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.

If you are an SEO specialist,  blogger,   advertising manager for a retail store chain, or a small business owner / manager / facebooker / and twitterer,  you can pay into your own favor bank by including an adbirds account in your quiver of success arrows.

Reaching your target market has never been better facilitated online that in the basic design of adbirds.

If you are an SEO specialist,  blogger,  an online publisher,  an adbirds Unlimited account can increase your capability to create 365 day ads for your clients. Any adbirds advertiser can become an adbirds affiliate and reap the rewards for converting your ad clients to regular adbirds Value or Unlimited users.

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.

the new way to advertise online,  green, free,  shortest distance shopping

A Trip to California

I had a great trip to California last Friday, meeting with the principals and partners of International Emergency Services Inc. (IES) – a new company formed to import and operate the Russian made, Beriev, Be-200. This amazing special purpose aircraft was designed for multiple purposes, and happens to be the best aerial firefighter in the world.

The IES team of 26 plus the manufacturer (49%), is headed by CEO David Basket of Santa Maria, CA. I have been tentatively named director of maintenance (DOM) and will establish the maintenance and support programs for the Beriev aircraft owned and operated in the USA.

This is a very exciting development in my personal career, and although will NOT take me away from developing AdBirds and AD&M, is a major milestone. This team collectively will do what I have wanted to do since first seeing and inspecting the Be-200 in 2001 at the Moscow Air & Space Salon (MAKS).

See my post on LinkedIn or visit the IES website for a video of this amazing and life-saving air tanker which is much – needed here in the USA.

The Be-200 is a door-opener and will preface future heavy aircraft projects to come. Watch for more announcements!

Most of the $400 Million needed has been committed by an investment firm. Inquirers and Media are welcome to contact David Baskett via the website.

http://www.Be200USA.com

By the way, we plan to allow advertising on fuselage of these popular aircraft and can provide details upon inquiry.

Would you like to win a trip to the California Wine Country?  Post an ad and you are automatically entered.

Beriev Be-200 coming to California

Endorsement: Kris Bailey for Austin City Council

This is a first as I want to generally stay out of politics,  but as a member of the Austin community, I have often been appalled at decisions and policies of our local government.

Kris Bailey is a young man with excellent core values, who wants to represent the people of Austin first.   I first learned about Kris Bailey on facebook.

I plan to vote for Kris Bailey!

– Randall Stephens

AdBirds founder and CEO

AdBirds Online Classified Ad Site Links Free Ads To Free Travel and Free Shopping Giveaways – Even Space Tourism Awards

AdBirds Online Classified Ad Site Links Free Ads To Free Travel and Free Shopping Giveaways – Even Space Tourism Awards

The AdBirds business approach empowers people to connect, buy, sell, earn, save, build and close to the home or workplace.  There is a built – in eco benefit for shortest-distance search to the item or brand level.  People need results now, or reasons to advertise on a new site.
How do you get people to switch from what they know (cragislist, ebay, autotrader, etc.) to what they want, even when they never heard if it?   Incentives will help, once people know about our growth plan.  We have recently launched a Travel + Incentives page to announce the programs.

How can adbirds.com expect to pay for the awards?   We have tied a proven business model to growth targets.  To explain, the value of our Unlimited service accounts will pay for the incentives.  We have a budget for giving away $1500.00 every time a hundred thousand free ads are placed.  Businesses want to be exposed where the traffic is high.
Our product is fixed-price for all user accounts, so when you register a Value or Unlimited account, your cost will never increase.  That is another important incentive for businesses to join up and start advertising now.

Rather than a fifty-thousand-foot view of the business,  I like to think of our product and the market in three dimensional terms.  I am grounded in the original questions now answered by the design and functions of our site;  (how to) “.. serve people, business, charities and ecology”?   Looking to the future, we plan for continuous improvement on the site, expanded category development, improved search features, and of course promote our incentives to switch from the old school, 20th century iconoclasts of online resale advertising.

