Joint Venture Tactics

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Joint Venture or JV partnerships are an excellent way of bringing skill sets together as a group to maximize proficiency in whatever field you specialize in.

Many times you may have an idea or a business model to which you would like to see materialize and yet you find that you alone do not have all of the necessary resources or connections to bring it to life on your own.

This is where the JV partnership comes into play. Joint ventures allow you to team up with other skilled professionals to utilize their unique skills.

A JV can be done for many reasons. You may want to form a JV to help in the creation of an idea, or to promote your idea. You may want to form a JV to help with the management of a company if your skill set is entirely in the creation side of an idea. Or maybe you are on the other side of the spectrum and you can find someone who has an idea that they need help with whom you can partner with.

Many times various people will come together and form a Joint Venture project, other times entire companies will get together to form a JV partnership. Usually a JV differs from a merger in that the various entities do not merge under one new company name, rather they work together on a project while remaining a part of their various individual groups. Proper documentation describes profit sharing and responsibilities and expectations of the various members.

One of the primary reasons people or companies come together to form a JV partnership is for the acquisition of capital. If you are a business owner or the creator of an idea but find yourself without adequate capital to get your business or idea off the ground, than a joint venture partnership may be just what you need. There are many sources of joint venture capital available from angel investors to self-made entrepreneurs looking for an investment to multiply some of their stagnant capital.

If you require resources that you can procure yourself than a joint venture partnership may be right for you or your company.

Overall a joint venture is a very effective way at making an individual or company more powerful and effective either in the creation or implementation of an idea, or in the attainment of capital to fuel a business venture.

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Source by Bill Perrone

Avoid These Five Mistakes When Submitting Your Business Plan To Raise Investment Funds

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Any potential investor wants to see a highly readable and believable business plan with a summary, a management team overview and financials but after submitting your plan many people think funding will just arrive when in reality it can take time. By following the steps below you will be able to avoid some of the most obvious mistakes when raising funds for your project

One – If you are a company that has brilliant technical knowledge and no real sales expertise do not advertise it. Information on your web-site including the management team biographies will clearly state the management teams background including their technical expertise, their degrees, their patents and such like but amazingly their go to market strategy in the business plan is usually incomplete and sometimes missing. The solution, make sure you have a credible go to market strategy with a credible sales leader. Nobody will invest if you don't.

Two – Make sure your website is stunning. Too many companies think that running a business is all about product and the abilities of the technical team – frankly it isn't. This may be true but today investors will always expect to see more. They want to be convinced and when they will go straight to your web site they are wanting to be wowed! Unfortunately, so many people provide what looks more like a school project. Make sure your website is utterly brilliant and that it doesn't look cheap. Ask a variety of people if it looks modern, if it looks appealing, particularly the photos and ask if it is easy to navigate. Also please ensure that it is relevant – it's not about how wonderful you are it's about how you and your company will solve their challenges.

Three – If you are raising money through a prospectus or private listing make sure that your brochure stacks up. Many people do not place enough time and effort with the visual appeal of a Private Listing Brochure and again you don't want to provide a sub-standard document that will fail at every level. Spend some time and money to ensure that you convey your messaging in a professional, crisp business-like manner and that it is logical and easy to read. Also don't use random un verifiable facts – make sure that you underpin everything that you state will be possible with the latest research etc.

Four – don't use jargon. Anyone who goes to your site or who takes a look at any promotional material designed to answer questions won't stand for jargon which usually means nothing to them. If you must use jargon or acronyms, make sure there is an explanation – people won't ask they will vote with their feet! A well written website and brochure is music to the ears of potential investors

Five – Make sure that on your website and all other materials that you have the same font. Make sure that the supporting marketing material looks great and make sure that the stories you tell are verifiable and relevant. Lastly please don't be controversial People will make their mind up on quality and this includes the look and feel, the overall professional approach. If you can use proper references form proper companies. Don't add something for the sake of adding something as it has to be contextual and relevant!

Follow these tips and life on the road to raising funds will be much easier.

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Source by Marc Bandemer

A Draw-Down Schedule Is Vital For Every Business Plan

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Every business concept has brilliant ideas or elements in them. Unfortunately, great ideas are not enough to produce a great business. I have seen hundreds of great ideas, but a few of those great ideas end up creating a new business because so many 'would-be' business owners lack either the experience or the expertise to successfully manage their great concepts into cash-rich businesses.

Go ahead and develop your business concept. Identify and consult all the professionals essential to the project [accountants, lawyers, engineers, designers, architects, builders, and trades]. Now you will have a clear understanding of what is involved in completing the implementation of your project.

