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    3 Replies Latest reply on Sep 14, 2009 2:20 PM by LUCKIEST

    Advice for starting small business

    GNHSalesTools Newbie
      I am looking to start a new, small business oriented marketing company. I am unsure of how to approach a potential investor and provide a well-rounded business plan, without shooting myself in the foot. My business would require a small initial investment to get things off the ground ($1500-$3000) - that I could possibly even front myself, but I do not have the backing for advertising out of my own footprint. I have run a small business and worked for small business in my city my entire life and will have no issue taking care of most of the business around here, but will need TV and radio etc. to expose my product to other business owners across America and the world.

      Problem 1: How to give a business plan without revealing too much information about your business.
      Problem 2: Who should I talk with about possible investments? Banks? Private Investors? Both?

      • I have also never made a business plan so any help on the topic would be appreciated.
        • Re: Advice for starting small business
          Tracker

          GNHSalesTools:

           


          First, I have a free page on my site that gives a breakdown for creating a business plan. Here is the link:

           


          http://thesologuide.com/planning/

           


          Second, smaller investors may only need to see a portion of your entire business plan in order to invest - especially at the dollar amount that you are requesting. I recommend that you provide them with the Executive Summary and the Financial Plan (with projected cash flow statement and exit strategy for them to re-coup their investment) and see if they are interested. This may be enough for some.

           


          Other lending institutions may require a complete business plan for consideration. But start with the Executive Summary and Financial Plan before going further. You can see if they will be willing to sign a confidentiality agreement prior to showing them more of your plan.

           


          Hope this helps.

           


          All the Best,

           


          Doug Dolan

           

          The Solopreneur's Guide

           

          http://thesologuide.com
          • Re: Advice for starting small business
            wordperfect Scout

            Hello, Mr TheSoloGuide is right in what he suggests, and a business plan, while it may seem daunting is really indispensable, even if don't intend to seek financial help from outside. As the Cat said to Alice; "if you don't know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?" Yet many start ups adopt this mentality and then wonder why they fail.

             

            On the surface it seems a huge task, and, to be honest, it should be fairly well in-depth, but like most things, if you do it step by step it becomes manageable. As well as his great site, there are on line guides available and many years ago I used a free software which was basically a template, it was a little easier.

             

            In so far as IP is concerned, it is a headache, but think yourself lucky you are not in China! You may be able to get a confidentiality agreement as suggested, but ultimately, business involves some sort of risk, the higher the rewards the greater the risk. You can lessen those risks by doing your homework, check out prospective lenders, talk to their past clients if you can, ask a lot of questions. If they don't like to answer or can't, keep shopping.

             

            I am not in US so can't advise on the best investors, but unless you enjoy a REALLY good credit relationship with your bank, my experience is these are the least useful resource. Do a GOOGLE for "venture capital investors" there are hundreds of them, or were 2 years ago, sift through and go from there.

             

            Lastly, although it is not one of your actual questions, you talked about help with national and international marketing. We offer what we call Angel Venture Marketing, works the same as a capital investor except we put or advertising skills where are mouth is. Obviously this is no use to you, BUT I don't believe there is any such thing these days as a unique idea so maybe there is a marketing firm in US that will work with you along similar lines?

             

            Hope this helps and good luck.
            • Re: Advice for starting small business
              LUCKIEST Guide
              Advice for starting small business

              *If I was planning on opening a business**, I would do the following*

              Develop a Business Plan
              Contact SCORE. SCORE is FREE

              LUCKIEST

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