Improving Access to Capital Via Crowdfunding

Also, what kind of CEO do you want to be, get the right insurance, and don't settle for bad customers

  •  Equity crowdfunding platforms are a groundbreaking alternative to traditional venture capital. Platforms, such as Republic started by Kendrick Nyugen, are leveling the playing field for women and minorities whose access to venture capital has been hampered by a lack of strong connections with the right people, among other factors. Equity crowdfunding provides a powerful work around to this challenge by giving "equal access to anyone who wants to invest in vetted startup organizations".  In fact, recent changes in SEC rules have empowered "members of the public to invest in early-stage companies without being an accredited investor, while also including certain limitations to protect these new investors."  It's an exciting time for start-up businesses and everyday investors.

  • Do you have the right insurance? Is it enough?  Does reading about it put you to sleep?  Your personal insurance is not enough! Here's a summary of the risks that small businesses face and the types of insurance you should consider.  Find out what coverage you should have and get it before disaster strikes!

  • Star CEOs like Elon Musk of Tesla are attractive visions.  But, they do not come without their risks.  Musk recently cost Tesla $20 million in fines to the SEC.  Papa John's CEO John Schnatter' comments about NFL players kneeling have caused the company's share price to drop and endangered sales.  At the same time, rockstar CEOs can bring much needed hype and attention to growing companies.  The trick is balancing the risks and the benefits.  For entrepreneurs, considering the role they wish to play as CEO and how they will structure their company to help them achieve that is an important part of scaling up.  This Harvard Business Review article gives some suggestions for creating a board that has the power to balance out a star CEO and help keep a company on an even keel, regardless of the CEO's qualities.  As you envision your business's growth, ask yourself: "What sort of CEO do I want to be"?

  • Building something that customers want is the cornerstone of a successful business.  But, figuring out what they want can be difficult.  These entrepreneurs talk about how they figured out what their customers wanted.  The common theme?  Talk to your customers!  Tell them about your ideas and get their feedback.  You need to find something that resonates with customers and gets them excited to buy your product.

  • "Don’t settle for clients who pay late, ask for discounts and deals, waste your time and don’t do the work."  Early on, most entrepreneurs will take any customer they can get.  However, you will quickly come to realize that there are some customers who are simply not worth the trouble.  Instead of suffering through the difficult clients, tune your business to attract the best clients.  By building a first rate online presence, providing value throughout your offerings (even the free ones!), and pricing appropriately you can attract the best customers and forget about the difficult customers!

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