"Many entrepreneurs have shifted their focus to pursuing VC funding as a primary strategic priority instead of concentrating on generating value for their users. This is worrisome because raising capital alone is misleading as a benchmark for success."
~ Jon Oringer | CEO, Shutterstock ~
It's no secret that raising capital to grow your business or invest in property has become harder. Traditional lenders are requiring you to jump through more hoops, and they are applying less attractive terms after all the jumping is over. Private lenders and investors are more cautious and have upped their standards, as well. What's a businesswoman to do? It's Simply Common (Business) Sense. It's actually not the mystery that many make it out to be. More than anything, good common business sense will prevail. It's often said that the key to raising capital is a person's ability to sell. Selling is a crucial skill for any entrepreneur. When it comes to raising capital, the question is "What are you selling?" In other words, what is the lender or investor looking for?
Bootstrapping a business when you’re not drawing a salary and depleting whatever savings you have is one of the most difficult things to do. Even an independent cell phone app developer has to eat until the application has been designed, programmed, and marketed before any revenues begin. If your startup business requires even minimal outlays for offices, equipment, or employees, the amount of capital needed before opening your doors for business is likely to be significant. Entrepreneurs are often wild-eyed optimists, an often necessary attitude to get their ventures off the ground. But instead of a unique product, record sales, and slow competitors they usually envision, the real world is quite different. The truth is that no new business succeeds without a detailed and thorough business plan that recognizes where you are today, where you want to be tomorrow, what problems might arise, and how you are going to resolve them. The value of a business plan is that you are forced to think about your potential business critically, challenge your assumptions, and research when you’re not sure of your facts. A complete plan identifies and quantifies the capital that is likely to be required to reach break-even and beyond. It is absolutely essential when soliciting investors.
1. Module 1 - Raising Capital for Businesses Overview
We begin with the reason for raising capital for your new business. Most new business owners are reticent to fund raise because it involves selling share off in exchange for capital. By not seeking capital injection to expand, you would miss out on boosting your new company's net worth and thus your own equity stake. Thus, your business may flounder for years before any real traction occurs. Through case study work you will see the wisdom and benefits o getting capital investment to fund your company. You will learn the 5 best ways to raise capital for a start-up and how to move forward even if you have very little money. Lastly, you'll learn what the #1 skill of an entrepreneur is, and that is to simply raise money!
2. Module 2 - Sources of Funding
You will learn the types of financing available for your new business and the methods by which to attain them. You will learn the 8 sources of funding to raise long term capital and what each source means to you, the entrepreneur, in the short and long term. We will analyze the traditional approach for raising capital juxtaposed against case study work that involves raising money for a health facility. Lastly, you will learn how to raise $20,000 in initial financing.
3. Module 3 - Bootstrapping, Friends and Family
Bootstrapping refers to an entrepreneur financing her company without the use of external resources such as venture capital or angel investors. In this modules you will get an opportunity to analyze 5 famous companies that bootstrapped their way to success. You will learn about the benefits of bootstrapping your company and determine viability for your venture. The biggest benefit is that you maintain control of your company. You will also learn about the 3 mistakes to avoid when bootstrapping your business. Lastly, you will get real world advice from a guru famous for his advice on how to bootstrap your business and you will be able to download for FREE an extremely valuable book that will teach you the correct methods to successful bootstrap your business to success.
4. Module 4 - Business Loans and Lines of Credit
Choosing these types of financing options for your business can be confusing if you don't know the difference between the 2 options. Through case study work you will be inspired and you will learn how some large companies started with a small business loan to finance their operations. You will be provided with an Excel template which can be used to to help you calculate the values for a term loan which will then ultimately help you as you continue to analyze whether or not taking out a loan is the best action for your business. As we move on in this module, you will the 10 key steps to getting a small business loan so that you can confidently apply for one in the near future. You will also learn how to build your credit even if you have blemishes on it, and how to keep it healthy. Lastly, you will learn about term loans and lines of credit and determine which is best for your business.
5. Module 5 - Grants and Federal Funding
Starting with an overview of the landscape of federal funding opportunities, you will learn about how you can research, apply for, and potentially win financing via grant for your business. You will also learn about the SBIR - Small Business Innovative Research Program. Once you've determined that you qualify for federal funding you will need to know how to apply for the grant. The work in this module will walk you through the process. You need to also know the pros and cons of receiving the grant, so some time is provided in the module to give you this information. Lastly, you will learn HOW to write a grant proposal and the one thing you don't want to forget when writing it. Ultimately, you will actually write a grant for your new small business.
6. Module 6 - Crowdfunding and JOBS Act
Most people have heard about crowdfunding, but they would be hard pressed to tell you the intricacies of this type of fundraising platform. In this module you will learn some details about this lucrative method of generating finances for your business. You will learn such terms as "micro-financing" and "JOBS Act" as well as the top 10 business crowdfunding campaigns of all time. Crowdfunding is a young and growing market, but currently there are a few primary categories for entrepreneurs to pay attention to, which will be discussed and taught. You will also learn some the details about the JOBS Act and why "crowdsourcing" is blowing up as a legitimate platform for everyday people to use to invest in start ups. Lastly, as it is so important to know the pros and cons of raising money online through crowdfunding, we have included a chapter to give you this information.
7. Module 7 - Investors: Angels, Private Equity, and Venture Capital (VC)
There are many types of investors that you'll meet in your career as an entrepreneur. It's important to know who you're dealing with, so you'll learn the differences between them. By learning about the 15 biggest Angel investors of all time (which is covered in the module), it should spark ideas in you to fashion your business creatively arouse the curiosity and interest of a potential Angel. Juxtaposed against angels are Venture Capitalists. Even though the vast majority of small business owners do not qualify for venture capital funding, you will learn what these types of investors look for and why businesses can benefit immensely from an association with them. We have provided links to the top 30 Angel groups and venture capitalist firms in the country for women entrepreneurs. Lastly, you will also learn how to fund your business with private equity and strategic investor financing.
8. Module 8 - Partnerships and Accelerators
Starting with learning the definitions of types of partnerships and exactly what incubators and accelerators are, you will learn why accelerators have taken hold in recent years and what they do that makes them attractive to entrepreneurs seeking financing. You will also learn what makes them different from early stag investors. It is well known that companies and corporation want to get in on start up business brands in order to extend and amplify their own. You will learn how an affiliation with a corporate or company incubator or accelerator can greatly enhance an entrepreneur's chances of success. A good portion of this module teaches on how to use partnerships to build your business and how to choose the right partner for your business. You will learn what can go wrong and how to avoid the nightmare scenarios.
9. Module 9 - Investment Business Plans, Financials, and Pitch Decks
This module begins by teaching you what the 3 most important things Investors look for in a winning business plan. You will learn HOW to write your business' executive summary, create a financial analysis and projection, and craft a pitch deck that will intrigue an investor to want more. You will be given examples of successful executive summaries that you can use as templates for your own plan, and we will show you what to avoid in your executive summary so as to make it interesting, readable and professional. You will learn the 7 things that investors look for in a financial plan and the 10 slides you must include in your pitch deck. Ultimately, you will create your own pitch deck and you will be given the opportunity several times throughout the module to start crafting your full business plan using LivePlan which is considered to be one of the best platforms upon which to build your business plan. As a bonus, we've included a one hour training session (a recorded webinar) at the end of the module to help you write your business plan.
Time zone: Central Time (US & Canada)
Style: Self paced