I thought today that I’d expand a little on fundraising for business.
I’ll start with a warning, if I may …
How much money your business has or raises is very secondary to whether you have a realistic business model.
Earlier this month, a consortium I’m involved with was asked to invest half a million USD in a business.
We looked at, of course, what they wanted the funds for.
Which is fair enough.
They needed funds for larger offices, more furniture and more staff.
In this multi-page, color-illustrated package, though, nowhere did they mention customers or sales.
Now, I, like most people in a similar position, never invest in a business model. We invest in people.
A business model is always unproven, by definition, in its early stages.
But people can have their ideas, motivation and willingness, etc checked in meetings.
I don’t care if it’s your first business or your tenth – I invest in you.
And these idiots had fallen head over heels in love with sparkly offices and staff.
But had no sales.
Now, “no sales” is not normally a problem.
But I expect front and center, the plan for getting sales.
How will you do it?
What are your forecasts?
These figures are, inevitably, arbitrary – but I need to know that you’ve thought them through.
I need to see your confidence in what your product or service is.
And if you don’t have a clue how to you’re going to do that (or you do have, but don’t make it ultra-clear to me), you’ll not get the investment.
But, far more importantly, your business will not succeed.
Without at least attempting to get customers, you’ll never make any money.
And, nowadays, far more than ever before, getting customers is the easiest part of running a business.
So long as you actually do something about it, from a plan.
Every spare second, think about it.
Walking along the street?
Look at shops, businesses, people.
Ideas are everywhere.
Learn as much as you can from people who have failed – they’ve almost always had no training … and it shows.Learn about getting customers.
Learn about basic website building (sites like Squarespace make this SO easy and personally I’ve seen them used in dozens of successful startups).
If you‘re going to succeed, you need to live the dream before it starts.
And as it’s running.
I’m typing this in an Internet cafe in between meetings.
And I love it.
There have done something different to other such places, incidentally.
It’s designed purely for people running a start-up business.
The coffee, snacks, etc are free.
But they charge by the hour.
Meetings rooms, tables, etc are free.
There are no extras.
The Wi-Fi is 150mb fibre.
They’ve been open for 2 weeks.
But they made a simple error.
Their website (still) says “coming soon”, so I’ve been waiting to try them.
I discovered yesterday that they’ve been open for 2 weeks.
And have a massive Facebook presence.
But they forgot to update their website …
See what I mean about thinking and living your business 24/7?
Whether you’re planning to start up or have an existing business, never stop looking at it from the “outside”, please.
You can always, always, increase your income with little or no extra cost.
But only if you keep looking.
My online store is the result of my multi-years of running businesses. Of investing businesses. Of studying businesses.
And in every case, I’ve done this worldwide – literally physically from Singapore to Barbados, from Seattle (home of Amazon) to Agra in India (home of the Taj Mahal).
And online pretty much everywhere else you can imagine …
If you want to learn my methods, my strategies, my successes, then my store is a good place to start.
As is CNBC TV, if you can view it, along with Forbes magazine, Entrepreneur magazine (not as good as it was, but I may be adding some columns there later this year – they have long lead times!), the South China Morning Post (yeah, I know!), Fortune magazine (who kindly featured me after I made a “fortune” all on my own) and a few more, including Dragon’s Den which is also known as Shark Tank if you’re from the US, The Lion’s Den if you’re Finnish; マネーの虎 (‘Money Tigers’) if you’re Japanese; Tu Oportunidad (‘Your opportunity’) in Spain; and Акули бізнесу (‘Business Sharks’) if you’re Ukranian).
As I’ve mentioned before Readly has an excellent app for news and magazines worldwide.
Start at my online Store, though, please, as even if you’ve looked recently, I keep adding new courses, videos and books for you.
Above all, you’ll quickly learn that you don’t need much, if any, money and you certainly don’t need staff and flashy offices.
You just need an idea and my training.
And I’ll help you with both …