Stick To Real News To Get Your Startup Press Releases Noticed

Originally published in Fox Business. The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) posed the following question to members: What one tip do you have for writing press releases that actually get noticed? Read on for their answers. No. 1: Skip the Fluff When drafting a press release, think like a reporter. A reporter will read the headline and the first few sentences; if it doesn’t capture him in the first few seconds, it gets deleted. So get to the point right away by keeping it short and easy to read. Make your headline irresistible, and write like a reporter by using relevant statistics and interesting, timely factoids to tell your story. — Tom Cannon of BungoBox No. 2: Tie in Current Events One of the most effective ways to increase your media pickups is to enhance the newsworthiness of your story by tying it to a relevant current event. If there was …
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How to Make Your Startup A Talent Magnet

No matter how great your startup idea, ultimately consistent execution (including hiring and retaining the right people), is the biggest determinant of long-term business success. Our expert panelists: Karen Reinhold, Shareholder at Hopkins Carley, Tom Byrne, Vice President at Wells Fargo Insurance, Amanda Christoff, Managing Director at Premier Inc., and Sirk Roh, COO of EGFS, shared what you need to do now to make your startup a talent magnet. Here are some pointers. Hiring Plan Competition for top talent is really fierce. You can’t afford to take a scattershot approach to hiring the right human capital. The key is to first identify, then prioritize your needs as part of putting together an effective hiring strategy that covers sourcing, attracting talent, and sealing the deal. In other words, come up with a hiring plan. As part of that plan, make sure you educate yourself on the current marketplace dynamics so that …
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Just Starting Up: 15 Bloggers You Should Read

This guest post by David Cheng was originally published on Zenpayroll. If you’re looking to start a business, there’s no better time. But being an entrepreneur can be daunting. Where do you even begin? Fortunately, there are lots of great online resources for first time (or serial) entrepreneurs. Here are our 15 favorite bloggers for starting your small business. Small Business 1. Gene Marks Gene is the leading expert on small businesses, with an active readership across multiple syndication platforms. Gene’s blog on the New York Times is a great digest of the most significant political, economic, financial, and technological trends that affect business management. Recent posts: Can You Guess the Killer Business App of 2014? Please Don’t Call Yourself a Small-Business Owner 2. Martin Zwilling Martin has 30 years of executive experience in all aspects of building a company: including product management, marketing, and software development. He blogs on …
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Startup Pitch Decks That Will Get You Funded

How do you put together a pitch deck that impresses investors? What goes in one anyway? And how can you make maximum impact when you’re giving the pitch? Marc Phillips, Managing Director at Arafura Ventures, Jim Fulton, Partner at Cooley LLP, and EGFS COO Sirk Roh, covered all that and more in our recent webinar: Startup Pitch Decks That Work. If you missed the webinar, here’s my slide-by-slide take of the highlights. At the outset Select investors who can re-up on their investment and who can help you beyond just giving money. Putting together your deck Slide 1: Logo/Mission/Positioning Line.Founders This slide is your elevator pitch. In 15-20 seconds or less, you should convey a sense of excitement, while getting across to investors that you are “investment ready.” For best results, make this emotive, using images and logos where you can. Use your positioning line to convey your mission and …
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5 Common Obstacles to Startup Success: And How to Steer Clear

Paul Finkle, CEO of SharedHR, co-authored this post. We know startups. From our experience launching our own companies, to now providing outsourced services and support for the next generation of startups, we know the mistakes most organizations make. SharedHR provides HR support, and Early Growth Financial Services provides financial support to early-stage startups. Between us, we’ve helped hundreds of organizations to establish and manage the essential systems and processes needed to succeed. Over time, we’ve realized there is a common set of mistakes that many early-stage startups encounter. But with our combined experience, we’ve also realized that with the proper knowledge, planning, and support, these mistakes can be easily avoided. 1. Lack of planning. Perhaps you’ve heard the “rumors” that business plans are dead, outdated, anachronistic holdovers from days gone by. Don’t believe it. Business planning is essential for your success. You must establish clear organizational goals and then develop …
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4 Steps to Get You Through a Small Business Audit