Will we sell stock privately or offer via IPO?   Maybe, but at this time I am focused on growth by developing strategic marketing partnerships with giants of specific industries.  Each SMP will be linked from a special page on adbirds where a prize winner can redeem a prize voucher for our first level prize awards.    As our “Wanted” ad states, we are seeking Strategic Marketing Partners who will be able to lock out their competition from the program, share links, conduct visual campaigns via coupons on receipts, webmail and in-store campaigns.   Their affiliate payouts will be powerful, and the ultimate prize may be worth tens of millions when the top affiliates cash in their space travel vouchers.  That will be the exciting day when we run a free lottery campaign so some lucky, flight-capable winner will go to space, maybe even around the moon.

I’m in this business to win, empower people, and help our customers win like never before!   – Randall Stephens

AdBirds Links Space Tourism, free ads, prizes, business offers, strategic partnerships

Tips on account creation

Randall F. Stephens  Founder of AdBirds.com

We welcome and value your patronage at any level provided listings adhere to the terms and conditions of the service agreement.   Our service levels are referred to as “Free” and “Subscription”, with Value and Unlimited subscriptions designed to help businesses and local shoppers connect and transact wherever they are.  Shortest distance saves you time, money and fuel.

Charitable is a service level for organizaitons to raise funds and use our Value level services for free.  Upon request, we may allow special considerations for Unlimited services to a charitable organization.

Get Distance” –  Using this valuable tool allows the advertiser to help shoppers save time, money, and fuel.  With “Get Distance” every search result is displayed by shortest-distance using our search tools.  Any shopper may search items and services listed herein by shortest distance, in total privacy.

Item Location / Map Links –  Allow specific item address and map link, a great tool for realtors.  For user-security purposes this feature is fully enabled on Value, Unlimited and Charitable services only.  For free user accounts distances are calculated to the zip code level.

– Charitable Organizations should register as such and use all our features such as user groups to raise funds with online garage sales, etc.  Their organization and links may be found and posted to advertisements by any user.  Registering as a Charity implies you AGREE with this program, which was designed to help any charity, most importantly those which few people know about.  Charitable Organizations provide care and humanitarian support, and valuable community services.
NOTE:   ANY User posing inappropriately as a Charity or acting under false pretenses will be barred by AdBirds.com, and possibly subject to legal actions by civil authorities or the actual organizaton and / or possible actions by state or federal entities.

All users are eligible for free drawings and awards as advertised on Specials and Travel Incentives pages, as well as ads posted by this company.

When you create an account: Please visit the Registration page and select one of the four account service levels, then fill in the blanks on the registration page and read the Terms and Conditions before you verify.  Please allow a few minutes for our emailer to send your confirmation email.  We have your security in mind and hope you will contact us if you have any questions.

AdBirds.com represents a chance at Space Tourism for any adbirds.com user!

Austin, Texas  100610

Our Space Travel Campaign defined

Who wants to go?

At each tier of travel award, we use the number of Unlimited accounts needed to pay for that travel service using one month of fees as the rule.  By the time we reach each level, our lower cost “Value” users should be 80% of the business.  I am confident reators, micro businesses and small car lots will love the Value level of  service due to all the upgrades available.   Any user can become an affiliate and participate in the top tier Space Flight program by networking our service with their unique links, banners and coupons we will provide once the user applies via their account management page.

Why AdBirds.com now represents a Space Travel Opportunity for the common man or woman.

OUR BELOVED FREE users are creating “traffic” businesses want to see to justify advertising on adbirds.com, so we are very happy to reward all our flight-capable advertisers with a chance to fly to space when an affiliate forfeits and takes an optional cash award of not more than ten percent of the travel cost per our estimates.

We will offer a 10% cash award as option for each affiliate space flight award in case a Space Travel award winner wants to take the money.  They will have plenty of cash on hand at that point in time anyway, as a top affiliate.  I want to see them fly but we will award their seat to another advertiser if they forfeit.  We will keep the balance of the money in the flight program to fly our alternates who can be any user-advertiser on adbirds.com we will select by lottery or special campaign when the time draws near.

