This week Dylan shares three personal reflections of lessons learned this past week relating to sales. If you are an entrepreneur or business owner you might be refreshed by these timeless lessons that are easy to forget.
Peter Thiel makes a comment in his book Zero to One “If you have invented something new but you haven’t invented an effective way to sell it, you have a bad business – no matter how good the product” which got me thinking about crowdfunding. I was chatting with someone over the weekend who had sent me another invitation to a crowdfunding web portal that connects businesses with venture capital. As we got talking about it I found myself thinking back to Peter’s comment and realizing that crowdfunding might be working but has the market really bought it? Is it a niche opportunity that will always fill a void because the greater market isn’t sold on it? Do crowdfunding platforms have their work cut out for them before they become a mainstream competitor for capital? Continue reading “Crowdfunding is off to a good start but how will it end?”
I chatted this morning with Calgary based consultant and CA, Brad Celmainis about small business finance. Brad is an accountant with a great personality who thrives on helping small businesses. In addition to being somewhat of an Instagram celebrity (click here for his account) Brad specializes as a contract CFO and/or controller. We chatted about some basic finance topics that every small business owner should consider including why a balance sheet is so important to review on a regular basis and clean-up as necessary. Brad drew a comparison based on his experience that many business owners treat a balance sheet like a junk drawer or a garage – lots of items in there but no one really knows what they are.
I had a great meeting with a new contact yesterday who was seeking some financing for her business. When asked what the funds were for she advised that the money would be used for marketing. Her business has already had a small measure of success and has accumulated a few hundred interested prospects and a handful of customers. Her reason for wanting to spend money on marketing the business was to try and drive more people to the front door of her business. I have heard different versions of this story from many entrepreneurs and businesses including Bridge Capital who has had outside investors.
I sat with an investor last week that was looking for some input on a deal that was presented to him through a friend who was seeking short term financing for his company. On occasion this individual will fund opportunities for clients of mine and we have gotten to know each other pretty well so he asked for my help. Prior to our meeting the CFO of the company seeking his investment completed our Business Health Check (www.businessmoney.ca) and we used the results to speak about the opportunities and challenges involved with making a decision to fund this request. Reviewing the Business Health Check results not only provided some insight into this company but also highlighted several other items that immediately came forward which most businesses Continue reading “3 lessons from a 30 minute meeting with an investor”