The One Thing Every Venture Capitalist Wants


 

The One Thing Every Venture Capitalist Wants

A venture capital firm is a financial institution that focuses on providing capital, in the form of equity, to companies who offer them the prospects of significant growth. 

The partners and associates at venture capital firms are known as venture capitalists. The term "VC" or "VCs" applies to both venture capital firms and venture capitalists. 

Unlike angel investors, who invest their own money, VCs are professional institutions that invest other people's money. VC firms raise capital for their own funds from sources which primarily include pension funds, financial and insurance companies, endowments and foundations, individuals and families, and corporations.

The VCs are then charged with providing a solid return on investment on this money. This is the one thing that every VC wants. By providing a solid ROI to their investors, VCs earn bonuses and raise more funds so they can stay in business.

VCs earn returns for their investors by finding high growth companies, making investments in them at favorable terms, guiding and nurturing them, and enacting a liquidity event (e.g., selling the company or having it complete an initial public offering).

Because they are utilizing other people's money, and are judged and compensated by the performance of their investments, venture capitalists are extremely rigorous in their investment decision-making process.

Importantly, VCs tend to only invest in companies with significant market potential of $50 million, $100 million or more. This is because even with all their relevant experience, the average venture capital firm will lose money on half the companies they invest in and only break even on a third.

Where VCs make their money is on the approximately 20% of companies they invest in that see explosive growth and provide remarkable returns of 10 times to 100 times or more on their investment.

Industry insiders sometimes refer to the 2:6:2 rule. This rule is that an average portfolio of ten VC investments will include two losses (e.g., companies go bankrupt), six moderately performing companies (may break-even on the investment or lose a little) and two very successful returns.

In fact, an analysis by Bygrave and Timmons of VC funding found that just 6.8% of investments returned ten times or more on the invested capital (these "home runs" are what give VCs high overall returns). Conversely over 60% of investments lost money or failed to exceed the amount of money earned if the capital had been put in an interest-bearing bank account.

The result of this analysis is that typically a venture capitalist will want to see the ability to get 10X their money back or more from investing in your company (they are seeking "home run" investments which compensate for the 60% of their investments that don't pan out) . As such, for every $1 million you are seeking from VCs, you must show them a realistic scenario where you can turn it into $10 million.

So, importantly, when approaching venture capitalists, remember 1) their primary goal is to make significant money from investing in you; and 2) you need to show them how they can earn a 10X return.

Now, if your company can potentially give VCs a 10X return, then seeking venture capital might be right for you. However, raising it is virtually impossible if you don't know what you're doing and haven't done it before. So follow this plan:

1. Develop a list of VC firms.

Start by creating a list of venture capital firms.

2. Narrow your list.

Each venture capital firm invests based on particular characteristics (e.g., some only invest in software firms), so you need to make sure your list only includes VCs that are interested in your type of venture.

3. Make sure the VC is active.

Many VC firms that have websites aren't active. That is, they aren't making new investments. You don't want to waste your time contacting and talking with these firms.

4. Find the appropriate person to contact.

This is critical. Venture capital firms are comprised of individual partners and associates. If you contact the wrong one, you'll be dead in the water.

5. Send the VC partner or associate a "teaser" email.

You don't want to send the VC a full business plan or executive summary initially. Rather, you need to send them a "teaser" email to see if they are interested. You don't want to "over shop" your deal.

Once the VC "bites" on your teaser email, the next step is generally to send them your business plan. Following that you'll do an in-person presentation(s), receive and negotiate a term sheet, and then sign a formal agreement and receive your funding check.

The process is a lot of work, but once you receive their multi-million check with which you can dramatically grow your company, you'll agree it's worth the effort.

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How to Raise $1 Million or More

If you need millions of dollars in funding to build your business, you should raise venture capital.

Click here to discover the proven formula for raising venture capital funding.

When you click, you'll learn why the "old fashioned" way of raising venture capital is dead.

You'll learn why mastering the "T-Factor" is key to raising venture capital.

And you'll learn much more when you click here.

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How to Contact Investors


 

If you've purchased any of my capital-raising products or followed my essays, you've undoubtedly heard me say that you should never send an investor your business plan cold. (By "investor," I'm mainly referring to venture capitalists and angel investors.)      

