1. Get 1 Investor with 20 Customers

    Investors need a clear path to success. Few things shine light on that path like having a group of customers or potential customers that are ready to buy. Here are a few simple steps to get 20 awesome customer conversations on track. Talk to your target market. Seems obvious, right? But few of us do this well. About a decade ago, after years of mediocre sales results, I finally took a mentor's adv…Read More

  2. When to Get a Startup Investor

    The short answer: When you need money to startup the right way, have exhausted all other funding options you feel comfortable with, and way before you get desperate. 1. When you need money to startup the right way Sometimes we just can’t get a big thing done all by ourselves. I know that’s hard for you and me to swallow. Most startup people like us are strong enough to move mountains without h…Read More

  3. 4 Reasons You SHOULD Have Family and Friends as Startup Investors

    1. Holidays are so much more fun with business drama There is nothing like sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner or partying at your nephew's Bar Mitzvah and feeling like you are playing 20 questions about the stuff you have been stressing over all week. Why leave that drama at the office when you could keep it with you (and your big business uncle) on all of your days off, too! 2. One more reason …Read More

  4. 7 Things You Can Sell an Investor INSTEAD OF EQUITY

    “How much equity should I sell to an investor in exchange for $500,000?” That is what a reader asked me in an email this morning. It’s a great question with a complicated answer. Most of the time people start calling their MBA friends to get help with a “Business Plan” or their CPAs to ballpark a number that is based on piles of assumptions. We are talking about startup funding here! The…Read More

  5. STOP Cold Pitching Investors!

    Ninety-nine percent of the calls, emails, etc. that get through to me are early stage entrepreneurs who want to pitch their idea and ask for money. And if I say no, they ask who else I can introduce them to so they can make another pitch. Really?!? Let’s compare this type of activity to other similar human experiences and see how it feels. What if the Headmaster of an exclusive and expensive pri…Read More

  6. 3 Investor Pitch Mistakes That Can Become Assets

    1. Making ASSumptions It’s true, assumptions make an a** out of you and me. Knowing your investor and your details will help you avoid assumptions. Having a little humility will, too. If you are like me, you don’t like looking like you don’t know what’s going on. Sometimes it seems better to make something up rather than admit that I don't know. But, in the end it’s always better to say …Read More

  7. Ask for A TON OF STARTUP MONEY!

    Startup: “We are trying to raise $700,000.” Me: “What for?” Startup: “Marketing, key staffing, operation and design.” Me: “You are asking for less than half of what you need to launch successfully.” Startup: “Yeah. You're not the only one who has told us that, but it seems like A TON OF MONEY!” And so it goes with most of the startups we work with. I’ve been there as a startu…Read More

  8. Desperate for Investors? Three Ways to Not Look As Desperate As You Are.

    1. Being vs. looking desperate Just because you are worried about making payroll tomorrow, owe your mom 3 months rent, and just posted your 3,449 piece Lego Death Star ll Original Trilogy Edition on Ebay, doesn’t mean you have to show it. Being desperate for an investor is tough. Looking desperate is worse than being hit by the real Death Star’s ray. Good negotiators don’t project their rea…Read More

  9. 3 Steps to Getting Startup Investors without Losing Your Shirt

    Getting a startup investor can be just the thing you need to launch your business or just the thing that ruins your opportunity for long term success. Doing this “deal” the right way will give you and your investor a chance for success. 1. Get professional legal and accounting help. I know, I know, you may be like me and have the best ideas in the world but may not have the best attention to l…Read More