How and Why To Do Your Own Business Financial Model

Image via StartupFinancialModel.com

Most entrepreneurs tend to avoid this area of the business, and as a result are badly surprised by cost realities, and investor expectations. They seem to think that financial projections are simply invented numbers for investors, and not useful. In reality, it’s like jumping in your car for a long hard drive with no destination in mind. Chances are, you won’t enjoy success from the trip.

What is a business financial model, really? In most cases, it is merely a Microsoft Excel spread sheet loaded with your cost and revenue projections for your startup, starting now in time and extending at five years into the future. For more value, a few variables can be added, like product volume growth rate, and number of salesmen, for “what if” analyses. Read more

Martin Zwilling , Founder and CEO, Startup Professionals
October 7th, 2013

Can I find an Angel Investor for a European goldmine business?

Realistically it is highly, highly unlikely that you would be able to find an angel investor for any such venture, here or elsewhere. And, speaking to you as an active angel who has personally invested in over 80 companies, I can tell you that if anyone claiming to be an angel investor even hints at offering you funding for it, it is highly, highly likely that they are trying to scam you. Read more

Real Entrepreneurs Need to Accentuate The Positive

Trevor Blake photo via YoungUpstarts.com

Entrepreneurs need to listen to constructive criticism, but ignore negative vibes and complainers at all costs. If you are a complainer, and you are thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, think again. The world of an entrepreneur is tough, unpredictable, and fraught with risk. Most importantly, the buck stops with you, so there is no room for excuses and negativity.

Even listening often to negative team members and partners will reinforce negative thinking and behavior, and turn your normally positive perspective toxic. I’ve seen it too often in real life, and it was reinforced to me a while back in a book by Trevor Blake, “Three Simple Steps: A Map to Success in Business and Life.”

Trevor is a highly successful serial entrepreneur and success coach who has studied this phenomenon for many years, including the latest findings in neuroscience. Reviewing dozens of autobiographies of great entrepreneurs, including Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, and Andrew Carnegie, it seems that all had an unshakable belief in their ability to control their lives, with no excuses. Read more

Martin Zwilling , Founder and CEO, Startup Professionals
September 29th, 2013

Which equity based crowdfunding startups hold the most promise / have the highest growth potential at this point?

Since no equity crowdfunding platforms under the JOBS Act will be able to even begin operations for another six to nine months, it is impossible for any of them to be “the market leader” at this point…even though every single one of them—as in a drawing room farce—is claiming the title.

And since the three logical big players (KickStarter, Gust and AngelList) have all indicated that they are unlikely to enter the fray, we need to exclude them as well.

That leaves us with five equity ‘crowdfunding’ companies that are actually up and operating: one playing close to the line, one using debt, one limited to Accredited investors, and two using the SPV strategy. They are: Read more