You have sourced competitive quotations on the costs each profession needs to charge for their professional work, the input of the various trades and the materials for each task and stage of the complete job. So eventually, you have brought all this information together with the scheduling plan of your project manager. Now you can place every task, stage and the corresponding cost into a timeline format.

So, the draw-down schedule brings together each task, the cost of that task or stage, and the time in which the work is to be completed. These are the 3 elements of a draw-down schedule.

When all this is completed you may now quantify the draw-down schedule, where you need to pay each contractor or professional as they complete their stages of your project.

How to do this? Create a timeline with markers at regular intervals, indicate each month of the project implementation phase. [Tip: Number the first month of project implementation as Month 1 etc. Therefore, if there are delays in starting, you don't have to re-write the spreadsheet.]

Now locate each component of your project on that timeline, show when each piece of the task needs to begin, and when it should be ended. You may find that this is quite complex. If you're doing this on paper it may take a few tries to finalize. This will depend upon the complexity of the project implementation.

If you're recording the timeline on a computer you may need to re-sort the information a few times to get it all ordered. Now plot on this timeline axis a place for the spending for each component of the work. When this is done for every piece of the project you shall have a $$$ value for the amount of capital needed to pay for all the work. Make sure that you include the costs of accessing the investment funding, any commissions payable etc.

When you identify the amount of capital you and your fellow shareholders have in hand at the start, you shall be able to identify the point in time when you shall need to have access to an investor's funds to continue the development program.

Now your 'draw-down schedule' is complete. This is a vital piece of information you need to bring to us, as we prepare your winning business plan. Your detailed work demonstrates to the investor that you understand the complexity of all the dimensions of the project, and have thoroughly prepared for the implementation phases of your new business venture.

For a quality business plan not only sells your investment opportunity to an investor, it also demonstrates your competence. The investor shall place a high value on your capability and preparedness, as they will on the profitability, or the impact of the project.

Make sure that you utilize great professionals to ensure that your great idea, becomes a successful new venture in every way!

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Source by David Z Reynolds

Joint Ventures Advantages

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Global joint venture partnership is a great way to access millions of potential partnerships across countries. Moreover joint venture is indeed a great way to combine efforts, resources, and ideas which increases sales for both sides of the party. Your sales are hence likely to increase with an increase in the number of people you reach through your JV effort.

Sometimes, a joint venture may seem too much of a work but people who think this way are definitely not the type meant for this kind of job thanks to their incorrect and fixed mindset. Business is for savvy entrepreneurs who can think of ways to improve the placement and revenue and also find out merits which can make his business stand out.

For those entrepreneurs on the look out for business advantages, joint ventureship might be one of the best steps. All this business partnership requires is trust and cooperation. The best part of this ventureship is that you are not obliged to share your secrets about the business partner, nor is your business partner obliged to do so. And since it is not permanent, the ventureship can be ended at any time.

Some of the Advantages of Joint Ventures are:-

Access to larger customer bases and geographical markets-A prudent and resourceful business partnership can give you a big customer base and profitable wider geographical markets. For example, if you are in some kind of printing business which involves creating coffee mugs, pens or tee-shirts with company logo and you go for a joint ventureship with a business consultant, who has a huge number of contacts. In such case while you can suggest promotional ideas to your partner, you can also get a long catalogue mailing list in return.

Marketing possibilities-Since both marketing and promotion are important, through such ventures you can always use the otherwise inaccessible markets to yield positive results. Besides large and new markets, this kind of joint ventureship also helps you to expand your market.

New marketing opportunities-A strategic joint ventureship can give you new marketing avenues in case you don’t have the budget for promotional and advertisements in the national magazines and bulletins.

– In a way this kind of joint venture you can get a direct link to the decision makers.

Rather than looking for capital ventures which can finance technology for the purpose of expanding your business, you should look for joint ventures. The joint venture partner who already have their own set of technology and resources can help you with the lack you are facing while you can share the profits. This way, their will be optimum utilization of the existing technology and resources and also build your business by raising revenues faster with shared profits. In case of borrowing money you are compelled to pay back before you gain any profit but in this case there is no such unnecessary compulsions. Even if you have a small business with not much reputation, choosing a nationally reputed and well known joint venture partner can do the trick. All you need is an innovative and strategic idea for the national company and their joint ventureship can shoot you to high credibility and fame. Therefore don’t be complacent with the small ventures, it’s time knock the bigger doors!

