Posts Tagged With: Networking

Revealing Character Through Communication

Some great points about thinking about how our words will be perceived, before we speak. I like Stephanie’s last paragraph were she gives some tips on how to be assertive and let other people know when they are being rude.

Revealing Character Through Communication.

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Categories: Life, Perspectives, The Self Employment Chronicles | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

The Power of Networking Part 3

Tarkus:

Starting a company can be expensive, but there are ways to get started. Many companies with whom I deal have startup costs that are almost as expensive as their operational costs. People costs can be very expensive, but people can be your best assets. Wise hiring helps the people who help you operate your business be your best ambassadors to the community to help you establisher your business and grow.

If you don’t already watch Shark Tank, go on the web and get caught up on past episodes. I have presented to small groups and I have presented to some of the major investment companies in New York City (West 50s and Wall Street). The amounts are different, the levels of involvement are different, but the basic ideas that concern investors are very similar to what you see on Shark Tank. It is even better if you can grow your business without the need for investors (and there are many kinds of investors).

Whether you face a shark or an angel investor, there are many similar issues that you should address in your business plan (and you SHOULD have or create a business plan – another area where SBDC can help):

• Do you know your market (and competition)?
• Why is your product going to reach that market?
• Have you properly valued your company at the time of the presentation?
• Have you paid yourself? (Many people don’t – this is an unstated liability)?
• Are you invested in your business (level of personal or financial commitment)?
• Can your product be sold to the market that you have targeted?
• What is your potential for growth?
• For investors: What is your “exit strategy”?

If you intend to stay in a long term business, you r “exit” may not be a “liquidity event” (new funding round, IPO, Merger and/or Acquisition, etc.) but a funding milestone. When you get from “seed stage” to the next stage, what will you need to do to increase business? Will you need to add property, equipment or people and how will you make that happen?

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The Power Of Networking

I have done a lot of reading about how to start an LLC. This is something I can do on my own, but per the advice I have read, I should have a lawyer review my startup documents. I plan to start out as a sole proprietor, so the paper work will be fairly simple and straightforward.  So finding an attorney should also be simple, right? Not exactly. Everything I have read strongly cautions against simply picking a lawyer out of the yellow pages. The reasons include: not all attorneys have knowledge of business law, and not all attorneys will be willing to let me do all the work; some may want to do everything for me, and I cannot afford that.

To find a good lawyer, I turned to my (you will have to sign in to see the discussion) LinkedIn network, and they did not let me down. I received some great advice, leads I didn’t expect, and I connected with several new people and expanded my network.

One of my contacts, an attorney in Wisconsin (I wish she practiced in New York, and I told her this), gave me the good advice that every business needs a good lawyer, and a good accountant. I already have an excellent accountant. In fact, I will give them a good plug:

It is a small business; they don’t have a website, but they are listed on Google plus: Cole Income Tax Service in Williamson, NY. They are great; Linda Strong has done my personal income taxes for several years. You can also read the Better Business Bureau’s review of Cole Income Tax on the BBB’s site.

Next, I will start contacting these attorneys, and see if they are willing to take me on as a client, with the understanding that I plan to do most of the work myself, to keep my startup costs as low as possible.

Categories: Current Events, News, Perspectives, The Self Employment Chronicles, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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