c20 JWBT144/Gordon September 25, 2009 17:55 Printer Name: Courier Westford, Westford, MA
The process of raising money for your business is difficult and time-
consuming—especially for the first-time entrepreneur. The money hunt is
also confusing due to the maze of funding sources, most of which have spe-
cial requirements and terms. Without appropriate knowledge, you will be
ill-equipped to navigate the funding maze. To get through the difficulties
and confusion, let’s take it one manageable step at a time. The first step is to
understand your own business goals.
Clarify Your Business Goals
Look over the following four questions and craft a simple statement of your
business goals, encompassing the size, nature, growth rate, and harvest.
1. Do you want to grow a lifestyle business or a high-potential venture? Recall
from Chapter 6 that a lifestyle business can grow slowly, perhaps
from $100,000 to $1 million in sales, and will provide a nice lifestyle
for you, as your own boss. A high-potential venture has the capability
of growing rapidly, perhaps in excess of $10 million in sales in a 5- to
10-year time frame.
2. What is the nature of the company you wish to create: products or ser-
vices, marketing, sales, R&D, finance, virtual, international, manufac-
turing, distribution, retail, socially conscious, not-for-profit, others?
Every company has a basic nature.
3. How quickly do you want to grow? Building a business in one industry,
slowly, from profits? Rapidly, by taking in financing partners, by
establishing a network of franchisees, by establishing other company-
owned stores, through acquisitions or mergers?
4. What is the most likely harvest scenario for your business? Do you want to
grow your company and sell it quickly, within 5 to 10 years, or work
until retirement and turn it over to your children?
Your business goal statement will set the stage for finding and approach-
ing well-suited investors. There must be congruence between your goals and
those of the targeted funding source. By way of example, if you envision
growing a computer consulting company having sales of $500,000 in five
years, you would not approach a private investor who is interested in funding
a rapid-growth chain of specialty foods to leverage his expertise in restau-
rant franchising and distribution. In fact, if you do not envision selling your
company in the 5- to 10-year term, you would need to get quite creative to
provide a return on investment to any equity partner. The greater the clarity
of your business goals, the more likely is your chance of finding appropriate

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