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Source by Christopher J Freville

The Long and Winding Road to Getting a Government Grant

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There are many programs set up for government grants through a multitude of different government agencies. A government grant is not a loan and so does not need to be paid back. For this reason grants can be a very path to pursue, but these grants are awarded only to non-profit companies and government entities for the purpose of public benefit, not to for-profit businesses however.

The stipulations in regard to qualifying for grants are tremendous. Qualification is based on necessity and purpose, but even if a non-profit organization does qualify to receive grant funding, there is no guarantee it will actually get a grant.

Professional grant writers are often necessary in order to bypass the narrow straits set up by the government on grant funding. For instance, a local government entity might use the services of such a person in writing a grant proposal order to get subsidies from the state or federal government to fund a local public project. When submitted and written in the appropriate manner, grants have a much higher chance of being accepted. There are also cases where grants that were previously available are no longer, as in many cases the grant system was being abused by knowledgeable grant writers who were able to take advantage of certain provisions that allowed them to get multiple grants for the same or similar purposes .

Government grants can be used for a number of different purposes. Grants for land, agriculture, arts, environmental health and natural resources, and many other public uses are available. Each year thousands of grants are issued all around the country for public benefit. Like any other grant, these are only obtainable through the correct sources, and then only with the right grant proposal. The government does not want to give out free money without a good reason, and this accounts for the clandestine system of hurdles that impedes most from getting the funding they seek. In a great many instances it is actually much easier to apply, qualify for, and obtain a loan, such as through the Small Business Administration, than to search for a grant.

In recent years and small but wealthy industry has sprung up around government grants. Many companies promise that individuals and for-profit businesses can get grants, touting the benefits of grants as a reason to hire a grant writer. In some cases these companies and professionals that have grown up around getting paid for writing grant proposals have engaged in illegal conduct, which resulted at times in lawsuits. For the most part it is usually best for anyone seeking a government grant to avoid unsolicited attempts to get them to spend money in order to get a grant.

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Source by Joseph Hanoa

3 Ways To Finance Your Business Without Credit Cards

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If you’re in a cash crunch and need to find some financing for your company here are three ways you may have overlooked.

1. Vendor Financing

Stretching out trade payables from, say 30 days to 60 days, is a pretty common method for companies to improve their cash flow. Usually vendors are not very happy when this happens, and some even voice their disapproval in no uncertain terms. Most businesses are small businesses and stretching out payables only hurts everyone in the long run. Think about it: if you are depending on one of your customers to pay you within 30 days, and that customer doesn’t pay for 90 days, it can significantly affect your cash flow. If it’s one of your major customers, the impact can be quite serious. You don’t have the cash to pay your bills and so a ripple effect is caused on down the line.

This suggestion is different. If you’ve established a good relationship with your vendors, sometimes it’s possible to get them to agree to finance part of your company by extending their terms for a particularly large order for an extended length of time. If you’re a new company with little or no history, you could approach vendors showing them your business plan and documentation of orders you’ve already received. If the vendor is convinced that your company will be successful, and one of their better customers in the future, they may be willing to give you a break now.

Another alternative is to guarantee the vendor that they will be your exclusive supplier for an agreed to length of time in exchange for longer credit terms. Or you can offer to pay slightly higher than market price in exchange for longer credit terms. This method can be dangerous, because it sets the precedence of a higher price. When the longer terms are no longer necessary, it may be a challenge to decrease the price you pay the vendor.

Occasionally, it’s possible to convince a vendor to exchange a trade payable owed to them for a note payable instead, or possibly an equity position in your company.

2. Customers That Prepay

If you have successfully demonstrated to your customers that you deliver your merchandise to them on time, as ordered, you may be able to persuade one or more of them to put a deposit on their future orders, perhaps as much as 50%. You can add an incentive by decreasing your price a bit in exchange for the deposit. Or you can throw in a bonus: if they’ve ordered 100 items you give them 10 extra. New customers can also be asked for a deposit, especially if it’s a large or custom order.

3.Trade And Barter

Barter is probably one of the oldest forms of commerce. It is simply the exchange of goods or services for other goods, instead of using cash as the medium. The trade can be directly between the two parties or the trade can go through a barter exchange.

The barter exchange usually works on a point system, one point for every dollar. The exchange has members who have agreed to barter their services and products. Let’s say you need a new lap top, but the computer store doesn’t need your product/service. You earn points by bartering with those individuals and businesses who do need your product/service. You accumulate points through the exchange. When you have enough for the lap top, you ‘buy’ the lap top with your accumulated points. The exchange sometimes takes a small percentage of the points as a fee for their services.

