July 17, 2007

Some interesting statistics…

  • 62% of entrepreneurs in the US claim “innate drive” as the number one motivator in starting their business. –Northeastern University’s School of Technological Entrepreneurship, October 2006
  • 42% of entrepreneurs say they launched their first venture during childhood (i.e. lemonade stand, paper route, etc.). –Northeastern University’s School of Technological Entrepreneurship, October 2006
  • 1 in 8 businesses that pitched to angel investors received funding in 2006. –Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire, October 2006
  • 77% of people use their own money or family assets for business startup funding. –US Census Bureau, September 2006
  • 35% of businesses owners who have been approached to sell their business but decided against it did so because they anticipated continued growth. –GW Equity, September 2006
  • 49% of the nation’s businesses are operated from home. –US Census Bureau, September 2006
  • The average angel group invested $1.45 million in 2005. –Angel Capital Education Foundation/Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, July 2006
  • 69% of business leaders say it’s important to have a mentor. –Grant Thornton’s View newsletter, December 2005
  • 0.29% of the total adult population started a new business every month in 2005. –Kauffman Foundation, June 2006

July 13, 2007

If you missed the weekly chat…

In yesterday’s FundingUniverse weekly chat, Jeff Rust, president of Corporate Alliance, provided excellent points about the value of networking.

Jeff poised a question to the entrepreneurs listening. He asked, “At the last networking event you attended, did you gain any friends?” From each networking event, you should come away with several new friends. Jeff emphasized the importance of networking with the intent to serve the other person. As you serve these new friends, your friendship can grow into a potential partnership, which will help your business grow. If you become a great “networker”, you should be able to find the right people and business who can help you.

If you are an AngelReady member, you can listen to the chat with Jeff Rust in your archive. For more information about Corporate Alliance’s philosophies visit www.corporatealliance.net.

July 11, 2007

Does your target market know they need your product or service?

The Fast Company website had the following quote from Henry Ford. “If I had asked my customers what they wanted they’d have said a faster horse.”

This quote struck me. Obviously, you cannot force a customer to need your product. However, by showing the benefits or the way your product solves a problem, potential customers will be converted. If educated properly your customers will be more likely buy what you offer them. For instance, how many people really need bottled water? Water flows freely from taps and water fountains in just about every location in this country. Yet, I believe, due largely in part of the education (marketing?) from bottled water companies the industry has grown to $15 billion dollars. Who would have thought? It is just water.

Henry Ford had to educate the American people about the necessity of the automobile. You may need educate your market. They need to understand your product, to see the value of your product, to see the problem you are solving. If you can do this, you can make tremendous gains in obtaining valuable customers.