Rather, you should always start with a "teaser" email. A "teaser" email is an email that "teases" the investor by giving them a bite-sized amount of compelling information about your company.       

The goal of the email is to see if they are interested. If they are, you will follow up with more information (maybe your Executive Summary and/or full business plan) with the goal of getting a face-to-face meeting with the investor.     

There are two reasons you shouldn't send your business plan in your initial email. First, you don't want to "over-shop" your deal. Over-shopping is letting too many investors know about your company. If too many investors know about you, the law of numbers states that many investors will pass on investing in you (remember, most investors passed on the opportunity to invest in Google years ago).

So, if an investor isn't even interested in your market space or teaser email, they certainly won't invest in your company. And here's what can happen -- an interested investor asks this investor (the one who isn't interested in your space) if they've heard of your company. That investor says "yes" (since you unwittingly sent them your plan) and that they weren't interested. And then their disinterest persuades the once interest investor from funding you.

The second reason you don't want to send out your business plan in your initial email is for confidentiality reasons. You just don't want your business plan out there for everyone to see. Rather, wait until the investor shows that they are at least somewhat interested in your venture before sending it.

So, now that you know that you should start by sending investors a "teaser" email, the question is what to include in the teaser.

Here's the answer: the teaser email should include 5 to 6 bullets about your company and should be very short (200 words or less).  The goal, once again is simply to create a general interest in your venture so the investor commits time and energy to learning more about it (by requesting additional documents or setting up a meeting).

Your bullets should describe what space your company is in and credentials that make you uniquely qualified to succeed (e.g., credentials of management team, customers serving already or showing interest, etc.).

Now one of my subscribers asked me a great question the other day --  what should my subject line be on my teaser emails?

In fact, she said that she felt subject lines such as "Unique Investment Opportunity," "Please Invest in our company," and "Great Investment Opportunity" don't catch investors' attention and/or could turn them off.

And she is 100% correct here.  You should never send emails with subject lines such as these to investors.

So, I put together a few Subject line "templates" for you to use here:

1. Re Your Involvement in XYZ Company

Where XYZ company is a company that the VC has funded and which is in your general space. You would start the email with something such as "based on your investment in XYZ company, I think you will be interested in what we are doing..."

2. "New in XYZ Space" or "XYZ Space Introduction"


Where XYZ is the "space" that you are operating in (e.g., the financial software space). The first line would tie the subject line to what you are doing.

3. Referred by XYZ

Where XYZ is a referral source that knows both you and the investor. This works extremely well, but clearly you must first get the referral.

4. Comment on Your Post About XYZ

Where XYZ is a post that the investor recently wrote on their blog about a subject. In your opening line you explain what you agree with in their post and then tie it to your company.

To summarize, send investors a teaser email instead of your business plan to start. And realizing that they receive hundreds of emails every day asking for funding, make sure your subject line stands out and seems like you're offering them value.

 

Suggested Resource: Want funding for your business? Then check out our Truth About Funding program to learn how you access the 41 sources of funding available to entrepreneurs like you. Click here to learn more.

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Raise Funding in 2018 with Our Proven Funding Pyramid™ Formula

If you’re struggling to raise money, it’s probably because your funding strategy is broken.

Here’s how to do it right

As I explain in this video, the key is to start at the bottom and work your way up the Funding Pyramid.

Click here to watch the video now

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The Big Secret to Raising Venture Capital


 

The Big Secret to Raising Venture Capital

Years ago I served on a funding panel with Tom Clancy. At the time, Tom was a partner at Enterprise Partners Venture Capital in San Diego.

At the time, many venture capital firms were licking their wounds. They had funded a ton of companies during the tech bubble phase, and most of them had failed.
 
This led Clancy to make an important decision. He said that going forward, Enterprise Partners would wait at least six months before funding any new company they met.

The rationale was solid. During the six months, he would see what the entrepreneur was able to accomplish. If the entrepreneur accomplished the milestones set forth in their business plan, than they were deemed worthy and would receive funding. If not, they would not.

So what is the entrepreneur to do during the six months in order to get the investor to write them a check?

Obviously they need to achieve milestones... But what else?