Don’t be limited in your thinking as to what can be bartered. Approach bartering as you would any other sale or purchase. Deal with reputable companies. Don’t feel you have to discount your product. The barter purchase is reflected on your income statement as an expense. The barter sale (what you trade) is reflected as revenue.

Barter organizations can be found on the web, just put in trade and barter organization. Many cities have locally operated barter organizations. Contact your local chamber of commerce. The yellow pages give listings as well.

Use these three methods of coming up with cash for your company.

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Source by Dee Power

Business Planning for Angel Investors

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If you're working with an angel investor or any other type of outside funding source, you should have your business properly incorporated in the state in which you are doing business. Before seeking outside capital, you should always consult with a certified public accountant in regards to putting together a business prospectus that is appropriate for an angel investor. This is an essential part of the capital raising process as your private investor is going to want to see the anticipated financial results of your business coupled with other important financial metrics. The ROI of your business should be more than 20% per year.

Most angel investors have an investment time frame approximately three years to seven years, and again, this should be shown in the milestone portion of your business plan. Every business document should have a risks page that showcases the potential issues that you may have as it relates to developing your business. A demographic analysis is extremely important when you are developing a business prospectus that is specific for a private funding source. If you are a first-time entrepreneur or someone new to owning a business, then you may want to investigate working within investor if you do not qualify for an SBA loan. There are a significant amount of risks when working with angel investors.

If your company has a large amount of inventory, in your best interest to obtain credit secured by those goods in order to receive the financing you need, and this can be shown within a business plan that is geared towards either a private investor or a bank . One a side note, some investors aggregate their operations so that they mimic a small private equity firm that operates on a local basis and you may want to investigate this option when you are drafting your business plan for private investment from one individual or a number of different funding sources.

If during the course of your business plan writing you find that equity investment is too expensive for your business then you may want to look at programs that are available from the Small Business Administration. You should always consider the risks involved when it comes to seeking equity investors as there are going to be many covenants involved when you acquire this type of funding. It should also be noted that within your business plan that many angel investors will want to sit on your board of directors.

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Source by Matthew Deutsch

Professionals and Angel Investors

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It is imperative that you work with a properly qualified attorney when you are looking for angel investors. Angel investors typically invest $250,000 to $1,000,000 in each project that they determine to be economically viable. Whenever you work with a funding source, you should look very carefully to showcase your experiences in your industry within all documentation that you provide to a third party. Sometimes, it is in your best interest not to work with an outside angel investor as other capital can be sourced at a lower cost. Most angel investors high net worth individuals that are considered to be accredited investors that can provide you with the capital that you need without any legal issues. You may want to take a look at the SBA definition of a small business prior to working with an accredited investor or small business investment company.

The return on assets is an extremely important part of a well written business plan if you are working with capital sources. In your business plan, you should always provide a complete analysis of the economy in its current state. If you’re going to have a private placement memorandum created, then you’re most likely going to need to have a business plan included within this document and you should make sure that the proper professionals review this document prior to submitting it to any third party. Additionally, within any documentation, you need to focus on the risks that are associated with your business.

Franchised businesses and other low risk venture are always popular among angel investors and your counsel should showcase this to a third party. In regards to angel investor loans, hard money comes from outside investors that want to lend against tangible property. It is very rare that a private investor provides a direct debt investment into a business. There are always investors that are going to be willing to finance new businesses. If you are purchasing a large number of tangible assets then there are a number of hard money mortgage lenders out there that can assist you. If your business is not generate a substantial amount of gross income, you should showcase the number of assets that you have available in the case that you need to liquidate your business in the event that the business fails or does not meet certain investment milestones.

In your business plan, you should always provide a complete breakdown of the funds that you’d need and how it will be used as it relates to your business as this will be one of the foremost questions asked by any angel investor or private funding source. Businesses are always going to be in need of capital, and prior to seeking angel investment you should work with a business adviser or professional that can show you your financing sources.

As there are a number of legal issues involved with raising private capital then you should always work with a number of professionals prior to seeking this type of funding.

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Source by Matthew Deutsch

Take Your Company in a Different Direction With the Assistance of Angel Investors

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Is your business languishing? Since you’re still in business, it’s apparent that the business was doing well at one point. The good news is that you have learned a lot about marketing your products and customers. The bad news is that sales are slipping. The best news is that you recognize it’s time to do an about face and reinvent your business with the assistance of angel investors.

