Entrepreneurship Tips — Financing

What Is A Reasonable Salary For Early Founders When Raising Outside Capital?

Posted by Robert Norton on

What Is A Reasonable Salary For Early Founders When Raising Outside Capital?

A reasonable salary for any CEO or founder is a $100K to $200K today. This depends on their experience and market value which could easily be $500K+. A CEO with ten years in that seat is worth $300K to $500K base salary, but investors want them to have skin in the game and urgency too. Like a salesperson you never pay them enough in base salary to be totally happy, or financially comfortable. Stock value should be the main long-term motivation. At 20% capital gains tax, not 50%+. What is more important is that the base salary is a small...

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Can a CEO of a Company Take Money from His Own Company that He Owns Privately?

Posted by Robert Norton on

Can a CEO of a Company Take Money from His Own Company that He Owns Privately?

Sure, as long as they own 100% of the stock, they can do pretty much anything they want, within tax laws of course. They can pay themselves any salary, issue dividends, make a loan to themselves, etc.  However, the minute one other person owns one single share of stock, this changes dramatically. Now they have what is called “A fiduciary duty” to the other shareholder(s) to do only things that are in the best interest of the company. This has a very high legal standard called “Utmost good faith”. And if you violate this principle, then you can be sued...

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How do You Get Funds to Start with?

Posted by Robert Norton on

How do You Get Funds to Start with?

Raising money is very difficult and only possible for companies that can grow large and provide a nice return to investors that warrants the risk. This is for “Equity” or stock sales. Debt can be used with home equity loans, credit cards, friends and family though if you are just starting and have no product or team. I recommend you do not start a company without at least 6 months personal expenses in the bank. Most of your input to create value (so shares can be sold for something over $0.00) will be from sweat equity. This “bootstrapping” creates value...

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What are Some Ways for Startups to Invest in Marketing with Little Cash?

Posted by Robert Norton on

What are Some Ways for Startups to Invest in Marketing with Little Cash?

You cannot grow a company without some investment in sales and/or marketing. The question is really your time versus capital and which would generate the best results (ROI, speed, quality of leads, etc.).  If your business model and products are sound, you should likely raise some capital, as it will be needed for more than marketing.  It is nearly impossible to build a significant business without some capital and/or sweat equity invested.  You cannot create something out of nothing.Social media allows unpaid marketing and is the most obvious strategy. This can be time-consuming but is also rapid to measure and...

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What causes valuation change from one round to another for startups that Are Bootstrapped?

Posted by Robert Norton on

What causes valuation change from one round to another for startups that Are Bootstrapped?

Valuation increase is all about reduction in the risk by achieving new milestones. Any startup worth outside investment has risks because it is doing something new, driven by innovation. If it is not new (differentiated in the market) it cannot demand the high gross margins needed to grow rapidly and pay investors the high return needed for that risk. Each risk that is removed by proving metrics around it is eliminated from the list and bumps the valuation significantly, sometimes by 2X or 3X even. This can mean millions more cash in a financing round and millions more net worth...

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