Before I give you an answer, I want you to know how crucially important this is, not only in raising capital, but in securing key partnership and gaining key customers.

Let me give you an example of an entrepreneur who successfully used this technique in order to get a key partner. This entrepreneur’s name was Chet Holmes. And one of the key reasons that Mr. Holmes achieved success was through his partnership with marketing guru Jay Abraham.

How did Holmes get the partnership with Abraham? Like many people, he tried to reach him by phone, fax and mail. But Holmes did it every other week...

...FOR TWO YEARS!!!

Then, he finally got a call from Abraham's business manager for a lunch appointment, flew to Los Angeles for lunch, and established a very profitable partnership.

So, what's the answer to the question of how to woo investors, customers, partners, advisors, key hires, and more over six months?

Effective and persistent communications. In other words...

FOLLOW UP.

You must consistently, over a period of time, hammer home your message to investors, key customers and others.

What exactly does this mean? For investors, once you meet them, you should follow-up with them at least twice per month to update them on your progress. For prospective customers, you should contact them on an ongoing basis to continually give them value and convince them of the benefits of working with you. And of course, don't forget to follow-up with your existing customers.

And a key here is that this follow-up should NEVER END unless or until the costs of the follow-up clearly outweigh the benefits.

Remember that people invest in, buy from, and partner with other people. So, who would you rather work with? Someone who has been contacting you for two years with quality messages regarding why you should partner with them, buy their product or invest in them? Or someone who you just met yesterday and tells you how great they are?

The answer is clear.

Don't stop at the first contact. Choose the appropriate frequency (i.e., you don't want to be perceived as too obnoxious or pushy to potential investors), craft quality messages, achieve your milestones, and convince investors and others to work with you over time.

------------------------------------------------------------

How to Raise $1 Million or More

If you need millions of dollars in funding to build your business, you should raise venture capital.

Click here to discover the proven formula for raising venture capital funding.

When you click, you'll learn why the "old fashioned" way of raising venture capital is dead.

You'll learn why mastering the "T-Factor" is key to raising venture capital.

And you'll learn much more when you click here.

------------------------------------------------------------

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4 New Strategies For Your 2018 Marketing Plan


 

4 New Strategies For Your 2018 Marketing Plan

An effective marketing plan is necessary to grow your business. Among other things, the right marketing plan details your target customers, your unique selling proposition (USP), and your pricing strategy.

And importantly, your marketing plan covers the "channels" you will use to get new customers (known as your "promotions strategy"). These channels include, among others:

  • Billboards    
  • Blogs, Podcasts, etc.    
  • Card Decks    
  • Catalogs    
  • Celebrity Endorsements    
  • Classified Ads    
  • Contests    
  • Coupons    
  • Direct Mail    
  • Door Hangers    
  • Email Marketing    
  • Event Marketing    
  • Flyers    
  • Gift Certificates    
  • Networking    
  • Newsletters    
  • Newspaper/Magazine/Journal ads   
  • Online Marketing   
  • Postcards    
  • Press Releases/PR   
  • Radio ads/TV ads/Infomercials    
  • Seminars /Teleseminars / Webinars    
  • Telemarketing    
  • Trade Shows   
  • Value-Paks    
  • Voice Broadcasts    
  • Word of Mouth / Viral Marketing    
  • Yellow Pages   

While most of these channels require advertising dollars, there are some additional strategies you can employ that are low or no cost. Four such strategies are detailed below.

1. Get To Know Your Competitors

Regardless of what you're selling or the services you provide, you must know how your competitors are doing it. Why? Simple. Because you want to do it better-or at least not get left behind!

Visit their brick and mortar stores to see what they are doing differently this year. And/or take a real close look at their websites and blogs to see what they're doing and the customers they're serving.

Sneaky Tip:
When visiting a competitor's blog, make sure to leave high-quality comments on a number of posts. By doing this, you can also mention your website directly or perhaps just indirectly through the Name and Website fields (they turn into a link when your comment is posted).

Once your comment is approved, everyone who sees your comment will be able to click on your link and visit your website.

2. Create Some YouTube Videos

I recently met with representatives from Google who presented some very interesting information to me. Including the fact that more and more consumers and businesses are relying on video in their decision-making process.

