A consultant that has assisted my firm in raising equity capital, has a really good blog that gives small business owners information for everything from marketing to fundraising to developing quality strategic alliances. I have told him that in exchange for some M&A help that I would provide some marketing services for his firm`s blog. I am a little out of my depth but I really need his assistant (the guy is a beast as it relates to business development). Can someone advise on the best way to get substantial traffic to the blog, please take a look at it www.developmentstyles.com and let me know.
In addition to factoring you may want to look into private lines of credit, whereby investors will provide you short term cash for operations assuming you have executed contracts. Check the blog at www.developmentstyles.com the guy there was able to provide us with similar solutions. I won`t lie, the cost of capital is expensive, but they can provide you the corporate references that may allow you to break into insitutional debt. He can also provide you restructuring advice that will allow you to seperate you from your company and allow your company to build a credit profile of its own.
In regards to a hot bed of investments, it is true that NC isn`t Silicon Valley, but there are more than a few Angel and Investing networks in the Charlotte and R-D areas that are more than capable of providing funding. In addition there are strong networks in Virginia, GA, and TN that can also be of assistance if you are willing to drive for meetings.
The problem may be that the 250k-1M investment area is possibly one of the hardest to penetrate because they require Private Placements that will need to bring in more than one investor. The guy who writes the blog at www.developmentstyles.com is really knowledgeable about this arena. In addition he has contacts with the Gathering of Angels which is a national network with hubs throughout the country. You may want to reach out and see if he can be of any assistance.
Mainly these references must not only be those that you have credit with but also those that you have shown a propensity of ordering product from and paying it back in a timely manner. If you don`t have the references they usually will either extend you a small amount of credit (varies depending on the industry) or you will have to immediately pay for purchases after ordering.
If there are trade groups in your industry you may want to look at joining as they can generally get you credit from approved vendors with minimal references, and they can usually get you better product prices.
The blog www.developmentstyles.com gives this type of information so you may want to take a look.
Be careful of BP software, if you are presenting to a bank or you are just trying to get your model down, then I would recommend Business Plan Pro. However, if you are in a emerging industry and are looking to acquire capital investors then you really should look at getting a plan drawn up by a professional consultant/accountant/advisor.
The problem with the software is that they are very regimented thereby they don`t provide the necessary analysis to sway a capital investor one way or the other.
The blog at www.developmentstyles.com provides some good information on those that are trying to raise capital from private debtholders or equity investors.