Many entrepreneurs dream of taking their company public and expanding their venture into an international enterprise that begins to hemorrhage investment capital and profits from the get-go but then reality sets in as one begins to navigate the dingy, shark infested waters of the ‘go public’ market place.
Are you trying to raise capital for your start-up or corporation in expansion? Have you exhausted your traditional institutional sources and hedge fund contacts? Don’t lose hope just yet! First of all, take all those pamphlets and brochures from banks and other traditional lenders that are lying all over your desk and toss them in the trash…they are absolutely useless.
Why throw gobs of cash at a publicist with outrageous fees to get you a tiny insignificant article in a newspaper or magazine rag when you can literally become an industry niche sensation overnight using a carefully constructed video and a handful of long tail industry specific keywords?
So many companies dream of going public to raise massive amounts of capital, as set up for an exit strategy, to make acquisitions with stock and for many other reasons. While your intentions may be pure and with genuine motives, you’re entering shark infested waters of boiler rooms, crooked attorneys and underbelly consultants who have made careers off of taking well intentioned executives just like you for a 24 month rollercoaster ride while they take every penny you have as your company shrivels up like week old road kill.
Take Your Company Public: A Must Read Before You Do Anything! As a consultant in the business of structuring companies, setting up strategic alliances for clients, writing business plans and PPM’s and taking companies public on the OTCBB, I must admit I’ve seen my share of scams and swindling of uninformed clients. One sad issue that permeates the industry is clients who believe that their only option is to give up substantial equity while paying hefty fees to consultants who take your company public.
Are you a business owner raising capital with a Regulation D Rule exemption (504, 505 or 506) also referred to as a Private Placement Memorandum, PPM or Offering Memorandum? If you are using this mechanism to raise capital then you’ll, no doubt, have to have a solid comprehension of the most distinct and important part of the Private Placement Memorandum referred to as the ‘Offering Circular’.
Most companies who are on the venture capital trail are not set up properly to attract investors. When an investor looks at your business plan and private placement memorandum they are looking for certain things. Of course funding sources look for the obvious, a solid business model, positive cash flow, industry genre with solid future growth, recession proof business (if there even is such a thing) and minimal debt.
If you are trying to raise capital with a PPM or public entity like OTCBB you need to understand the mind of the investor. After the business plan sells the investor on the business concept you need to sell them on you and your executive staff. You need to stack your executive positions with professionals with a proven track record of success and possess a solid reputation in the industry. You must paint the picture for investors that your business is run by the who’s who in your industry and this pedigree is demonstrated by your education, degree, grades in college, professional organizations of which you have been and are currently a member, advisory board positions with other corporate organizations, a track record of setting up and maintaining strategic alliances, networking contacts and more.
Many entrepreneurs and executives want to move forward with the process of going public merely for the ability to raise capital through the sale of stock. They usually don’t think of the strategies necessary to keep the momentum going such as how much equity to give up initially, how much equity to sell ongoing, how to capitalize off of the use of the securities as collateral for loans and lines of credit and so on.
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