Week 8

CO.STARTERS Resources/Forms


General Advice on Raising Capital 

The Company Lab's own Sheldon Grizzle shares in the Wall Street Journal's Accelerators blog what investors really want.

Precious capital remains hard to find for small businesses. This Forbes article shares the most likely sources, from least attractive to most.

Venture Hacks gives advice from leading experts.

By penalizing entrepreneurs who are humble and honest about how their companies will grow, many investors cause entrepreneurs to over-promise (and later under-deliver) when they’re raising money.

Bootstrapping 

No, you don't need investors to start your dream business. Here's how to make it happen with your own money.

In this book, Chris Guillebeau shows you how to lead a life of adventure, meaning and purpose — and earn a good living. You don't need much to get started.

Friends & Family 

While friends and family may be an easy source of capital, relationships can suffer. From the Accelerators at the Wall Street Journal.

Friends and family provide a quick way to get much needed financing - and one motivation is a desire to see you succeed. 

With an uncertain economy, borrowed funds from friends and family may not be repaid. From the Accelerators at the Wall Street Journal.

People seeking funding from family and friends should ask themselves a few important questions first. From the Accelerators at the Wall Street Journal.

Non-Bank Loans

Kabbage offers businesses funding to help them grow. In order to be funded by Kabbage, you need to use Ebay, Amazon, Etsy, Yahoo, or Shopify to sell your product. Just verify your account and be ready to borrow in minutes.

The Accion U.S. Network is the largest microfinance network in the United States and, since its inception, has served hundreds of thousands of clients with loans and support.

Crowdfunding

Kickstarter is a platform and a resource for creative projects to raise funds from the public.

No matter what you are raising money for, you can start right now with no fee or application process.

Bad Loan Sources

This article from CNN tells why title loans often lead to ongoing debt.

This helpful picture from the Pew Charitable Trusts shows how payday loans work and why they usually put the borrow back right where he starts.

Cash-strapped Americans could do better by getting help from government aid programs or charities. Even using a credit card is far less expensive than taking out a payday loan, says this article from the Los Angeles Times.

Fox Business outlines the top seven things you should ask before you turn your item into the brokers.

Business Plans

A business plan is an essential roadmap for business success. This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenues. The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides a number of articles to help.

Entrepreneur provides a guide with tips and articles on writing a business plan.

Create an account and answer the step by step questions to create your business plan. Brought to you by the SBA.

This Word document template from SCORE not only tells you what information should be in your business plan, it lays it out page by page.

Pitch Night

See Week 9.