Angels for Entrepreneurs

Are you an entrepreneur?  I found these tips on approaching Angel Investors on a LinkedIn group as provided by  Mike Lebus, director of Angel Investment Network Ltd, and want to share the advice with you. 
1. Remember to tailor your business plan. The plan you pitch to an angel should be different from the one you use to pitch to a bank.
2. Figure out the least you need to get to the next stage and raise that amount. Then you’ll have to give away less equity.
3. Always ask for feedback after pitching your company. You can learn from each investor that says no, and improve for the next time.
4. Try to invest some of your own money in the business. Angel investors like to see financial commitment from the management team.
5. Have business plans and pitches of various lengths (e.g. 50 words, 200 words, 500 words, 1,000 words, 2,000 words and the full plan).
6. Make sure you can explain exactly what your business does in under 30 seconds.
7. Remember that investors will want high returns, due to the high risk nature of angel investing. Of every 12 companies they invest in 1 might be huge, 2 might be good, 3-4 will be marginal, and the rest will fail.
8. Never tell an angel “the product will sell itself”. It won’t! An investor wants to see a clear USP & well thought-out sales strategy.
9. Be enthusiastic – Investors expect energy and dedication from entrepreneurs.
10. Angels like to invest in deals with other Angels who have done this before and learn from them to get started
11. Make the most of social media – it’s free and a great way to get yourself known in your sector.
12. When pitching for funding, don’t get bogged down in technical details, or you’ll lose the investor’s interest.
13. The management team is one of the most important factors for angels. Consider what skills you and your existing team have and what needs to be brought in.
14. Angels look to invest in strong markets. You can fix a lot of things about a business, but you can’t fix a bad market.
15. Keep your pitch short and sweet, so the investors stay interested and are keen to find out more.
16. When you read your business plan, put yourself in the investors’ shoes. Ask yourself: ‘Would I invest in this business?’
17. Make sure your business plan isn’t too technical and that anyone can understand it.
18. Don’t be afraid to ask the investors questions about their background. They should be keen to impress you and willing to answer any questions you might have.
19. To reassure investors, get someone in your team who has successful experience with start-ups and exits.
20. If possible, approach investors with a working prototype. Investors like to see, touch and test what they’re investing in.
21. Use facts and stats rather than personal opinions. “I think this market will grow” isn’t as powerful as “This market has grown 30% annually for the last 3 years”.
22. Positive feedback, customer lists, presales and letters of intent are very useful when trying to convince investors.
23. Join an association in the field in which your business operates. This will give you great networking opportunities.
24. Decide exactly what you want from your angel: money, contacts, industry experience, entrepreneurial experience, etc.
25. Investors will expect you to have a very good understanding of your competitors.
26. Avoid general statements, such as “We will provide excellent customer service” or “I am very hard working”. Everyone could make these claims.
27. Do due diligence on any investor you’re thinking of doing a deal with.
28. Try to target angel investors with experience in their industry – their expertise will be invaluable.
29. Expect the angels to want an active day-to-day role to share advice, knowledge & expertise.
30. Ask for a non-disclosure agreement to be signed if there is any information you feel uncomfortable disclosing to the investor.
31. Remember no legitimate investor will ask you to pay money.
32. Be completely open from the beginning. If an investor finds a skeleton in your closet, the deal will be off.
33. A market with high growth potential is very attractive to investor.
34. Start your pitch with “a hook” – a statement or question that grabs the investors’ attention and makes them want to hear more.
35. Don’t write “No Competition”. There is always competition, even if it is indirect competition.
36. Be enthusiastic – Investors expect energy and dedication from entrepreneurs.
37. Don’t use acronyms – people outside the industry won’t know what they mean.
38. Gestures, body language (e.g. nodding and smiling) and confidence are very important when you’re speaking to investors.
39. Ask family, friends and colleagues for feedback about your business plan and pitch.
40. The more you practice your pitch, the more relaxed you’ll be when you’re in front of the investors.
41. It’s really worth spending money on a good lawyer.
42. Don’t be afraid to admit your weaknesses and admit you may need help in certain areas or strengthen part of your team.
43. Use short paragraphs, bullets and lists: This makes it easier and quicker for the investors to read.
44. Don’t write “Guaranteed Return”. No return is guaranteed!
45. Check your business plan for spelling and grammatical errors they make you look unprofessional.
46. Don’t say “My projections are conservative”. 90% of companies say the same thing.
47. Make sure you have legit market research to back up your claims about market size and competition.
48.       If applicable, investors will want to see that you have the necessary patents and protection in place.
49. Don’t say “We only need a 1% marketshare to have a turnover of 1 million” – financial projections don’t work like that.
50. Last but certainly not least, visit  Mike Lebus’ LinkedIn profile and follow his sage advice.

