When Should You Raise Startup Capital?

Originally published in GeekWire. There’s more than one school of thought about startup financing. After all, there are some very successful companies that have managed just fine without VC money, often on purpose. But as one entrepreneur we polled puts it below, if you really want to see your startup grow and thrive, then the question might be quite simple: “Do you want to be king, or do you want to be rich?” We asked 10 founders, members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), to weigh in on the bootstrapping-versus-capital debate—and offer some insight about the nuances of raising capital early versus going it alone. Perhaps surprisingly, many advocated for bootstrapping, at least for a little while. Here’s what they had to say about it: 1. Bootstrap First, Fund for the Stage, Then Fund to Scale I’m a big fan of bootstrapping when starting a business. Typically your first round …
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How to Choose the Right Coworking Space

With the movement towards shared office space spreading from freelancers, creatives, and remote workers to early stage startups, the benefits are clear. Not only does sharing space offer cost savings and flexibility versus signing a traditional office lease, it also avoids the hassle and expense of planning a move, outfitting an office, and handling all the time-consuming administrative details. So how do you choose a space that’s right for your business? Consider your stage — Are you literally just starting up or have you been working out of ad-hoc spaces for awhile and are now looking to gather your team in one place? If it’s been just you and the dog at this point, moving into a shared space will bring a welcome sense of connection, enhanced professionalism, and needed office infrastructure. And if it’s you and a couple of others, it can allow you to communicate more easily and …
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Accounting Basics: The Key to Journal Entries Is Asking When

This excerpt was reprinted with permission from Madeline Bailey’s book, “Radically Simple Accounting:A Way Out of the Dark And Into the Profit.” There is only one business bookkeeping system—the double-entry system. Luca Pacioli published the first textbook of double-entry bookkeeping in 1494. Believe it or not, there has been virtually no change since then. His system of debits and credits is so confusing that no one can figure it out, let alone improve upon it, so it remains intact (Just kidding, Pacioli.). The real reason that we’re still using double-entry bookkeeping is because it works, produces balanced books, and has become an ingrained standard. So what exactly is double-entry bookkeeping? And why do you need to use it? Double-entry bookkeeping is what is taught in accounting school. Fledgling accountants learn to enter a bookkeeping transaction using a journal entry. A journal entry has two or more line items (entries) that …
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Starting Up: Tips And Tricks to Getting Set Up The Right Way

Did you know that 33% of small and medium-sized businesses get fined for not doing payroll correctly? That statistic is just one of the useful pieces of information that Robert Lopez of Justworks shared during our webinar: Tips and Tricks for Founders at the Starting Line. Stay tuned for the recording of the presentation on our YouTube channel. Of course, most founders have little knowledge let alone expertise, of the myriad of federal, state, and local regulations around compensation, tax and insurance compliance, or of how to manage employee benefits programs. And when it comes down to it, founders should focus their greatest energy on product development and customer acquisition efforts — not on compliance and administrative tasks. Robert cited Y Combinator alum and Amicus CEO Seth Bannon, in advising founders not to cut corners on important infrastructure. Instead, he advises outsourcing non-core functions early. With time being a resource …
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Startups And Market Research: How Much Do You Need to Do?

Guest post contributed by Jesal Trivedi, Founding Partner at The Phat Startup. I get it. As an entrepreneur, spending time doing market research is not the most fun thing you could be doing for your business. Not only does it eat away at your precious time, but you begin to question whether you’ve been doing too much research (analysis paralysis) or not enough. How much market research do you need to do before launching you product or service? Where do you even start? If you fail to plan, you plan to fail This pretty much goes without saying. You NEED a basic plan of attack before you start moving. You can change it up later on, but at the beginning you need to have a basic strategy direction. You wouldn’t drive to the mall without knowing where it was, but if you knew which roads to take and saw that …
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Bring Your Startup to the U.S: How to Access U.S. Capital