Specifically, more and more people are searching YouTube for videos when thinking about making a purchase. And they showed me specific research stating that "1 in 3 small businesses purchased a product or service as a result of watching the related video."

Which means that you need to create videos.

Importantly, these videos can also bring you a flood of new customers.

Here's an example. I created a video a few years ago entitled "How to Write an Executive Summary for a Business Plan." On YouTube alone it's now been viewed over 58,000 times. Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLAZpFKRgUg

Once again, I haven't shared this video 58,000 times. Rather, people are finding it by searching Google, searching YouTube, social sharing, etc.

3. Use An Effective LOCAL Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy

An effective search engine optimization strategy will get your website on a top position in the search results pages of all the major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

While ranking at the top of the search engines on generic phrases (like "business plan") is hard, ranking on these phrases locally is a lot easier.

Essentially, all you need to do is choose the keyword or phrase that best describes your business, add your city or area name, and use it in texts that you post on your website (e.g., Business Plan Development Chicago IL).

Your keyword or phrase should appear in the URL of your website and it has to show up in its meta description tag. For example, even though we don't have an office in Chicago, IL, this page on the Growthink website ranks near the top of Google's results for searches on "Business Plan Development Chicago IL" - http://www.growthink.com/businessplan/help-center/chicago-illinois-business-plan-writers

4. Write Newsletters And Send Them To Your Contacts

Keeping in touch with your customers is critical if you want your business to blossom. Information is crucial nowadays. Therefore, make sure that you keep your customers informed with regard to your products and services.

Some businesses do it with a print newsletter, which is fine if the business you generate is worth the costs. But an email newsletter is a much less expensive and time-consuming way to start.

Invite people to subscribe by offering a small discount or freebie, if they are willing to provide their e-mail address. After that, any message you send them is free advertising!

This does not mean that you will have to send a weekly newsletter-they might not be that interested. Instead, write a newsletter with the sole purpose of informing your customers about new products you are adding to your current offer.

Make sure that you mention discounts and advantages. Send these newsletters weekly or monthly at first (but it is better to under promise and over deliver). This will show your customers that your business is serious and it will help create a long-lasting relationship with your clientele.

In conclusion, add these 4 strategies to your 2018 marketing plan, and start rapidly growing your business.

 

------------------------------------------------------------

The World’s #1 Marketing Plan Template

Would you like to know the quickest and easiest way to create a winning marketing plan?

And how to use it to quickly increase your sales and profits?

Well, we've developed the ultimate marketing plan template to help you do this. Simply click below to learn more.

Finish your marketing plan and start growing your sales and profits today.

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How to be an Olympian in Your Business


 

Isn’t it awesome to see the amazing grace, endurance, skill, and competitiveness of our Olympic athletes? 

And wouldn’t it be great to perform as executives and entrepreneurs at that kind of “ultra-peak” level?  

Well, it isn’t as hard as it seems. 

It just requires one simple thing that all Olympians do instinctively. 

Which is, in their quest for gold, assemble an awesome team of coaches, trainers, agents, nutritionists, sponsors, equipment partners, family, friends, and "moral teams" to enable and empower their peak performance.

Think about how different this is from the way most of us approach our work. 

One dimensionally. On our own. Isolated.

This is not a criticism, as thinking about work in this manner is very different from how most of us have been trained and have done so by habit for many years. 
 

But if we truly want to win business gold, just as it is for Olympic athletes, where the difference between standing on the medal podium and being an also-ran is usually mere thousandths of a second...

...the competition is just too good and too fierce to do it in any other way and honestly expect to win. 

Arguably the #1 factor in gaining those tiny, critical slivers of business competitive advantage, just as it is for Olympic athletes, is the quality of our team and network of advisors, consultants, coaches, and helpers.

This is well shown by Norway - with a population less than that of Colorado but with arguably the world’s best Athletes Development and Coaching Program, leading the Olympics Medals Count while the US is 5th and Russia 7th. 

Business is no different. The best and most successful companies have the best and most pedigreed teams of outside advisors of all types to build, sustain, and grow profitability and value.  