Though angel funding is viewed by many as primarily being start-up funding, the fact is there is total freedom to seek and structure financing in any way that meets the needs of the angel investors and your business. Using what you have learned in the past, including through mistakes made, you can reinvent your business as if it’s a new enterprise and come out stronger than ever.

It’s also a fact that businesses need to reinvent themselves periodically. The reinvention often comes on the heels of experience, though. People change, the economy changes, the marketplace changes, customer needs change – all good reasons to reinvent your business and rev up revenues once again. Experience can teach entrepreneurs that the business is solid but needs a new approach to penetrate the market, a new service or product to round out its offerings, or perhaps a new look or refined brand image that successfully appeals to the niche market.

It’s a pity that so many businesses with great potential end up going out of business simply because the owners refused to adapt. This became abundantly clear as the recession, and now the slow recovery, unfolded. The economy shifts periodically and the successful business is able to shift with it. Stubbornly refusing to change a brand that has become outdated is not a good business practice even if you have spent years building it. A brand won’t be useful if the business fails because you didn’t listen to the marketplace.

Marching Toward Innovation

Angel investors have proven to be an important source of funding in a sluggish economy. Fueling start-ups by supplying business funding, they also power business reinventions. It makes perfect sense too because angel investors are interested in innovation, new ideas and new approaches. Businesses decide every day to change course to better able meet customer needs or a changed marketplace. Some of the more well known reinventions like Apple computers, GE and HP, are textbook stories of success. Large companies can find business funding through banks and equity partners. Smaller companies can turn to angel investors.

It’s too bad that so many entrepreneurs refuse to about face when all the signposts point in the opposite direction. The benefits of changing course are overcome by the fear of failure, and yet that is exactly what happens in many cases – failure. Angel investors are willing to accept risk if you have a solid business for reinvention in a changing economy and marketplace. Angel investors appreciate innovation and new ideas in any area including:

· Technological innovation leading to new products or services

· Upscale redesign of brand

· Expansion of services or products or services to serve new customers

· Identification and servicing of new market niche

As an existing business, you have a track record that proves you can operate a business, identify a market and serve customers. You can approach an angel investor with proof of success and that is a powerful selling point.

Saluting Your Core Competences

The core competencies of your business serve as the starting point for reinvention. They represent business strengths on which new products and services can be developed. Angel investors can fund the innovation that breathes new life into your business whether you want to expand produce or service offerings, increase market share or re-brand. Show angel investors the value you have to offer customers and they will have lots of reasons to support your efforts with business funding.

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Source by Dana Prince

Digital Media Investments – What Opportunities Are Being Considered?

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Are you currently running a Digital Media Technology or a Digital Media company or other media related companies and considering raising capital? This is one of the highly sought after sectors by the angel, venture capital and other investors. However, as the technology and industry evolve, the definition of "New Media" or "Digital Media" or "Internet Media" is becoming more and more broad. For capital seekers, it is a great trend as this means more companies are now expanding their mandate to include "media" assets, in this article, we revealed the our latest interviews and findings from VCs and Angel Investors about what kind of sectors and segments they will be looking in 2010.

What are they seeking?

In essence, the term Media / Digital Media is generally applies to companies whose business activities are engaged in the following:

1. Internet Media

In broad terms, this means "website" business, one fund manager suggested they will look at companies similar to ebay, amazon and other web retailers; another fund manager suggested news websites that have unique and selective target audiences; such as Hispanic news portal, or a particular Internet TV as investment opportunities.

2. Digital Media Technologies

In broad terms, technologies that can stream the media such as video clips, video streaming. Particular examples are digital technologies that can enhance the images for sports events, or digital remote control, or specific digital technologies used on iPhone or for real estate agents for instance.

3. Social Media Websites

More and more fund managers have separate this as an investment class on its own. This is a particular area of ​​interest and likely to draw much attention from investors, the fundamental being that if you are able to run a large Social Media website, you would essentially own a very large database, and you can utilize this database for marketing and Other purposes, it is very powerful and yet, low-cost venture that is able to draw attention from venture capital investors.

4. Digital Market Research & Digital Marketing

Investors are finding a hard time in coming with an universal term for this industry. Ultimately, this applies to companies that use digital / online platform for services, including Market Research. A very good example is my friend's business which has over 400,000 members, and it is a perfect platform to conductive market research, he has attracted $ 10m from venture capital investors.

One area many have not realized the potential is Market Research and Digital Marketing Agencies; this has been a particular booming area for venture capital firms to invest; as they are low-cost and scalable businesses; and usually fast growing companies because of the new technologies and concept introduced around online media.

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Source by Thomas C Su