How Much Money Does Your Business Need?

As much as I can get! This would be the answer readily shouted out by most entrepreneurs. The fact is though, both over and underestimating the amount of capital needed to fund a business can have serious negative consequences.

Underestimating what you need can cause problems ranging from having to go through the whole time-consuming fundraising process again, to having to shut down the company because funds have run dry. Having to go back to the original investors and ask for more money often undermines the entrepreneur’s credibility with the investors and can cause a significant dilution in the founder’s ownership.

Obtaining more than enough capital may seem like a blessing at first, but it can breed a lax attitude toward expense control. “If you have it, spend it,” is not an advisable motto for a new company. If the investment takes the form of equity, raising too much money means that the founder’s share of the business was reduced more than was necessary–and this violates one of the maxims of entrepreneurship: hold on to those equity points!

Typical advice given to entrepreneurs is to do a cash flow projection or cash budget, and then add 10%, 20%, or even 50% to this amount, for “contingencies.” These contingencies are all the things that can go wrong in a start-up venture, all the unfavorable events that can negatively affect results.

Contingency planning is a skill that does not come easily to all entrepreneurs–even those with a finance background. How do you get the cockeyed optimist (what you absolutely must be to even conceive of the idea of starting a company), who expects the best, to plan for the worst?

To stimulate contingency planning, it helps to look at the reasons why entrepreneurs so consistently run out of money; among these are:

Not realizing how expensive it is to introduce a new product, especially consumer products, on a national basis.

Not realizing how long it takes to introduce a new product, or for the market to truly accept the product.

Delays in regulatory approval, municipal zoning, or patent approval.

Assuming that a small start-up company will get the same forbearance on payments and favorable terms then a large one will.

An entrepreneur with an early-stage company must be prepared for one or more of these situations to occur. Contingency planning doesn’t mean simply adding a percentage or dollar “cushion’ to the amount of capital being sought from investors or lenders. It is a way of thinking–a recognition that the entrepreneurial road is always rocky. Envisioning what might go wrong does not equate to entrepreneurs losing faith in their product or their company; it means they accept these difficulties as steps on the path to prosperity.

For the last several years one Saturday of each month some friends and I would get in the car and drive to Atlantic City for a night of gambling, and it has always been one of the best days of the month.

We have never really been big gamblers we usually just stayed with the slots or the roulette table, until six months ago when someone decided we should learn to play poker because that’s where you can win lots of money fast.

So we all started playing poker in a weekly Friday night game together till we were good enough to play in the casinos. For practice I would play <a href=””>Online Poker</a> in some free multiplayer poker rooms and eventually, I felt confident enough to join an online casino poker room for real money.

At first, I was losing hand after hand but the more hands I played the better of an understanding I was getting for the game, and every night I started making fewer and fewer mistakes and I actually started to win a few hands.
After about 2 or 3 months of this, we decided it was time and we all drove to the casino to play some Poker.

We did ok for first-timers, no one got rich but no one came home broke either. We decided that instead of our monthly trips we should start going every Saturday, and soon we would be leaving every Friday after work and coming back late Sunday night

Last month we decided to join this small tournament, the buy inn was only a few hundred each and the prize was 10,000 dollars, so we all decided to go for it and to try to start making real money playing poker, and in the end, it paid off, I am still not sure how but I won the poker tournament and the 10,000 dollars grand prize.

Before the tournament, we had all agreed that if one of us won it we would go out and have a big party with the money, but I had a much better idea

I decided that I could turn this money into a much larger amount and since it was easy to win the first time it should be easy to do it again.

Now from my personal experience I know that the Roulette table is a great way to double your money fast, there were many nights id have 20 dollars in my poker before leaving the casino and I would manage to double it on one spin of the roulette wheel, and now I had ten thousand dollars and could walk away with twenty thousand in just minutes.

So against the advice of all my friends, I looked for a roulette table where the same color had won three times in a row. Once I finally found a roulette table that had come up red 3 times in a row it I place all my winnings on black and what luck it came out red again and I nearly passed out on the casino floor.

Ever since that night, I have not won anything I have played. The best piece of advice I can give anyone out there is to not let winning go to your head. If you are up in the casino, go home and enjoy the money. It is important to remember that gambling in a casino or an online casino is supposed to be fun and relaxing and if it is not go read a book or something.

Running a conference, a seminar, or a workshop can be great fun. The day of the event is guaranteed to be a hive of activity with all of the arrangements coming together over those few hours. Problems will arise and be solved in one way or another and the delegates will leave in various states of motivation. If this is your first or your one thousand and the first event you should never stop learning how to improve the next one. One of the most effective ways to draw out all of the learning points from the entire event is to hold a review meeting after some thorough data gathering including financial analysis and delegate feedback.
Running a review meeting

Once you have assembled the background data, it is time to hold your review meeting with the key players. This may be part of a general review that your organization regularly runs or it might be a special one-off to quantify the benefit of events like this and to justify the future expenditure.
Who to invite?

