making money. You would check the business out. You should have that same intensity with the business that you are considering. You should act as if you are spending lots of money for the business because in essence you are.

Look at it this way, if you spend money to join a business, what ever the cost, you must calculate what you earn per hour currently. Then you have to figure that you will spend about 15-20 hours per week for the next 12-18 months working to get your home business started. At your current hourly rate how much do you have to earn to at least break even? Now in any start-up you will spend a lot to get the business going but will you recoup your initial investment of time and money back in the next 12-18 months? These points are totally ignored when setting up a business. Subconsciously this contributes to business failure, because the home business owner wakes up and realizes that they have spent more than they received in revenue, so they quit or are off to the next fabulous opportunity. If the potential business owner did a little home work they would not join the business or MLM. This little tidbit would save millions of business failures.

While we are discussing investment one of the important issues to be aware of is ROI [Return on Investment]. When you are running a business you want to make sure that whenever you spend money you can see a large potential return on the money spent. By doing a strategic plan before you spend money you will calculate your ROI and see if the potential dollars spent will return what you are expecting. There is a simple calculation that can easily return an answer and let you know whether to spend the money or not.

Another point is that you get what you pay for. If you take on a low price product than you will have to sell a lot more product to get your initial investment of time and money back. I don’t know whether you know this or not, but it takes just as much time and effort to sell a lower price product as it does to sell a higher price product. As a matter of fact, the lower price product makes people wonder how you can make millions on a $10 product. The higher the price product the easier the sale! I don’t care what you say I have done it both ways.

Training by successful people, is essential since you want to be trained by experts. If the business you are looking at has no training, opt out. No training is a definite recipe for failure. Any business worth its salt will have training, but don’t be fooled by wolves in sheep’s clothing. Is the training legit? Have the person selling you the business tell you about the training. Learn as much as you can and understand the technology behind it. Many businesses say they will train you and usually the training is done by the person selling you the home business. This is back to duplication, instead of delegation. You want to understand the person’s credentials that is doing the training. Don’t let the blind lead you! Also ask if their strategy is duplication or delegation. They probably will not understand what you are asking but this question will give you a clue as to where they are coming from.

Now let’s talk about delegation. What is it and how to put it in practice? Delegation management and marketing is a new trend in creating a home business. It has been developed out of sheer frustration when looking at the failure rate in businesses. As we looked at why businesses failed we discovered that it was simply by duplicating what others who were failing were doing. It’s as simple as that, but it took time to put the labels on it. When looking at the successful business in any industry you will see that their success starts with their strategic plans on down. Any business without a strategic plan will not work easily. Then from there as the plans are implemented, they are delegated through personal to get the task done. Now I can hear you saying that you are a business and don’t have the money to hire personal, calm down. We teach you and guide you to think like a CEO and not an employee in your business. We direct you to the right people to hire and then show you how to hire them on commission. We teach you how to build a sales force that does the job for you. We teach you how to acquire the necessary staff to run your business. Remember time equals money. You must do things that reflect your value, you are not an employee. You are not to do everything. As you learn to run your business and not work in it you will see a rise in your income. You will be running a home business that has substance and value. They only time you need to look at any company is simply for the products they offer, not their business structure.

My business is consulting, the products that I use are gotten form different sources but the fact remains that my business is consulting. I only take on products that fit my business model, which can complement my product mix. So I want to find a company that has a history of delivering a good product and paying on time. A good rule of thumb in the business industry is whether a company has been around for more than five years. Less than that and they are a business casualty waiting to happen? I have been consulting for almost thirty years and have seen a lot of businesses come and go so when looking at starting a home business we piggy back off an existing business, and brand it for you personally, then run it as a private personal business. The business becomes your business and not a MLM or Networking business that you are a representative of.

Through delegation marketing and management your home business becomes a viable business model and you are able to see results faster than any other way. One of the enormous benefits to running a business through delegation management and marketing is that you will not prospect. You delegate that task which leaves you to running the business. By delegating the task of prospecting you have your sales force working hard to get their leads, and sales through trained systems that are proven. When we work with our Partners [We call clients Partners since we are forging relationships with the people we train.] we teach their sales people how to get leads just as our sales people do. We have a multitude of ways that we can teach your sales force to prospect, but the point is you are not doing, it they are.

Lastly for now is support. What type of support will you receive? We have developed a “Partner Development Program” that was actually designed by a veteran customer service executive who got fed up with how people were treated in the market place. One of the biggest complaints is that when people signed up for a business opportunity, the companies were all over you until you signed on the bottom line then they disappeared into the air. Actually they were off to the next victim and left you all alone to fend for your self. As you can see I am cynical about this system so we developed a Partner Development tracking system that makes sure that you are doing everything you are supposed to do to become successful. We leave no stone unturned. Our Partner Development Program is what sets us apart from the other consulting business in the home business market place. We stand head and shoulders above the other companies marketing similar products. As a matter of fact we have had people sign up for the same product with a different system owner and then want to use us. We politely declined since we derive our revenue from our sales and not someone else’s. Make no mistake we are out to make money, and make a lot of it, but we are more concerned about nurturing our clients. We are grateful for every one of our clients, Partners, and take a personal interest in their development.

We I have bent your ear enough. If you want to learn more about how we can help you derive massive success and guide you to our promoted 10K per week program please click here [http://signup.delegationmanagement.com/] and fill out the form or call us at 610-280-7000 and ask for Rachel Coleman.