Though the odds of your business getting audited are low, with the IRS increasing its focus on finding small businesses that are underreporting income, it pays to think about how you would handle it if your business were to receive an audit notice. Hopefully you’ve avoided the two things that many startups are guilty of: not properly tracking expenses and mixing business and personal accounts. But what should you do if the IRS comes calling? 1) First, Don’t panic — Getting an IRS notice doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve done anything wrong. In many cases, clarification and documentation of a few items are all that’s needed. Sometimes, once you’ve gone through the exercise, whether an examination by mail or a full-scale traditional audit, your tax liability is unchanged. But you do need to review what triggered the audit. The IRS will include a general description of the information it wants …
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13 Ways To Be A Great Startup Boss

Originally published in MonsterThinking. The following answers on what it takes to be an outstanding startup boss were provided by members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) in response to this question: What is the #1, must-have trait for a great boss? 1. An Understanding of Intrapreneurs Today, there are more and more intrapreneurs within companies. A boss needs to understand that everyone wants more ownership over his or her tasks and projects. When someone feels like he or she is in control or contributing a lot, he or she performs better and enjoy the work more. — Nathalie Lussier, The Website Checkup Tool 2. The Ability to Guide Others True leaders must prepare their employees to go on a journey, not simply kick them in the right direction. Guiding them along the way means providing them with the necessary preparation in the form of tools, advice and examples. These …
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When to Bring A Startup CFO On Board

Early stage and small companies need CFOs with a different mindset and skills than their peers’ in large organizations. Of course, early stage CFOs can and do manage P&L and handle investor relations, but they also do a lot more. How do you know when it’s time to bring one on? And more importantly, what exactly does a startup CFO do? Startup CFOs help to hone a startup’s business model and drive growth. They must simultaneously have a handle on the company’s cash position: answering questions like “are we spending in the right place?” and “how much cash/runway does the business have?” In addition to: Managing P&L Modeling cash flows Tracking financial performance versus plan Helping drive discussions with 409A valuation firms (these should be done at least once a year and/or after any substantial change in a company’s valuation.) Supporting equity and debt negotiations At the same time that …
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The Key to Building Your Startup Revenue Model: Forecasting

Originally published in AffinityLive. One of the most important things you can to ensure the financial health of your business is to create your revenue model. Your revenue model gives you a necessary understanding of your cash flow and needs and is your way of demonstrating—to yourself and to potential investors—how you plan to earn revenue and maximize your profitability. The key to creating your revenue model is through forecasting—that is, projecting revenue estimates, even if you’re currently pre-revenue. Forecasting is an ongoing process that will help you to manage your cash and continue to grow. There are two general approaches to financial forecasting: top-down and bottom-up forecasting. To be honest, top-down forecasting is a bit bogus in terms of giving you realistic numbers, but it’s still a necessary exercise when seeking funding. With top-down forecasting, you start with the overall market size and use this to identify your particular …
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A Look At Seed Funding Options for Your Startup

Among the earliest decisions you have to make when you’re getting your startup off the ground is how to fund it. Whether you intend to go it alone for as long as possible, or line up funding right away, the earlier you decide on a strategy, the better. Our Seed Funding Your Startup webinar with Kristine di Bacco, Associate Attorney at Fenwick & West and Sirk Roh, EGFS’ Chief Operating Officer, was a dive into the ins and outs of early-stage financing and a look at some of the key vehicles. Bootstrapping While bootstrapping for as long as you can might be the right decision for you, and it offers the benefit of no dilution, if you know you’ll ultimately want/need to raise investor funds, don’t rely on your own resources for too long. It can raise questions in investors’ minds as to whether bootstrapping was really your choice, or …
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