AdBirds is Rocking the FREE World of online advertising”!

Who wants to partner with us for stronger communities, a cleaner ecology,  and possibly fly in space?

First step toward the moon: Click on my image below and Register a user account.

Randall Stephens planning for the future

Randall Stephens and Orlan EVA suit in Moscow

-Randall Stephens

AdBirds.com Founder and CEO

Join  AdBirds today!

AdBirds to Space… What about yesterday’s press release?

6/08/2010    – About yesterday’s press release.

Some would wonder; “why travel ten miles from home”?…  Many of us like to travel and relax.  I prefer tropical or mountain locations.  Some intrepid folks have vacationed in space even,  with Space Adventures expertly handling the details for a price.  Only the very wealthy have been able to be space tourists so far.  This has just changed.

Yesterday I placed my plans on an ad promoting our affiliate marketing program; – a very serious goal having been set to send people – top tier affiliates – first to Hawaii,  then a 60-mile space visit lasting minutes in the weightless environment as offered by Virgin Galactic, or perhaps another company.  The top tier goal will have us purchasing a dedicated Soyuz Earth-orbital flight, or perhaps provided by a domestic company.    And our top tier goal will have us planning and paying for a lunar mission.

We will send a top marketing affiliate or person representing the affiliate account holder – or alternate – to the moon within 5 – 8 years.  We plan to reach our lunar goal and announce the top aware within 5 years.

Randall F. Stephens  Founder of AdBirds.com

AdBirds CEO Randall Stephens

What if the opportunity is forfeited?  We will now offer a wild-card chance for an adbirds.com advertiser chosen randomly or via a contest by us to take a seat on a space ride at each level in case an affiliate award winner forfeits their ride and takes a smaller cash award.  We will select alternates this way too.  The common man or woman may fly in space due to the adbirds.com growth program.

Let me restate this… Now any advertiser on our unique website may have a chance at space travel.  There would be myriad details in the offer, and I would not want to create false impressions here.  This is what we plan to do.

Who wants to go?   We will contact the winners privately and confidentially of course.  Once agreements are signed the announcements will come.

We have to reach our tiered goals first.   Starting with a trip for two to Hawaii for each 100 of the next 1000 paid Unlimited accounts we will send a top affiliate on a trip.  Then comes the drive to space flight!

We might even partner with other companies to make this happen, and hope to employ some of the talent NASA is losing as it shifts it’s mission profile.

I believe in empowering people and helping local organizations.  There is so much we will be able to do once adbirds is all grown up.  First you have to set the goal.  Then you have to fund the operations.  That is up to bloggers,  organizatons and network marketers who will become our affiliates and fly with Arte (the ad bird ).

Come fly with us!  Create an account.  Log in.  Apply to become a marketing affiliate and we will give you the tracking link and a coupon to share.   A coupon is simply a word which when used to upgrade any account, allows two months free trial and pays the affiliate.  Currently we are signing all affiliates at the 33.33% level and track/pay on all active referral accounts until 12/31/2040.    100 Unlimited accounts will pay you $1000 a month.   Organizations can get paid 40% as well as Publishers.

Newspapers can also participate and use their affiliate links in their header of footer as well as post unlimited ads replicating those they sell to their local clients.  What an idea!  We are not the new media’s enemy.  We are their friend.  We all need a strong news media.

Realtors,  shop keepers and service companies will love our rates.   Your neighbors and friends can advertise up to five ads free with more photos and video embeds and more.  Your favorite local organization can use upgrades for free, enjoy your recommendation links at the top of your ads,  hold online garage sales with user groups to associate all ads of group members.

We are at your service.   What else can we design for you?

Have a great day!

Plan For Tomorrow Today

Networking is a great way to know your community. Everyone you meet knows someone somehow connected to somone you want to know or do business with.

Remember the law of attraction, and ask for the moon if that is what you need.  Plan for tomorrow today!