Category Archives: Ignition! Starting up

Three Important Issues for Your Business Plan

Some professional advice            Here’s more advice from professional investors for aspiring entrepreneurs.  Each of us has a list of things we look for early on when identifying whether we want to go to the next step in analyzing a … Continue reading

Posted in General, Ignition! Starting up, Raising money | 2 Comments

Can you build a company, not just a product?

Some businesses are built around a single idea.    And sometimes that idea is just too small a slice of the big picture to be interesting to investors.  There was a recent investor event where I was keynote speaker, on … Continue reading

Posted in Finding your ideal niche, Ignition! Starting up | 2 Comments

My dad said: “Never take on a business partner.”

My dad was a smart businessman, even if not formally trained. He occasionally gave me advice that turned out to be more than wise, looking back at subsequent experience and events.  His personal teaching event was a typical experience, as … Continue reading

Posted in Depending upon others, Ignition! Starting up, Protecting the business | 8 Comments

Should you include your sweat equity in a business plan?

Investors love it when entrepreneurs draw little or no money from their startups.  It extends the cash available for research and other necessary fixed costs and gives the fragile, young company more “runway” to get to breakeven. What are you … Continue reading

Posted in Ignition! Starting up, Raising money | Leave a comment

What’s the most important thing in a young business?

Cash is everything to a new business.  How many times do we have to say this?  The days of being able to trust that there will be an investor or lender on the other end of a call or email … Continue reading

Posted in Growth!, Ignition! Starting up | 1 Comment

So, do you have that entrepreneurial DNA?

My immediate family members were entrepreneurs from as far back as I can trace.  Dad was a jeweler, then a furniture store owner.  Mom wrote books and articles from her college days until she could no longer see the keyboard.  … Continue reading

Posted in Ignition! Starting up | 2 Comments

Here’s how NOT to define your competition

We investors see this all the time. An entrepreneur pitches using a deck with no slide for competition. When asked (as we always do,) the response is “This is new. We have no competition.” Niet!  No! Unh unh. Professional investors … Continue reading

Posted in Finding your ideal niche, Ignition! Starting up, Positioning, Raising money | 1 Comment

Could you have created a “dirty cap table?”

Oh, I know. When you started the business, you took investments from friends and family in small amounts just to get you started.  Of course, that worked at the time.  But… Enter the need for larger investments When you seek … Continue reading

Posted in Ignition! Starting up, Raising money | 3 Comments

Would you sign a personal guarantee if you have investors?

It’s a fact of life that a banker, lender or lessor will ask for a personal guarantee from the founder or entrepreneur most every time. But what if you’ve diluted your interest from 100% to something less than 50%? Should … Continue reading

Posted in Ignition! Starting up, Protecting the business, Raising money | 2 Comments

Oh, go ahead and ask for a five-million-dollar investment in your startup.

I cannot tell you how many times I have seen executive summaries of business plans in which the entrepreneur seeks $5,000,000 to build the business. Four reasons you should reconsider. First, few startups can use that much money today with … Continue reading

Posted in Ignition! Starting up, Raising money | 5 Comments