Geri Stengel's blog

How To Make The Connections That Make Things Happen

Research shows that entrepreneurs with larger and more diverse networks grow their businesses bigger. Yet, networking can be uncomfortable, especially if you’re an introvert.

Leave it to an introvert, Dorie Clark, to write a practical, actionable e-book, Stand Out Networking: A Simple and Authentic Way to Meet People on Your Own Terms, that anyone can follow. It maps out how to make meaningful connections that can lead to an investment, a major new customer or partnership, media coverage, a publishing contract, a speaking opportunity, and much more.

Read all of How To Make The Connections That Make Things Happen on Forbes.com.

Profit Is Nice. Margins Are Even Better

Most people who own a company would say that a big reason they’re in business is to make money. There’s more to being successful, however, than the absolute dollar amount you bring in.

Revenue and profit are important, but alone they do not provide the full picture of a company’s overall health. Revenue shows how much you’ve earned and profits show how much money your company has made in absolute terms. Margin ratios, however, offer a look at your profitability by telling you how much you're making relative to your revenue. It's not an absolute metric, and that's a good thing.

Read all of Profit Is Nice. Margins Are Even Better on QuickBooks.com.

An Agile Mindset: Not Just For the Leader

What sets highly successful leaders apart from the rest? Agile learning does, and entrepreneurs are better at it than corporate executives, according to The Korn Ferry Institute. They should know. The Institute researches leadership and has found that the ability to navigate through novel situations—and to learn from experience without becoming rigid—is a key leadership skill set.

Agile learners are better able to work through complex problems drive innovation and grow a bottom line. The three traits characterize of an agile learner:

  • Tolerance of ambiguity: Comfort with vague or contradictory information and the ability to make decisions when things are uncertain.
  • Intellectual curiosity: The extent to which a person is likely to tackle problems in a novel way, see patterns in complex information, and pursue deep understanding.
  • Emotional intelligence: The ability to influence, collaborate, and communicate effectively with others and use interpersonal awareness in a way that advances collective goals.

To read all of An Agile Mindset: Not Just For the Leader go to Forbes.com.

6 Common Misconceptions About Equity Crowdfunding

Only a tiny percentage of wealthy people—less than 3%—who qualify to become angel investors actually do so. When people decide to claim their accreditation wings, angels are the most likely investors to focus on early-stage companies.

In 2014, angels invested $24.1 billion in 73,400 U.S.-based ventures, according to the Center for Venture Research. There is now a new way to reach angels that centralizes, streamlines and brings transparency to the financing process for both entrepreneurs and investors: equity crowdfunding. This is done using platforms like AngelList, CircleUp, Crowdfunder and Portfolia. Yet, only $787.5 million was raised via equity-based crowdfunding in 2014, according to Massolution’s 2015CF Crowdfunding Industry Report. What gives?

Read all of 6 Common Misconceptions About Equity Crowdfunding on QuickBooks.com.

9 Ways to Perfect Your Pitch and Investor Presentation

Whether you’re pitching to investors at a business plan competition, angel group meeting or one-on-one, your goal is to interest them enough so they want to know more about you and about your company.

“You need to present a compelling business case that makes them believe not only that your company will generate significant returns on their investment, but also that you have the capability to execute that vision,” according to Amy Millman, president of Springboard Enterprises, an accelerator for women-led businesses in technology, media and life sciences. Millman should know, because for more than 15 years, the organization she heads has been helping women raise financing from venture capitalists (VCs) and angels.

Read all of 9 Ways to Perfect Your Pitch and Investor Presentation on QuickBooks.com.

6 Lessons For Rocking A TED Talk Or Any Speech

TED and its independently run TEDx events are carefully curated, concise talks on a cornucopia of topics. I love to find a topic that I didn’t know I was interested in, then watch the talk online.

Presenting a TED Talk can bring you attention and even business, but it is no easy feat to be chosen as a speaker. Don’t expect your PR person to land you a gig. Professional speakers need not apply either, though some do land an appearance. It’s not about being polished. It’s about saying something extraordinary, said Aaron Sylvan organizer of TEDxFultonStreet and an event producer. Speakers at TED talks are the world’s most inspired thinkers and their topics have not been seen elsewhere. The ideas presented  change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.

Read all of 6 Lessons For Rocking A TED Talk Or Any Speech on Forbes.com.

 

Women Entrepreneurs Get Their Game On With Angel Investors

The media has been awash with stories about the decreasing percentage of women decision-makers in venture capital (VC) firms, which certainly deserves attention. But what has gone relatively unnoticed is the dramatic rise of the number of women angels over the last 10 years. This means both women entrepreneurs seeking angel funding and women-led, angel-backed companies.

Women are swinging for the fences. An astonishing 36% of entrepreneurs seeking angel financing are women—an increase of 83% from the previous year, according to the Center for Venture Research.

Read all of Women Entrepreneurs Get Their Game On With Angel Investors on QuickBooks.com

Disrupting Costly Access To Eldercare Leads To Business Opportunity

For more than 25 years, Ginalisa Monterroso worked for nursing homes, maximizing the amount of money they got paid for their services. Hospitals and  nursing homes get paid more if customers pay directly for services than if Medicaid pays. Monterroso’s job was to exhaust a customer’s personal money before using Medicaid benefits. The truth is that people, even if they have money in the bank and a home, may be entitled to Medicaid benefits.

Monterroso grew so frustrated watching people deplete their life savings when another option was available that she set up a consulting practice, Medicaid Advisory Group.which helps people get the benefits that they are entitled to.

Read all Disrupting Costly Access To Eldercare Leads To Business Opportunity on Forbes.com.

 

How the VC Industry Is Becoming Women-Friendly

The venture capital (VC) sector took a well-deserved pounding in 2014 for its gender imbalance at the partner level. The proportion of women partners in U.S. venture capital firms was small in 1999 (10%) and downright miniscule in 2014 (6%), according to Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gender Gap in Venture Capital, a report by Babson College.

The impact on women cannot be overstated. Venture capital firms with female partners are two-and-a-half times more likely to invest in companies with women on the management team (34% vs. 13%).

Read all of How the VC Industry Is Becoming Women-Friendly on QuickBooks.

Raising Capital With a Mini IPO Under Regulation A+: Is It Right for Your Company?

Until recently, your company would have had to spend millions and deal with a correspondingly large amount of paperwork to do an initial public offering (IPO). That changed on June 19, 2015 when Title IV of the JOBS Act, Regulation A+ went into effect, allowing companies to raise smaller amounts of money directly from the public. This so-called mini IPO provides earlier stage companies an incremental pathway to enter the public markets.

Read all of Raising Capital With a Mini IPO Under Regulation A+: Is It Right for Your Company? on Quickbook.

 


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