5 tips for approaching friends and family about your business

At 40billion.com, we provide online tools to help small-business and startup entrepreneurs increase access to funding and resources by leveraging their social networks, including friends and family. Here are 5 tips that we give to entrepreneurs to help them approach friends and relatives about their business:

1.  ASK FOR ADVICE & REFERRALS, NOT HANDOUTS

When you approach friends and family about your business, just share your idea in a conversational manner, and ask them for their advice, feedback, or referral. People are usually glad to give you their point-of-view if they think their advice or feedback may be helpful. And, if they really believe in you, they will either offer to help or they’ll be willing to refer you to someone who can help.

2.  FORMALIZE A LOAN OR DISCOUNT

Businesses often get started with a loan from the entrepreneur’s friend or relative, but it can be difficult to manage the relationship, especially if the loan is not formalized with a written agreement. Create a formal loan agreement with details of the loan, including what is owed, when payments are due, and any consequences for missing payments. Even if you’ve promised a discount to your friend or relative in exchange for a loan or referral, put it in writing and provide a discount coupon that can be redeemed. This may significantly reduce the risk of ruining your personal relationship over business.

3.  GIVE A PRESENTATION

Are you serious about your business? Then give a business plan presentation to your friends and family, and show them. This is your chance to display your professionalism and passion, while getting free advice and feedback from people you know. The result could get you closer to the funding, resources, and customers you need to get your business up and running.

4.  POST ON SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES

Add a description of your business to social networking websites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. This easily allows your friends and family to read about what you’re doing and spread the word to other people they know. So, instead of you going to them, they will come to you and ask about your new business.

5.  KEEP IN TOUCH

Be sure to thank your friends and family who supported you or helped you spread the word. Then, be sure to keep the lines of communication open by sending them regular company updates to let them know that their support has been put to good use, and you’re achieving those milestones that you set in your business plan. These communications will go a long way toward maintaining good relationships with your friends-and-family supporters, and they will be more likely to support you again as customers, investors, advisors and advocates.

What is the #1 cause of business failure?

According to the SBA, the #1 reason why entrepreneurs fail to launch and grow successful businesses is simple: LACK OF FUNDING

So what happens if you can’t get funding? Well, if you don’t have any money, you can’t even start your business in the first place. And even if you do start it, if you have too little funding, chances are good you’ll go out of business!

Here’s the GOOD NEWS: You can avoid business failure by learning how to successfully raise money from everyday investors and funders in your social network and on 40Billion.com.

Think about it… if you knew how to quickly and easily raise $20,000 or $200,000, most of your problems would disappear, wouldn’t they?

www.40billion.com

When is the best time to raise money?

A common question asked by small business owners and startup entrepreneurs on 40Billion.com is “When is the right time of the day/week/year to raise money?” It helps to plan.

We have 5 rules of thumb to improve your chances of getting the attention of funders – whether they’re friends, family, or even strangers who are funding your business:

  1. Avoid holidays — People are on vacation.
  2. Avoid Mondays — People are too busy. Friday’s are best.
  3. Avoid late nights, early mornings — People are sleeping, and you should be too. 11:30am, 1:30pm, and 7:30pm are best.
  4. Avoid the end of the year — People are either on vacation or just too busy trying to hit end-of-year work goals.
  5. Weekends are okay for social networking sites, but not work email — If you’re contacting funders via social networking sites (e.g., Facebook), then you may get their attention on the weekend; however, don’t try emailing them at their work during the weekend because you’re not likely to receive any responses.

 

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40Billion.com Launches Funding Probability for Small Business Entrepreneurs

Tool uses algorithm to estimate likelihood that friends and family will invest in a business

40Billion.com, the leading professional social funding platform, has launched a beta version of its Funding Probability tool to help users determine who in their social networks are most likely to provide funding for their business ventures.

It is estimated that over 50% of new businesses generate funds from friends and family of the entrepreneurs. However, for many entrepreneurs, the main challenge that they face is locating the right people who are most willing and able to fund their ventures. Recognizing this common problem, 40Billion.com has created a unique solution called Funding Probability.

As the name suggests, the Funding Probability tool helps users estimate the probability that each person in their social network will become a funder or investor. The tool is based on a proprietary algorithm, which ranks each of the user’s contacts and indicates funding probability with an easy scale of High, Medium, and Low. The “High” probability contacts are those individuals who are most likely to provide funding to a particular business venture, and the “Low” probability contacts are individuals who are least likely to fund it. Based on this scale, the system is able to match the user’s venture with the most promising funding sources in their social networks.

Since launching a prototype of the Funding Probability tool in April, the company has seen promising results as 9 out of 10 actual funders in the entrepreneur’s social network on 40Billion were ranked either High or Medium on the funding probability scale.

The Funding Probability feature saves entrepreneurs time and resources that they often spend chasing unlikely funding sources. Fundraisers can access the tool by clicking Invite Your Friends on their business fundraising profile page, and 40Billion takes much of the guess work out of raising money. Step by step, the online company is working to make social funding easier for U.S. small businesses to raise money than traditional funding methods.

About 40Billion.com

40Billion.com is the social funding network for small businesses and startup entrepreneurs. 40Billion.com, Inc. is the first Internet-based microfinance company serving American small businesses. 40Billion.com’s scalable platform helps entrepreneurs raise funding more affordably through friends and family than through banks or other traditional financial institutions. Using proprietary online tools, entrepreneurs build social networks – including friends, relatives, colleagues, customers, and other contacts – and use these connections to raise capital through small business loans and gifts. Entrepreneurs create fundraising profiles and invite their connections to offer funding in exchange for discounts or potential returns. In business since 2008, the company aims to address a $40 billion funding gap. 40Billion.com, Inc. is headquartered in Atlanta, GA.

40Billion.mobi is our new mobile website for professionals on-the-go

You can now access the power of 40Billion anywhere you are by using your Web-enabled mobile phone, Blackberry, iPhone, or Android smartphone. Sign in, manage your account, view Raises, view user profiles, read emails, add contacts, send invitations, search resources, and much more with the convenience of our mobile Web app.

Check it out at http://40billion.mobi on your phone today.

40Billion.com mobile website at 40billion.mobi

– The 40Billion Team

Want to know which of your friends are most likely to invest in your business (or someone else’s business)?

Ever wondered which of your friends is most likely to invest in your business? Want to know which potential funders you should pursue and invite to participate in your Raise?

Use our amazing new Funding Probability BETA feature to find out the likelihood that each of your contacts will fund your Raise (or even someone else’s Raise).  Just click the “Invite Your Friends” button at the top of any Raise to find out more and make your social network start working for you!

 Add contacts to your network and find out which ones are most likely to fund your business.

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