Arab Spring – An Opportunity Not To Be Missed

Arab Spring Is An Opportunity Not To Be Missed.  

As an American with pro Constitutional leanings,  I see a great opportunity in the so-called “Arab Spring”  movement which might be better named.   Hence,  while often hated for our foreign policies, the United States of America is still revered by the world for our Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of expression,  religion,  rights to privacy,  and private property.

All this is a “given”.  So I have to ask;  … “Why have we – the USA – not fully developed and distributed a  “Manifesto of Freedom” to be carried by people in every nation,  written in each language as the Gideons translated the Holy Bible, – a New International Version of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution – modified to be acceptable in each culture,  guaranteeing these same rights and privileges to be fought for and adopted globally”?

Then distribute the “NIV Declaration and Constitution for Liberty” in places like Iran,  Lybia,  Egypt,  Russia, China, North Korea,  Myanmar,  Saudi Arabia,  Sudan,  and let the peoples of those nations do their own good work.

They will I think, and in my view we can then realistically base all our troops at home, trade with our friends, and keep the ‘nukes warm – just in case.  Nobody will dare attack us or even care to at that point.

I will leave you to think about this, copy and paste to your favorite blogs, and comment further.

-Randall F. Stephens
CEO  AdBirds Design and Market Inc.
http://www.adbirds.com

Creating Value

Creating Value Daily
Wherever your website is linked online helps to varying degrees your website’s search-ability by the major search engines.    Ok, that’s a given.

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More value…  The SEO advertising specialist may offer to manage client accounts which will drive hits to the client’s ad-linked website,  and local customers to their doorsteps with map linked ads and geo-location to the item and brand level.

Incentive$?
We have a growth – based adbirds marketing affiliate program any registered user can join,  but which bloggers will want to take a close look at.  Travel and Cash incentives for top affiliates are generous.  Imagine eBay’s earnings report for a few seconds – don’t look too long – and think of what they could do for you at our top award level.    Our top affiliate award, based on the eBay annual reported revenues  – provided adbirds grows that big will be worth $20 Million in cash or the most expensive excursion advertised in history, – a space flight around the moon – winner’s choice, cash or travel, …
Personally  I think most winners will take the cash at most levels and free us up to give the excursion to a randomly picked adbirds advertiser from our database or registered users.  We are not in any agreement with the linked (above) company.   A new entity such as “AdBirds Adventures” will take care of all the travel details at the time of each award, with – as stated on our Travel Incentives page –  the best existing service provider at that time.   The 20% cash value can reach $20 Million, but the lower level awards are great too, starting at trips to Hawaii…

Back to Earth….

Creating value for your business goes deeper than any promotion by adbirds.   With your own unique store on adbirds, you can run expanded capacity ads for a small business starting at the Value level.  We created Value accounts for realtors and folks with up to thirty items for sale.
At only $5 a month or $55 a year, we think this is an awesome capability given that we also network your ads to thousands of people free of charge.

Would you like a free Unlimited account?   Check our our adbirds fan page on facebook,  click “Like” and Share it with all your friends.    Then visit adbirds.com and click the “contact” page to tell us about it in 100 words or less and we will respond with instructions on how to set up your free Unlimited account.

How’s that for helping you create value?  This deal will expire without notice, so why wait?

We want to be your affiliate in making the world a friendlier and  cleaner place to live one, ad at a time.

– Randall Stephens
and “Arte”  the Ad Bird.

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