Whether that advice and assistance pertains to marketing, sales, branding, IT, new product development, finance, company culture, strategy, exit planning, and everything and anything in between.  

And luckily for all of us, this is a golden age where advisors of every business challenge specialty have as their default new client development protocol a complimentary consultation to discuss our unique problem, to offer initial recommendations, and to then revert back with a suggested scope of work and project action plan. 

All on their nickel.

And just like the synchrony between a great athlete and his or her coach, great business advisors catalyze transformational business leaps forward, bypassing and turbo-charging the traditional and slow “brick-by-brick” growth model into one of ideas, strategy and key relationship break throughs.

All of this “manna from heaven” starts from a simple choice: to throw our hat in the ring for a shot at that medal.

From this heroic step everything naturally and fairly follows - the evaluation of our competitive landscape and an inventorying of our own strengths and areas needing improvement.
 

And from this, then the natural identification of the the kind of outside help we need to achieve our big business dreams.

The beauty and intensity of Olympic competition brings this simple dynamic into perfectly sharp focus.

Looking for Olympic-Level Performance in Your Business? 

Tired of competing hard and long but just not winning? 

Need a jolt of ideas, energy, inspiration? 

Have a key business initiative or new product that you would get going on this year? 

Then click here and complete this short questionnaire.  

And we’ll reach out with our thoughts to help you.

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The Marketing Experiment


 

The Marketing Experiment

This experiment has been done many times at events.

At one end of the table, they place a box of donuts.

At the other end of the table, they place a bunch of fruit.

The attendees filter out of the room on a break...and see the table.

Fifteen minutes later, the attendees go back into the main room.

What do you think the table looks like? As you can imagine, the donut box is usually empty and much of the fruit is left on the table.

This doesn't makes sense, does it? Everyone knows that fruit is MUCH healthier than donuts. So why does everyone eat the donuts?

Obviously the donuts taste better, and unfortunately, this trumps the fact that the fruit is healthier.

So, why do I tell you this story? Because many times companies make the mistake of marketing "fruit" in their businesses, when they need to be marketing "donuts."

Let me explain. Even though customers should need your product or service, it doesn't mean they will buy it. If consumers always bought what they needed, the size of the fruit section in grocery stores would be doubled, and fitness clubs would be twice the size.

The solution is typically this: sell customers what they want; but then give them what they want AND what they need.

An example of this would be to sell a weight loss diet that promised customers they could eat five times a day and never be hungry (because that's what they want to hear). But then, the diet would slowly replace those five meals with smaller and/or healthier options so that the consumer realizes the desired weight loss.

So, I want you to ask yourself two questions:

1) What assumptions do you have about what your customers need, that your customers might not agree with (or won't buy since the reality of solving that need is unappealing)?

2) How could you reposition your offerings and/or solutions so that you are able to give customers what they want, and then give them what they need?

In marketing, your "hook" or marketing "offer" will bring more customers to your door. But then there are 14 other tactics you need to employ to maximize your sales and profits. The video below explains more:

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The World’s #1 Marketing Plan Template

Would you like to know the quickest and easiest way to create a winning marketing plan?

And how to use it to quickly increase your sales and profits?

Well, we've developed the ultimate marketing plan template to help you do this. Simply click below to learn more.

Finish your marketing plan and start growing your sales and profits today.

------------------------------------------------------------

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Business Startup Funding: How Even the "Sweatiest Guy" Raised Tons of Funding


 

His name is Kevin Plank. And he was born on August 13, 1972.    

Kevin was a football player at the University of Maryland. But he was no ordinary football player. In fact, he proclaimed himself to be the "sweatiest guy on the football field."     

Being the "sweatiest guy" wasn't a joke to Kevin. He became sick and tired of his cotton t-shirt's inability to keep him dry and comfortable during games and practices. So he decided to do something about it. Specifically, he started searching for a material that would wick the sweat from his body, making him dryer, lighter and faster.    

Kevin succeeded in finding this material, creating products from it, and building a company out of his products. The company, called Under Armour, is now a public company. And when Under Armour went public in November 2005, the company raised $112.5 Million to fuel its growth.

Importantly, Kevin knew that nobody was going to give him $112.5 million in funding to start his company. Rather, he knew he had to raise smaller amounts at first to achieve some success. And with success, he would be able to raise more and more dollars.

