This is my answer on Quora to ‘what are good questions to answer in a business plan?’
Congrats on your question. Basing your planning on what questions to answer, as you suggest, is a really good way to do it. Everything in business planning is case by case, and every plan is unique, so you’re on the right track.
First answer these core fundamental questions: Read more
Image via McCombs.UTexas.edu
There is no substitute for diving into the key details of a new startup. Executives from large companies have sometimes long forgotten how to do this (“My people will contact your people to work out the details.”). Others hire consultants, or outsource much of the real work. These executives won’t survive long in a startup environment.
An obvious reason is limited funds, but a more important reason is the need to know and intimately understand what is really going on in the business and the market. A diligent entrepreneur should certainly work the important details for his or her startup, especially when it comes to assessing any negative fluctuations in the business.
In his book, “Out-Executing the Competition,” seasoned executive Irv Rothman provides tips to corporate executives on how to dig in and “get their fingernails dirty.” I’ve taken the liberty of extending these for entrepreneurs, based on my own experience: Read more
The two leading impact investing angel groups in the US are Investors Circle(http://gust.com/angel-group/inve…) and Toniic (http://gust.com/angel-group/toniic).
*original post can be found on Quora @ http://www.quora.com/David-S-Rose/answers *
Unfortunately, none of this data exists. Period. The reasons are (a) there is no such thing as an “average” angel investor, and (b) there is currently no way to track the activities or record of individual investors.
That said, the rough ranges would be as follows: Read more
Having just read James Altucher’s Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Starting and Running a Business, I’m fascinated by a collection of bold, very well written, and remarkably unambigious advice, most of it great, some of it terrible. The effect is like a path to heaven with hidden land mines.
Read it, but don’t believe it. Think about each of the 100 points. Reject a lot of them. Be especially careful with the ones that are usually true but not in your specific case.
And you’ll enjoy it thoroughly. Sometimes right, sometimes wrong, sometimes hilarious, it’s great thought-provoking writing on this subject. It’s one of the best blog posts I’ve ever seen, especially on this topic.
That’s so hard to explain that I’ll just give you some examples, 10 of the 100 numbered pieces of advice, in no particular order:
- Should founders vest? Yes, over a period of four years. On any change of control the vesting speeds up.
- Should I ever focus on SEO? No.
- Should you go for venture capital money? First build a product, then get a customer, then get friends-and-family money (or money from revenues which is cheapest of all) and then think about raising money. But only then. Don’t be an amateur.
- When should you have sex with an employee? When you love her [SIC] and the feeling is mutual.
- Should you patent your idea? Get customers first. Patent later. Don’t talk to lawyers until the last possible moment.
- Should you require venture capitalists to sign NDAs? No. Nobody is going to steal your idea.
- My wife/husband thinks I spend too much time on my startup? Divorce them or close your business.
- How do you get new clients? The best new clients are old clients. Always offer new services. Think every day of new services to offer old clients.
- Should I do social media marketing? No.
- How much equity should you give a partner? Divide things up into these categories: manage the company; raise the money; had the idea; brings in the revenues; built the product (or performs the services). Divide up in equal portions.
See what I mean? Good advice, and bad advice. Which is which? That’s up to you.
The “funny” doesn’t show fully in those 10 examples, so look at these:
- My customer called me at 5 p.m. on a Friday and said, “We have to talk.” And now I can’t talk to him until Monday. What does it mean? It means you’re fired.
- Why didn’t the VC or customer call back after we met yesterday and it was great? They hate you.
- Should I have sex with an employee? Stop asking that.
Take my advice. Read his advice.
Image via TheConversation.com courtesy of Flickr/Alex.E.Proimos
If your first startup fails, you are about average. Most entrepreneurs fail on at least one attempt. Investors agree that an entrepreneur who has never failed probably hasn’t pushed the limits. What investors look for is not that you never fail, but that you learn from the failure, maintain a positive attitude, and work with integrity on the next one.
According to Harvey Mackay in his book “Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door,” how to rebound from failure or rejection is an essential skill to acquire for success. His bullets are about job hunting, but I believe the principles apply equally well to starting a business: Read more
No, because they are, by definition, two completely different things.
“Series A” is a shorthand way of referring to what is typically the first institutional round of investment in a company, made in the form of purchasing Convertible Preferred Stock. A “Convertible Note” is a loan to the company, in which the principal (and often the interest earned to date) converts into Convertible Preferred Stock, typically at the time of the Series A institutional investment round. Read more