Cash Mousetrap

Why Bootstrapping is Better

by Tim Berry

The normal startup process doesn’t go from idea to plan to funding by outside investors. Funding is the exception, not the rule. Most startups are bootstrapped. That means we start a business with what resources we have. We fund it from early sales, promises, savings, and maybe friends and family; not outside investors. We all... Read More »

Business Management

10 Myths vs. Reality on Business Plans and Startup Investment

by Tim Berry

I gather from a stream of emails I’ve received that there are a lot of misconceptions on the relationship between a business plan and getting seed money and/or angel investment. So here’s a list of reality checks to apply to all those lists. Business plans are necessary but not sufficient. Even a great business plan... Read More »

valuation terms

5 Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Valuation

by Tim Berry

Valuation is one of those four-syllable business buzzwords you’re going to have to deal with, eventually, if you either want to start a business or own a business. If it doesn’t come up when you start, it will come up later. Here is what I think you need to know, in five short points. The... Read More »

Hit the Target

Elevator Speech Part 4: Delivery

by Tim Berry

In the real world, you know your so-called elevator speech and you use it when appropriate. Every time you do it, you and it get better. I'd recommend taking time out and working on it, but you probably won't; you're... Read More »

Elevator Speech What You Offer

Elevator Speech Part 3: What You Offer

by Tim Berry

Now explain what that person you're selling to gets. Or the organization. You've personalized the need or want, identified your unique qualities to solve the problem, and now you have to put the need or want in concrete terms that... Read More »

Elevator Speech

Elevator Speech Part 2: Why You?

by Tim Berry

In the next part of your elevator speech address 'why you'? Why your business? What's special about you that makes your offering or solution interesting to the target person or organization you just identified. That was my previous post. This... Read More »

Microphone

Elevator Speech Part 1: The Market Story

by Tim Berry

If you can't say it in 60 seconds, you have a problem. Your strategy isn't clear enough. Nowadays we call it "the elevator speech," meaning a quick description of the business that you could do in the time you share... Read More »

Chart_shutterstock_42227020_by_ArchMan (2)

Which Comes First: Plan or Pitch?

by Tim Berry

It’s not exactly the same as the chicken or the egg, but it has some similarities. I get this question a lot lately, so I decided to take it here to my blog. Don’t pitch a business without planning it first. That’s a lot like trying to film a movie without having a screenplay. You have... Read More »

businessplan_hands_shutterstock_23965849_by_Dmitriy_Shironosov

10 Good Reasons Not to Seek Investors For Your Startup

by Tim Berry

Sure, maybe you need the money. Maybe that’s what your business plan says. But seriously: Do you really want to have investors involved in your dream startup? I’ve said it before: bootstrapping is underrated. I get frequent emails from people asking how they can get investment for their new startup, and I’ve admitted to being... Read More »

projected profits too high

Your Profits Are Way Too High!

by Tim Berry

The most common mistake in startup business plans is having the profits way too high. There’s no sense whatsoever to priding oneself in projected profits, as in profits you predict your business will have in the future. That’s like having replicas of future Olympic gold medals made and putting them into a trophy case. And... Read More »