So, Plank, while still a college student, started a small business that sold roses for Valentine's Day. While he only made a few thousand dollars from that business, he used that money to initially start Under Armour.

And when he soon burned through those dollars, he got $40,000 from credit cards (he got five credit cards in order to do this) to fund further growth.

And as the company grew, Plank raised more and more money from various funding sources, eventually reaching the promised land of entrepreneurship: going public and raising over $100 million.

Kevin Plank's story is critical to entrepreneurs that need to raise money. Among other things, it should teach you that you can't simply post your idea or business plan online and expect investors to throw money at you. That's just not how funding works.

Rather, you need to figure out the right forms of funding for you based on your stage of development. The latter part (based on your stage of development) is key. Let me explain. While I've identified 41 sources of funding to which entrepreneurs have access, many sources are tied to how far your venture has progressed. For example, if all you have is an idea (and no prototype or beta customers), then you are too early for the vast majority of venture capital firms. In such a case, you need to raise other types of funding first, achieve certain milestones, and then contact venture capitalists.

In addition to understanding which of the 41 sources of funding are right for you, you need to determine what you're willing to give up in return for the funding.

When raising equity funding, you must give up equity or shares in your business. So, if and when your company gets sold or goes public, some of the proceeds will go to your investors and not you.

When raising debt funding, you're agreeing to make future payments of both interest and principle on the loan. And you may need to put up personal items as collateral.

And finally, with alternative and creative funding, which is often a great option for early stage companies, you may not have to give up either equity or agree to future debt payments. But you still must typically give up something.

For example, with vendor financing, you'll give up your right to use multiple vendors (in this type of financing, the vendor will fund your business based on your agreement to use them exclusively for a certain time period). Or with grant funding, you'll give up some of your growth flexibility (since you'll only get fully paid on the grant if you achieve the goals set forth in the grant proposal).

We've all heard the expression, "it's not what you know, it's who you know." This is not necessarily true when raising money. Sure, it helps if you have a rich uncle who's willing to write you a check. But such "friends and family" funding is but a small portion of the funding options available to you as an entrepreneur.

Rather, it's what you know; your knowledge of the types of funding out there and your creativity and perseverance in accessing them that really matter.

So, start by figuring out what company goals you would like to accomplish in the next 12 months. Then, determine how much money you will need over this period to get there. And finally, decide what you're willing to give up in return for this amount of funding.

Once you raise that initial funding and achieve those goals, more and bigger funding options will appear. And, in many cases, upon your initial success, funding sources will start to contact you. And that's the exact position you want to be in -- having funding sources competing to fund you, and not you competing with millions of other entrepreneurs for funding.

 

Suggested Resource: Want funding for your business? Then check out our Truth About Funding program to learn how you can access the 41 sources of funding available to entrepreneurs like you. Click here to learn more.

------------------------------------------------------------

Raise Funding in 2018 with Our Proven Funding Pyramid™ Formula

If you’re struggling to raise money, it’s probably because your funding strategy is broken.

Here’s how to do it right

As I explain in this video, the key is to start at the bottom and work your way up the Funding Pyramid.

Click here to watch the video now

------------------------------------------------------------

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5 Ways to Improve Sales Without Selling


 

5 Ways to Improve Sales Without Selling

There is a big difference between marketing and sales. The act of selling generates revenue when a product is sold. Marketing, on the other hand, is the act of attracting attention, branding a product or person, and creating a buzz that will eventually result in sales.

Peter Drucker once said, "The point of marketing is to make selling superfluous." In layman's terms, this means that if you do a great job of positioning your business in your ads and build a strong reputation, you won't have to do a lot of convincing and selling once prospects come in the door (or to your website). They will already be convinced that are the right company for them.

Below are 5 marketing strategies to use to make selling superfluous and to grow your business.

1. Improve Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Having a strong unique selling proposition (USP) is a critical element of your marketing plan. Your USP separates your product or service from your competitors. It makes your product or service a "unique, must have" item.

In fact, the USP of Domino's Pizza: "Fresh hot pizza delivered to your door in thirty minutes or less, guaranteed," has widely been credited as the reason for the company's success in a highly competitive and fairly commoditized business.