On our previous webinar in this series, Bring Your Startup to the U.S., we covered reasons a startup might want to expand into or relocate to the U.S. This time, speakers: Joshua Siegel, General Partner for Rubicon VC, Bob Mollen, Partner with Fried Frank, and Glenn McCrae, EGFS Chief Strategy Officer, discussed the U.S. market’s value proposition, how to target and pitch investors, and creating a game plan, including making your startup attractive to local investors, for your raise. Here’s a link to the slide deck for Accessing U.S. Capital or check out the video on our YouTube channel. Reasons the U.S. makes an attractive base for startups: 1. Local startup ecosystems here are very well-developed: especially in the case of New York and Silicon Valley. This means you can rapidly find the right people and get up to speed with what’s going on with other startups. Where to move …
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The Five Things to Look For in A Startup Lawyer

Guest post contributed by Tricia Meyer, Managing Attorney at Meyer Law. Early-stage startups have different needs than more mature companies. Finding an attorney who understands these differences will help protect your business from its inception. Here are five things to look for in a startup lawyer: 1. Fit Does the attorney relate to you? Do you feel like he or she has an interest in you and your business? Don’t expect to find an attorney from your first Google search. Ask like-minded individuals in the community for referrals to someone with expertise in your field. It’s important that your startup attorney be willing to learn about your business, able to communicate with you in terms you understand, and someone you are comfortable with. Good rapport with your attorney typically means better results for your business. 2. Strategic Partner Most attorneys know how to handle essential paperwork and basic startup needs. …
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Startup Game Changers: What to Focus On in Your Startup’s Early Days

Our Startup Game Changers panel in New York sparked such great discussion and good advice that I thought I’d share some of the highlights here. Frank Rimalovski, Executive Director of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute, moderated. On the panel were: Lucas Nelson, Principal at Gotham Ventures; Steve Davis, Partner at Goodwin Procter; John Pennett, Partner at Eisner Amper; Josh Reinhold, Regional Sales Consultant for TriNet; Kate Shillo, Director at Galvanize Ventures; and EGFS CEO David Ehrenberg. Discussion kicked off with what to focus on in the early days of your startup when so many things need attention. Panelists advised founders to concentrate on communication, equity, and creating first, with Steve Davis pointing out that it’s also critically important to “document stuff.” What kind of stuff? Put your co-founder agreement, including what happens when one of you leaves, in writing. You should also set up your accounting, HR, and legal support systems …
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Why You Need To Get Serious About Your Startup Debt Collection Efforts

Bottom line is that you’re in business to make money. If your customers aren’t paying you, that’s a serious cash flow problem. If they’re slow to pay, that’s a problem as well. While late invoices are fairly common for many businesses, that doesn’t mean you can’t fight it. The key is process. There are a few steps you can take to improve your collection process to expedite payments and maintain control over your cash flow. Here are 9 ways you can improve your cash collections and proactively manage the financial health of your company: 1. Establish process. Your accounts receivable are your company assets. You need to choose the best process for managing your company’s accounts receivable, but whatever method you choose, be sure that you: create a record of all sales and receipts, have a system in place for generating invoices on an ongoing basis, and keep close track …
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Early Growth Financial Services (EGFS) Earns #13 Spot in Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Fast Private Award for 2014

Originally published on PRWeb. Outsourced financial services firm ranked in top 50 of fastest growing private companies in Silicon Valley. San Jose, CA (PRWEB) October 27, 2014 Early Growth Financial Services (EGFS), an outsourced financial services firm that provides accounting, CFO, strategic finance, tax, and valuation services and support to small to mid-sized businesses nationwide, has been ranked #13 on Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Private Companies Award for 2014. As Silicon Valley Business Journal notes, in Silicon Valley, “it takes explosive growth to get noticed.” This year, the cut-off to make the top 50 list of fastest growing private companies was 35% growth over a three-year span. In total, the 50 companies ranked boasted $2.9 billion in revenue for 2013, and company growth for 2012 to 2013 came in at 62.69%. EGFS achieved 233.94% growth to earn their spot among a wide variety of businesses headquartered in Silicon …
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