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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Invest in Yourself

#Organic Business

U.S. sales of organic food and beverages have grown from $1 billion in 1990 to $26.7 billion in 2010. Experiencing the highest growth in sales during 2010 were organic fruits and vegetables, up 11.8% over 2009. CSA California has pick up locations all over L.A. They will donate $2 to gardening and biodynamic projects at local schools, community centers, etc. Choose between weekly or bi-weekly pickup. A $25 subscription at CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) provides a grocery bag stuffed full of fresh, locally-farmed, organically-grown, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables. That's low-cost and healthy. For a list of their fresh organic produce, go to:
Source: Organic Trade Association’s 2011 Organic Industry Survey 

1. Question: Why does an entrepreneur seek investment? Answer: To accelerate the growth of their business. It is important to understand this when raising capital, because that’s why an investor invests. So they will want to know what you’re going to spend their money on and how that will accelerate growth.
2. Investors only invest in scalable businesses. They’re not looking to invest in mom and pop business or business that are hard to scale up. For example consulting is difficult to scale up with any sort of speed.
3. You must invest money in your own project. If you have not invested money in your project, why would anyone else? I.e., if you’re not prepared to take the risk why should they?
4. Investors expect you to have skin in the game, which means they want to know you have cash in the business too and that you’ll hurt as much, if not more than them if the business fails or you decide to take a job.
5. There are a million great money making ideas out there, but what investors want are great businesses to invest in, i.e., they don’t generally invest in ideas alone. So present a business, not just an idea.
6. All investors want a good exit strategy, i.e., they want their money to grow and grow big.
7. The earlier the investment money, the greater the risk so the greater the piece of the company you’ll have to be prepared to give up.
8. Investors are looking to do some good with their money. Even philanthropic investors want to invest in a viable business, i.e., they may not be motivated by an exit strategy, but they want their investment to do something positive, which it won’t if the business is no good.
9. If your idea is your “baby” and you don’t intend to sell it, don’t bother trying to raise capital. Investors are looking for a big exit strategy, which they won’t get if you’re not prepared to sell. 
10.You need to be prepared to give up more equity than you keep. You won’t get investors if you intent to keep 90% of the business. (It’s better to own 10% of a success, than 90% of failure!)

Source: 28 facts you should know before talking to investors by James Naylor

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Ingrid Cheng

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