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Venture capitalists play a critical funding role, as entrepreneurial ventures move into the big leagues, but the price these investors extract is often too high. Entrepreneurs should consider the relationship analogous to marrying a mail-order bride and proceed accordingly, according to this comprehensive and entertaining article by two women who co-founded a software company. Tips include advising company owners to build trust with VCs and, until that is established, dealing with them in a way that allows for "a reasonable balance of power."
Venture capitalists aren't the vultures they're said to be. They're just investors, and the key to dealing with investors is having a relationship, according to this witty exchange between the author and her construct, the Everyman-entrepreneur, who discuss financing at a typical gathering for entrepreneurs.
Any entrepreneur who hopes to raise capital from individual investors, so-called "angels," should be properly prepared with a presentation, business plan, list of potential angels, and outline of the opportunity his or her new venture affords. The author explains that it's also important to avoid making such mistakes as allowing investors to have too large a stake in the enterprise. That could cause problems should the company fail, he writes, in an article filled with specific tips for dealing with these financiers.
Entrepreneurs hoping to preserve wealth may want to avoid selling big stakes in their businesses to raise capital. The founder of a major mutual-funds company built his net worth by selling preferred, rather than common, stock.
Accepting a loan from the most respectable source of business financing--namely a commercial bank--is a mistake for some entrepreneurs, argues the author, who recounts the tale of her company's demise subsequent to her signing a bank loan with overly stringent terms. She includes four pointers that can help you flag loans likely to go bad.
Entrepreneurs could give their budding companies a powerful financial boost by using a source of funding usually considered off limits--the retirement kitty. The author, a certified financial planner, does, however, caution company builders to leave a portion of those funds intact, using more accessible sources first. Thereafter, he argues, tax-deferred assets in a 401(k), SEP, or IRA comprise a personal venture capital fund that can do as much for an individual's business as for his or her golden years.
Credit cards, unlike conventional commercial bank loans, allow entrepreneurs immediate access to financing at reasonable interest rates. The author, who used plastic debt to launch a consulting company, claims that business owners who take his approach can focus on the far more crucial task of winning and keeping customers in today's fast-paced environment. What's critical, he suggests, is managing the debt wisely by keeping costs down, taking advantage of lower rates, and pegging expenditures to cash flow.
When a company needs to raise capital, it can issue stocks, warrants or options, bonds, notes or debentures. Know the functions and advantages of each before you choose.
Issuing shares privately is a viable way for small and growing businesses to raise capital, exempt from many registration and reporting requirements. Here are the rules you need to know.
The legal documents included in a Private Placement Memorandum give potential investors necessary information about your company, the terms of the securities being offered and the risks of buying and holding them. Here's how to put it together.
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