planning
Why Businesses Fail

What is the Biggest Cause of Business Failure?

by Arlene Soto

There are many reasons businesses fail: lack of money, changes in the economy, ineffective management, employee turnover, theft, illness, or death of the owner are just a few. According to SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), the main reason businesses fail is ineffective management, whether it be poor planning or not understanding all that is required... Read more »

starting
What is an L3C?

What is an L3C?

by Angelique O'Rourke

In recent years, socially-minded entrepreneurs have begun testing a new type of business entity: the L3C, or Low Profit Limited Liability Corporation. A low-profit limited liability company, or an L3C, is a legal structure (a variation on a limited liability company or LLC) that is relatively new to the United States. The United Kingdom began... Read more »

planning
Exit Strategy

What Startups Need to Know About Exit Strategies

by Tim Berry

  Startups looking for angel investors or venture capital (VC) absolutely need an exit strategy because investors require it. The exit is what gives them a return. Exit strategies related to startup funding are quite often misunderstood: The “exit” in exit strategy is for the money, not the startup founders or small business owners. The... Read more »

funding
What I learned from appearing on Shark Tank

What I Learned From My Appearance on Shark Tank

by Lisa Furgison

It’s not everyday that a television producer handpicks you to appear on ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank,” but that’s what happened to entrepreneur Kelly Costello. Costello is the founder of Puppy Cake, a company that sells boxed cake mix for dogs. It’s a lot like the do-it-yourself Betty Crocker cake mix, except the ingredients are changed... Read more »

planning
shutterstock_203013682

Business Money Is Tight Right Now, What Are My Options?

by Candice Landau

Every business has ups and downs and while many make it through, others don’t. Maybe you need money to buy inventory, to grow or even to strengthen your offering. Whatever the reason, the question is still: what are your options when you know you need a bit of extra cash on hand? Read more »

funding
What It Takes to Get Angel Investment

5 Essentials for Angel Investment

by Tim Berry

Three months ago I posted Securing Angel Investors in this space. I was responding then to a request that I explain the process step-by-step. But I’m afraid I skipped the first and, for some, the most important step. Before you begin, it’s vital to determine whether you actually have a solid investment opportunity, regardless of how good... Read more »

planning
Museum of Modern Art Non Profit Business

How to Write a Nonprofit Business Plan

by Angelique O'Rourke

Starting and running a nonprofit is an exhilarating experience, but it also requires thoughtful planning and execution to be successful. Nonprofit organizations share many overlapping needs with traditional for-profit ventures, including the need for a good business plan. At some point in the process of starting or managing your nonprofit, you will probably realize that... Read more »

starting
The non-dilution clause from my investor contract.

How to Pick the Right Attorney For Your Startup

by Caroline Cummings

Picking the right attorney in your startup is as important as picking the right business partner. You can’t underestimate the importance of selecting an attorney who “gets” your business model, your market opportunity, and most importantly, your fundraising and exit strategy. Read more »

funding
The Basics of Small Business Loans - Video Featured

The Basics of Small Business Loans [WEBINAR]

by Sabrina Parsons

What do you need to know about small business loans before you apply? A lot! You have a lot of options, and there are a lot of variables in the equation that determines whether you’ll qualify for the loan you’re applying for (or whether that loan is even a good fit for you and your... Read more »

growing
are-you-and-your-business-partner-on-the-same-page

Are You and Your Business Partner on the Same Page?

by Cassy Parker

Disputes over money can drive a wedge between the strongest of relationships, whether you’re part of a married couple weighed down by debt, or business partners disagreeing over the best use of the company credit card. When it comes to business, partners on opposite sides of heavy issues can stifle the ability of the company... Read more »

funding
basics-of-small-business-loans-application-form

The Basics of Small Business Loans [FREE WEBINAR]

by Jonathan Michael

Are you a small business owner or thinking about finally starting your own business? If so, then you have probably wondered about your financing options. Join us on Friday, June 13 at 12pm ET/9am PT for “The Basics of Small Business Loans,” a free webinar that will give you an overview of financing for small... Read more »

funding
mousetrap-dumb money image

How to Avoid Taking “Dumb Money” in Your Startup

by Caroline Cummings

You may think that when someone offers you money to fund your startup, you should find a way to take their money. But even more important than landing an investment offer is knowing when to say yes to investors and when to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Just because someone has money doesn’t mean they have... Read more »

funding
How To Make Smart Borrowing Decisions

How to Make Smart Borrowing Decisions (Including NOT Borrowing)

by Jared Hecht

Most people understand the basics of consumer debt: if you rack up more expenses on your credit card than you can pay back, you’re in big trouble. But, for some reason, when it comes to small business debt, the picture isn’t quite so clear. Not all businesses are at a point where borrowing money is... Read more »

starting
What to Look For in a Business Partner Square

What to Look For in a Business Partner

by Allison Berliner

Surrounding yourself with the right people at the right time is crucial for hitting milestones. So how do you know when you are working with the right people—or, more importantly, with the wrong people? Read more »

funding
Tom Scarda, a business consultant, offers tips to ask friends and family to fund your business.

How to Ask Family and Friends to Fund Your Business

by Lisa Furgison

Asking for help is one thing; asking for financial help is another beast all its own. Yet many entrepreneurs turn to family and friends to help fund their business. A recent study from the National Knowledge Commission shows that 63 percent of entrepreneurs “self-financed” their business, but that doesn’t mean every owner saved up their... Read more »

funding
How to Borrow Money From Friends and Family

8 Tips to Make Peer-to-Peer Borrowing Successful

by Lisa Furgison

Plan to ask a friend for a business loan? Check out our peer-to-peer borrowing tips first. Read more »

funding
How I Got My First Round of Seed Funding

How I Got My First Round of Seed Funding

by Allison Berliner

Fundraising is hard work. It’s a simple truth that every entrepreneur knows: Getting the capital to start or grow your business is often harder than running the business itself. Or at least, it can seem that way when you’re in the fundraising cycle, with the endless meetings, pitches, and negotiations. In my experience, the most... Read more »

funding
Michael Seiman1

9 Creative Ways to Finance a New Product-Based Business

by Scott Gerber

When launching a new product, getting the right funding is key. But other than traditional sources, like loans, venture capital, and angel investments, how can you get the cash you need to grow? Some people would say, “Easy—crowdfunding.” But that’s just the tip of the creativity iceberg. We asked nine company founders the following question: What is one creative... Read more »

funding
How to Figure Out the Amount of Investment Money Your Business Needs

How to Gauge the Amount of Startup Cash You Need

by Lisa Furgison

Learn how to gauge the amount of startup cash you need from an experienced entrepreneur. Read more »

planning
Ryan Ausanka-Crues, the CEO of Palomino Labs, talks about what went wrong with his Kickstarter campaign.

Lessons Learned: Why My Kickstarter Campaign Failed

by Lisa Furgison

Plan to do some fundraising on Kickstarter? Hear what tanked one entrepreneur's campaign before you set up a fundraising page. Read more »