Silver Lining is one champion. I met Carissa Reiniger, CEO and President, about three years ago. She has dedicated Silver Lining to helping lifestyle businesses grow. Simple. It’s a one year, mostly on line, program designed to grow your business. It’s not a business plan but rather an action plan that relies on some of the same things in a business plan. There’s nothing wrong with business plans…they are great for determining what direction you want to take your company in. Business plans are primarily used to raise capital however. The philosophy at Silver Lining is that action plans are a better way for lifestyle businesses to grow. Their action plan is called SLAP: Silver Lining Action Plan. It’s a simple (because once you fill in the blanks, the plan program does all the calculations for you). Even if you’re self motivated, sometimes taking care of your own business gets pushed to the side by you – like the shoemaker with barefoot kids. If you can relate to this, then maybe you should check Silver Lining out. www.Silverlininglimited.com
Also, check out this event with NY Fashion Tech Lab Workshop
For years start-ups have been sending investors and other potential funding sources their business plans. With more and more start-ups pitching these days, and funders having less and less time to review them all, a new trend is emerging about how to approach funders. It’s the one-page pitch. Get to the point immediately. Here are some basic questions the answers to which should be included:
· What’s the problem? · How are you solving it? · Who’s your customer? · How will your solution make money (your business model)? · What stage is your company in right now? · How much money are you looking for? · What are you going to do with the funds? · What’s the payback horizon and how much return will the funder get on their investment?
What’s really good about the one-page pitch is that it can be a significant way to force you to clarify, condense and articulate your ideas.
John Ason, an angel investor, often speaks about the one-page pitch: he has approximately 1-3 minutes to look at your idea. And it had all better be on that one page. And not single spaced with no white space on the page. If it’s not visually inviting, he won’t read it. John always offers very pointed and amusing illustrations of how he wants to invest. When asked what John looks for in a management team, his answer includes passion but he also says the combined age of the two principals should not be more than his age. Another, related to return on investment, is that the payout should not extend past his lifetime – his event horizon (as is that of many investors) is a 10x earnings return on his investment in a reasonable time frame (usually less than five years).
To learn more about John, how he works, what he looks for when investing, what he’s invested in etc. http://www.johnason.com/