Monday, November 30, 2009
That's why I wish that some of the Goldman-Buffet largess ($500 million) would also go to entrepreneurs who already know what they are doing but are finding it hard to get the capital to jump-start their businesses. I know several entrepreneurs like that.
Banks have cut way back on the money they're lending to small business. They are cutting back on credit lines and credit cards. Small businesses are hurting badly, even though new small businesses are the engines of growth and employment in our great country.
I think community colleges are wonderful. And I believe it is essential for business owners and entrepreneurs to understand business. But there are many other ways I believe this money could help more businesses to get started and grow.
Read more here: http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/17/smallbusiness/goldman_sachs_warren_buffet_small_business/index.htm?section=money_latest&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fmoney_latest+%28Latest+News%29
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
So I really had to laugh when I read an article in the Wall Street Journal that claimed big companies like IBM were surprised to learn from online chat between their customers that all the customers really cared about was what the product or service actually did for the customers - the end benefit. Gee, the customers didn't care about all the technical gee-wiz stuff that IBM executives cared about.
I must say that I was truly amazed that a company like IBM didn't already know this elementary rule of marketing and that they had to learn it from online chat. Where have they been? (Probably just talking to themselves in corporate speak.) What has their advertising agency been saying to them? Was anyone listening? At least they're listening to consumers now. Yay for online chat!
When I work with entrepreneurs to develop a business or marketing plan, the one thing I emphasize is focusing on the end benefit for the target consumer. That is the message that must be developed and must come across. You'll see this in my Ten Questions Your Business Plan Must Answer on my website: www.upstartbusinessplanning.com.
If you want to read more about marketers learning from online chat, visit All Things Digital or the Wall Street Journal -- http://voices.allthingsd.com/20091123/marketers-find-web-chat-can-be-inspiring/?mod=ATD_rss
Monday, November 16, 2009
While Gretchen bemoans this action as an unneeded, unwarranted gift to large, lobbying, cash-rich home developers who helped get us into our current financial mess, I feel somewhat differently. Many businesses - mom and pop stores, small contractors, manufacturers and other small businesses that make up the backbone of our country may be getting the cash relief they need to stay in business. That relief will come in the form of a tax refund, after they recalculate past tax bills from years past.
As Ms. Morgenson points out companies can "offset losses incurred in 2008 and 2009 against profits booked as far back as 2004. The tax cuts will generate corporate refunds or relief worth about $33 billion, according to an administration estimate." I will admit that when I first read her column, I was disgusted by such a gift to the already wealthy. But later, after a dinner conversation about it with my husband, I had second thoughts. I realized that this break could be good and could help the recovery, even if it rewards builders who do not plan to build until demand for new homes resumes.
Read the article in the New York Times:
Home Builders (You Heard That Right) Get a Gift
By GRETCHEN MORGENSON
Published: November 15, 2009
Analysts say home builders will be among the biggest beneficiaries of a new tax break. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/15/business/economy/15gret.html
Friday, November 13, 2009
I told her that I had developed the questions based upon my 10 years of experience in writing business plans and my 15 years of mentoring and teaching entrepreneurs. Since I've been trying to include useful tips in some of my posts, I thought I'd put down my list of 10 Questions. These are the sorts of questions you need to answer to develop a successful business and to be able to interest investors or lenders. There are a lot of ways to express the essentials that are covered by my questions. I'm using language with the least amount of jargon.
If you want to learn the venture capitalist jargon, know more about business planning or speak to me about answering the questions for your business, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ten Questions Your Business Plan Must Answer
1. What is your big idea?
2. What are you selling?
3. Who will buy it?
4. Why will they buy it?
5. How large is the market of potential buyers and is it growing?
6. Who is your competition and how is you business different from theirs?
7. What will it take to make and sell your product or service?
8. How will you get the news out to potential buyers?
9. Who makes up your management team?
10. How and when will you make a profit?
Monday, November 9, 2009
In New York City this week - New York Entrepreneur Week - http://www.nyew.org/
"(NYEW) is the largest entrepreneurial movement throughout New York State. For the first time, thousands of entrepreneurs across New York State will have the opportunity to actively engage the foremost entrepreneurs, investors and dealmakers both in the State and from around the world."Coming up in Connecticut - December 9:
The SEVENTH ANNUAL CVG EARLY STAGE VENTURE FAIR is designed for entrepreneurs seeking capital to launch or expand a business. Selected companies receive:
- Time on the agenda to deliver a 4-minute PowerPoint presentation to investors
- Exhibit table
- Write-up in conference book
- Complimentary admission to November 19 Orientation and Early Stage Bootcamp, including feedback on dry run of presentation
WHEN: December 9, 1:00-7:00 pm (Orientation for presenters Nov 19)
WHERE: New Haven Lawn Club
- Applicants should be seeking between $100k and $1mm.