Those attending this review meeting should be the event “owners”, decision-makers and influencers in your company who will need to understand the impact of the event. It may not be necessary to invite your entire event team, however, it will add value to your presentation if you have people in the meeting who can provide additional information that you may have forgotten, overlooked, or otherwise omitted or who can support your data with additional evidence.
The Agenda

Thematic Product Nationwide Roadshow

Review Meeting

15:00-16:00 on 12/12/09 in Main Conference Room


Overview of Roadshow objective and Roadshow program

Financial report

Delegate feedback and results of the Follow-up process

Improvement Plans


Next steps – A discussion about extending the program

Any Other Business

Always publish an agenda for this type of meeting to allow people to prepare their thinking in advance. A typical agenda is quite simple and looks like this:

Although this is a sensible and courteous precaution, don’t expect everyone to read and remember the agenda. Some will appreciate it; the others will muddle through and use their intuition as long as you supply a copy of the agenda at the meeting.

Rather than defining a strict timetable, have a rough timetable in your head leaving about 20 to 30 minutes for open discussions throughout the meeting. If the meeting lasts for an hour, each of the presentation topics should only take around 5 minutes which gives time for one or two slides (if you’re using them). The time will fly by and your attendees will be fresh and ready to discuss plans.

Be prepared for surprises. Often events that appear to run well have hidden problems that are only revealed after close questioning of everyone involved. Conversely, events that stumble along from crisis to crisis can be highly entertaining for the delegates and may cause them to pay closer attention because they start to look for errors that may not be there.

A freight forwarder is a company or an individual who is in the business of dispatching shipments through various carriers like airplanes, trucks, railroads, and shipping vessels. One of the primary functions of a freight forwarder is arranging the movement of cargo to and from an international destination. As can be seen, their core competency and functionality demand accountability, responsibility, and experience. Therefore it’s important that your pick the right freight forwarder. Here are a few tips to keep in mind, when it comes to choosing a freight forwarder.

The Size of the Freight Forwarder
The freight forwarder’s company must be big enough to accommodate all your requirements. Moreover, even if the freight forwarder is away on a tour or vacation, the services rendered, must not get affected. This is of paramount importance if you run an export business. Your exports should not come to a halt and the freight forwarding company must be big enough to see to it that all your shipping needs are handled effectively and continuously.

The Stability of the Freight Forwarder
This is one of the most important factors to be considered while selecting a freight forwarder. Stability not only refers to the number of years in operation but also financial stability. If a freight forwarder has been in the business for some years then rest assured, you are making the right choice. However, to be on the safe side, check the credentials of the freight forwarder through banks and trade references.

Ship Them the Way You Want To
The freight forwarder that you select must have the requisite ability, expertise, and resources to handle all kinds of products and ship them according to the choice you make in this regard i.e. land, sea, or air. It’s also advisable that the freight forwarder also be an import broker. This comes in handy in case you need to import some goods if your client returns your goods for some reason.

Good Networking
Go for freight forwarders who have a superior network of overseas agents. If your freight forwarder has a great network of agents in your target market, then the better it is for you. You must also be well aware of the handling capacity and capability of these agents.
A good network means that your shipment will reach its destination without any hassles and within the requisite deadline. If you want to deliver perishable products, then you want them to reach a particular country, in good time and before they perish. If you don’t, then it might have some serious consequences for your reputation.

A Good Communicator
Not many people have expertise when it comes to the shipping of their products. Therefore, your freight forwarder must have the patience and ability to explain the necessary procedure to you. Moreover, the forwarder must be able to talk to you in a language that you understand.

Product Knowledge
If you can, do choose a freight forwarder who has some kind of knowledge or comfort level with the product that you want to be shipped. The freight forwarder that you pick must be able to recognize the special needs of your product, if any, and make the necessary preparations for shipping.

Check the Antecedents
You must closely scrutinize the references of your freight forwarder. After all, you are going to do some important business with the company, and thus this becomes a crucial parameter of your selection process. Another aspect of this is the overall customer satisfaction provided by the freight forwarder in the past dealings. Try getting some information in this regard from their past clients or customers.

The Insurance Factor
The best of people are liable to make mistakes. Even if your freight forwarder is extremely conscientious, it is liable to make an error or a mistake. Even a minor error can cause irrevocable damage to your sales and your revenue. Therefore the freight forwarder you choose must have something called “errors and omissions insurance”. This is enormously beneficial if a mistake is made.

A Good Communications Network
How fast can the freight forwarder get in touch with you and vice-versa? How soon can the freight forwarder give your information about the status of your shipment? Is real-time tracking information available? The answer to all these questions will give you a fair idea about the forwarder’s communication links and whether they are good enough for your requirements.

Licenses and Certifications
Your freight forwarders must be licensed by the Maritime Commission, FMC, and be registered with organizations like IATA. Each organization has unique requirements when it comes to freight forwarders. However, the basic needs remain the same. The tips listed above cater to the general needs of every organization when it comes to hiring the services of a freight forwarder.

Exercise caution while you select a freight forwarder and research thoroughly before you pick one.


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