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Identifying Your Customers' Buying Motivators
7/22/2010
File Resource
Summary:

Entrepreneurs can use this tool to consider their customers' needs and wants to identify potential improvements to products and services that could increase sales.

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Industry Potential Worksheet
7/22/2010
File Resource
Summary:

This tool will guide the entrepreneur through the process of researching information to determine industry potential.

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Sample Cash Flow Report
1/1/2008
File Resource
Summary:

Review this sample Cash Flow Report and Cash Flow Statement for this year old business to understand the primary differences in these two reports and the value in using them in reporting financial information.

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Sample Income Statement
1/1/2008
File Resource
Summary:

Along with this sample Income Statement for a year old business, this tool provides a line-by-line explanation of the most common categories used to report profits.

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Selecting Consultants and Contractors Worksheet
9/1/2007
File Resource
Summary:

Just as with hiring internal managers and staff, using external support requires careful planning and selection. Before you select a consultant or contractor, determine your budget, scope of work, timeline, measures for success, and other resources available to support the people who will do the work. Use this worksheet to help you think through important issues and to guide you in the selection process.

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Valuation Worksheet
7/1/2007
File Resource
Summary:

During a round of investment in seed- (start-up) and early stage companies, angel investors typically invest from $25,000 to $100,000 each. The round usually totals between $250,000 and $1 million, and the company valuations run from $1 million to $3 million. Collectively, the angels purchase from 20 to 40 percent of a company’s equity and seek a return of 20-30x over five years.

Since the Internet bubble burst, the pre-money valuations of seed-stage companies by venture capitalists have averaged between $1 million and $3 million. Angel investors tend to participate at earlier investment stages than VCs, so pre-money valuations for angel deals nearly always fall into this admittedly wide range. What factors within this range impact the valuation of a specific company?

The accompanying Valuation Worksheet provides entrepreneurs and investors with an empirical basis for deciding if a start-up company should be valued near the top or bottom of the range. It’s not designed to be used for definitive valuation calculations.

The Valuation Worksheet lists major factors and key issues to consider in judging the value of a seed (start-up) company. Note the following features:

  1. The major factors are listed roughly in order of importance.
  2. Each major factor has been assigned a weighted ranking. For example, the “Strength of the Management Team” is worth 30 percent while “Sales Channels” are worth 10 percent. Investors put greater emphasis on the management team and the size of the opportunity than they do other factors.
  3. Within each major factor, the impact of each issue has been assigned a valuation ranking from +++ (very positive) to - - - (very negative), to assist the investor decide the overall weighted ranking to be assigned to the valuation. Some factors, such as the size of the opportunity (scalability) and coachability of the entrepreneur, can be deal killers.

Entrepreneurs can use the worksheet to gain insights into what investors are looking for in a fundable seed-stage company and to identify factors that justify higher pre-money valuations. The worksheet is also a roadmap on how entrepreneurs can improve the fundability of their enterprises and increase the pre-money valuation.

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The New Standard for Deferred Compensation
6/6/2007
File Resource
Summary:

The U.S. Congress enacted IRC Section 409A in the midst of corporate scandals that saw highly-paid executives receive deferred compensation payments while other employees lost their retirement savings. Public and private companies must comply for deferred compensation to keep preferential tax treatment status. This article outlines the risks of not complying and what compensation is involved.

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Sample Compensation Philosophy
6/1/2007
File Resource
Summary:

As you are determining the right executive compensation program, you might find this tool helpful in establishing and communicating an overall compensation philosophy for your company.

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Sample Executive Employment Agreement
6/1/2007
File Resource
Summary:

This document is a sample executive employment agreement covering base salary, incentive bonus, equity incentives, benefits, termination, restrictive covenants, intellectual property, and more.

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Sample Proposed Employee Incentive Program
6/1/2007
File Resource
Summary:

This tool was designed to assist an entrepreneur who set up a bonus system that keyed off the company's EBITDA. By having a bonus program tied to EBITDA, top team members were forced to think like an owner thinks about expenses, opportunities, and investment.

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