- All industries and locations are eligible.
- $225 participation fee for accepted companies (Limited to 30 companies)
WHO WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE: Angel Investors and Early Stage Venture Capital firms.
More information at: www.cvg.org
Friday, November 6, 2009
What surprises me is that only 28% of businesses are owned by women. My bet is that a lot of the entrepreneurial activity going on is not picked up by studies. Perhaps that's because many businesses stay small and don't employ many people.
The ones that do, contribute a lot to the economy. That's why several experts quoted in an article about the study said that the nation should do more to help women grow their businesses and take them out of the bottom tier to move into the mid-sized range.
Making that kind of leap is very difficult for any business. It means a different form of management and space. Cash flow changes. A lot of businesses that can't make the transition die. At least, that is what I've seen personally. The nature of what you do day-to-day changes when you have employees. But it is good for the economy as a whole.
The actual study cannot be accessed online. I got computer code, when I tried to do it. To read about the study, see this article in the New York Times:
CVG & ACG-CT Breakfast Meeting:
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The alternative energy sector offers the promise of profits and employment creation as it attracts private investment and public sector support. Join with members of CVG and ACG-CT at our annual Hartford Breakfast meeting to hear what our distinguished roster of panelists have to say about the emerging regulatory and investment climate. Topics will include a preview of the most promising technologies and innovations, firm strategies for coping with the lack of credit, access to capital, and how to navigate the political and regulatory landscape.
© 2009 Connecticut Venture Group · 203.256.5955
THE 2009 EARLY STAGE VENTURE FAIR is designed for entrepreneurs seeking capital to launch or expand a business. Selected companies receive:
• Time on the agenda to deliver a 4-minute PowerPoint presentation to investors
• Exhibit table
• Write-up in conference book
• Complimentary admission to November 19 Orientation and Early Stage Bootcamp
ORIENTATION November 19, North Haven Campus of Quinnipiac University, Room 250
1:30 pm – Registration
2:00 pm – Tapping into SBIR grants as a source of capital
2:30 pm – Capital Sources and Current Valuations
3:15 pm – Pitching Investors
4:00 pm – Logistics at December 9 Early Stage Venture Fair
4:30 pm – Dry runs of PowerPoint pitches, with expert feedback
To attend the November 19 orientation register at www.cvg.org/Registration/registration_11_19_09.html
The orientation is free to companies that have applied to present on December 9. All others, $125.
Click here for directions: http://www.cvg.org/Directions/Quinnipiac_North_Haven_Campus_Map.pdf
VENTURE FAIR December 9, New Haven Lawn Club
1:00 pm – Exhibitor Set-up
2:00 pm – Presentations by entrepreneurs
3:30 pm - Break
4:00 pm – Presentations by entrepreneurs (con’d.)
5:00 pm – Reception in exhibit area
To present and exhibit ($225 including two admissions), apply at www.back-offices.com/VCFair
To attend only, please register ($55) at http://www.cvg.org/Registration/registration_12_09_09.html
Click here for directions to Lawn Club: http://cvg.org/driving_directions.asp?id=5
For more information please visit www.CVG.org, or call Bernie Lynch at (203) 256-5955.
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EDC • Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge • Fairfield Partners Executive Search • Fiondella, Milone & LaSaracina • FirstMark Capital • Hartford Ventures • LaunchCapital • Murtha Cullina LLP • O'Connor Davies Munns & Dobbins • PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP • Pullman & Comley, LLC • Robinson & Cole LLP • Shipman & Goodwin LLP • UHY Advisors • University of Connecticut • Updike, Kelly & Spellacy P.C. • Webster Bank • Wiggin and Dana LLP • Yale