Ideally you can come up with a great USP for your company like Domino's did. But at the very least, you must be able to clearly articulate reasons why customers should buy from you instead of competitors.

2. Use Multiple Marketing Channels

Once you have the right USP, you want as many of your target customers to hear it as possible. That's why you need to market yourself through multiple channels. The key is this: the more channels you use, the more prospective customers will hear about you. Importantly, some of your target customers prefer one channel (e.g., print newspapers) while others may prefer a different channel (e.g., radio ads).

While one marketing channel may be the most profitable for you, the more marketing channels you can make work for you, the more you will be able to dominate your market.

So, which of the following marketing channels can you start using?

  • Direct Mail
  • Email and Print Newsletter Marketing
  • Event Marketing
  • Networking
  • Partnerships
  • Press Releases/PR
  • Print Ads
  • Radio Ads
  • Search Engine Optimization and Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Telemarketing
  • TV Ads


3. Understand Your KPIs

"KPIs" or Key Performance Indicators are the metrics that judge your business' performance based on the success you would like to succeed.

Knowing your KPIs and constantly working to improve them is critical to your marketing. For example,

  • How many leads do you generate per dollar of advertising (per channel)?
  • What % of your leads turn into buyers?
  • What is your average revenue per sale (and have you improved this through upselling, cross-selling, etc.)?
  • How often do your customers buy from you?

The more you understand and improve your KPIs the more your revenues and profits will grow. In fact, creating and managing your KPIs is one of the pillars of an 8-figure business.

4. Make Buying From You Easy

We've all been to businesses that don't accept credit cards. Or they only accept certain kinds of credit cards. As a result of this, they lose out on some customers. So make sure you offer multiple purchase options, from credit cards to possibly payment plans.

Likewise, you can make buying from you easier by having your products and services distributed elsewhere. For example, if you offer a physical product, you can also sell it on Amazon.com or eBay among other website. These are essentially buyer search engines; people are searching them for things to buy - what a perfect place for your product to show up. Or, if you offer a service, you can develop joint venture partners who sell it to their customers.

5. Provide the Right Information to Prospective Customers


Remember how good marketing will make selling superfluous? Customers need certain information in order to make a decision.

Specifically, be sure to provide information educating your customers on how your product or service can 1) solve problems and/or help them avoid pain, 2) improve their lives and/or increase their pleasure, and 3) save customers time, as that's a growing need for customers today.

Convey this key information in graphics, articles, videos, case studies, interviews and/or any other way that your prospective customers prefer to consume information.

By following these 5 marketing strategies, you can dramatically grow your sales and profits, and not have to resort to high pressure selling.

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Six Great Places to Find Angel Investors


 

Six Great Places to Find Angel Investors

Last year, according to the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire, 67,030 ventures received angel funding.

This represented an increase of 1.8% over the prior year. In total, these angels invested $22.9 Billion; that's a lot of money.

Importantly, the Center for Venture Research found that the number of angel investors providing the funding last year was 268,160 individuals. So, clearly, there are a lot of angel investors out there.

So, you're probably thinking: how do I find these angel investors? The good and bad news is that there's no directory of angel investors. It's bad because if there was, it would be easy to find them. And it's good, since if angel investors were simple to find, they would be bombarded with deals; and thus raising capital from them would be much more competitive.

The best way to find these angel investors is through networking.

First, ask everyone you know (e.g., friends, colleagues, family, advisors like consultants, lawyers and accountants, etc. ) who they know that might invest in your business.

After that, the key is for you to keep networking and meeting new people. In many cases you should target individual angel investors directly. For instance, you may realize that a certain executive in your industry would be perfect, in which case you should call them and/or seek an introduction from a mutual acquaintance.

In other cases, you should "get out there" and meet them at different venues. Here are the six best venues I've found for meeting angel investors.

1. Local Business & Networking Events


Every city has local events that attract business owners and entrepreneurs (note that other business owners and entrepreneurs are often angel investors and/or can introduce you to angels).

You can find out about these events on sites like Meetup, Eventful and EventBrite.

For example, if you go to Meetup and type in "entrepreneur," you'll find lots of local events.

