Attract Funding to your Business

By: Maria Simone

Here are some things you can do right from the beginning to build value in your business...it's like creating "instant equity"! These are important items if you want to attract capital, are planning to sell your business some day, want to attract large contracts and joint venture partners or perhaps a high profile individual to your team.

See what you have in place right now, and then plan for the rest:

1. Protect all Intellectual Property (IP) along the way---- Copyrights, trademarks, patents. Make sure you have the opportunity to create MORE intellectual property as you grow:

A very low cost domain service I use is at (

I register any name related to my current and future brand and product extensions).

Register your written and/or printed material copyrights at

For patent and trademark searches go to

2. Start building a client database ASAP. You can do this even during your formation stage by offering something complimentary to people who sign in, or perhaps host a contest to quickly build your list.

3. Seek out and document Strategic Alliances and Joint Ventures--- Formal relationships with people and Companies who can help build your list, bring you new business, be able to offer value to your customers, and create marketing exposure for your Company.

4. Create opportunities for licensing agreements. Let someone "rent" your intellectual property for a fee OR you may have the opportunity to package your product with someone else's "brand" on it. EX: A child would rather have a shirt with a Disney character on it than the same shirt with no character.

5. Systematize all aspects of your business right from the beginning. Every facet of your business should be duplicatable and/or automated. This includes sales, marketing, operational functions, delivery and the product itself.

6. Will your IP become obsolete? Can you update, upgrade or easily develop new products and services around your original IP? Software and computer manufacturers do this all the time. This was not the case for gas-lamp lighters when electricity was invented, or for telegraph operators when the telephone was invented. Are you a computer manufacturer or a gas-lamp lighter? Demonstrate that you'll be able move into other market segments as the market shifts.

7. Whatever your product or service is, seek out opportunities to create RECURRING REVENUE for your Company, examples would be: Warranty programs, leases, memberships, refills/replacements, usage fees.

8. Have famous, well-respected, and/or high profile people on your team when possible or at least using your products. It's great for instant visibility and credibility!

9. Issue press releases along the way and create PR opportunities such as getting written up in magazines when you can. Keep the buzz going at all times. Announce new product launches, new team members, a joint effort with a charity organization, etc.

10. Ask for and document all testimonials, product endorsements, and letters of intent to be able to show to prospective partners and investors. These could be replaced by actual sales contracts and purchase orders in the future.

Application of these items requires very little effort yet will take your business to another level.

Entrepreneurship
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