2. Industry Conferences & Trade Shows


Industry Conferences & Trade Shows are great places to meet angel investors. These events are filled with successful people who have the means and often interest in funding a company like yours. And, based on the fact that they are attending such a conference, they know your industry. This makes educating them on your venture easier, and also often gives them the ability to give you valuable strategic advice.

You can generally find out about these events in your industry's trade journals.

3. Alumni Events


Particularly at college alumni events you'll find lots of successful people. Many of whom would be very interested in funding your company as an angel investor. You already have a connection with these individuals since you share the same alma mater. So go to these events and meet them.

You may also have access to an online alumni directly. If so, you can use this to directly target certain individuals.

4. Chamber of Commerce Meetings

There's probably no better place to meet a large concentration of business owners (and potential angel investors) than local Chamber of Commerce meetings. So attend these meetings.

5. Volunteer at Local Organizations & Charities and/or Attend Charity Events

As a general rule, you should volunteer to give back to people less fortunate than you. But as a bonus, when volunteering you'll often meet very successful people, including large donors to the cause. These individuals might also be interested in funding your company.

6. Become a Guest Speaker

There are many groups like YPO (Young President's Organization) and Vistage that have monthly meetings during which they bring in outside speakers.

Find groups like these that could benefit from your knowledge. Present great information to them to help their businesses grow. In doing so, you will make great connections, including some that can fund your business.

As you can see, there are many, many places to find angel investors. It's mostly a matter of scheduling the time into your schedule to go do it.

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Is Your Business Running Out of Time?


 

On Monday, New York Times CEO Mark Thompson admitted something. 

He admitted their print version faces inevitable "expiration." 

Yes, he said “expiration.” 

As in running out of time. 

Now, as a long ago paperboy (for an afternoon newspaper no less!), I felt  a small but perceptible sting of nostalgia at this not entirely surprising news. 

But what really caught my ear was that word "expiration."  

As in a business that, because of technology and changing customer preferences, is just running out of time.

Very unfortunately, when confronted with this kind of reality, too many executives and business owners react in exactly the
wrong way.

They sit in a place of denial - refusing to admit, concede (or even research and understand) the drivers, consequences, and timeline of their business demise.

Or they waste precious time and energy in feeling sorry for themselves - boringly waxing on as to how things “used to be” before all of this "technology" and "those people" got on and ruined things.

Others are more functional, but sad and depressing in their own way. 

They admit, like the New York Times CEO, that they face expiring pressures but then deceive themselves by placing that expiration date in the distant and unpredictable future - kicking the can down the road to be dealt with later, usually by someone else.

Or they “toe dip” with high promise business model innovations, yet weigh them down with the fixed overhead of their expiring parts. 

Half measures like this are doomed to failure.

No, the only appropriate response to expiring business realities is quick, uncompromised and even heartless action.

In the case of the New York Times, that probably (and obviously), should take the form of discontinuing the paper’s print version immediately and not in "ten years or so" as currently planned.

In the case of most smaller businesses, it starts with a thorough audit of all expenses - rents and labor especially - and then matching those against sources of revenue to identify which are moving forward value-add and which are "legacy," expiring and running out of time.

Now, conducting this cost and profit audit based on current marketplace and competitive realities can be money saving, but doing so on future, forecasted realities can be
business saving.

For example, while a defensible argument can be made that many folks are still willing to pay quite a bit to put their hands on a physical newspaper, the economics of so doing are almost certain to continue to deteriorate, so why weigh down the rest of the enterprise to protect a part of it whose future is so bleak?

This is where business leaders become great -- via their ability to forecast how things will be, and then harshly adjust today’s strategies and tactics to serve
tomorrow's realities and opportunities.   

Expiration is the frightening flip side of technological innovation and change.   

Watch-on painfully as it drives your demise... 

...or use the threat of it to drive change and innovation at your business for the better.  

Would you sell your company if the price was right? 

If so, how much is the right price? And do you truly think you can get that? 

To get the highest price for your business, join me for an information-packed recorded web training where I reveal the 5 steps you can take to dramatically increase the sale price of your business, and dramatically decrease the time needed to achieve it.

Watch Now! <== Click Here

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