Tom Cruise's character in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire (one of my favorite movies) is where Jerry speaks to Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) - Rod tests Jerry's resolve through a very long telephone conversation, which culminates in the famed line "SHOW ME THE MONEY!"
Eleven years ago when I started my own business I (like Jerry) never realized the depth or complexity that it would take for the money to "SHOW". Now after refining and pitching (over and over and over again) to investors the old-fashioned way, now there is a new way to pitch investors using the digital age of crowd funding (definition "the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet").
As long as business has been around finding money to run them has been an issue. Until recently, the SEC required investors to be accredited investors (accredited investor = already rich). April 5th President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act into law. For those of you who haven't been following the JOBS Act, it is a bill that will make it easier for businesses to raise funds, especially through online crowd funding.
Tama County Economic Development Director
How it might this impact us in Tama County? Simply, the JOBS Act will make money more accessible to businesses by allowing non-accredited investors to participate in the funding rounds, and this will increase companies being started and expanded. And with new companies and expansions comes the need to hire staff. If we put our ideas into action this will help decrease our current unemployment rate.
The bill is signed, and now the SEC has its grace period (until Dec. 31st) to implement additional regulations. In the meantime, I suggest following these steps to prepare your business (or new business idea):
Get all the documents in place. This includes your business plan, incorporation documents, financial forecasts and a full executive team bio.
Do market research. Get all the facts in place in order to have a strong argument as to why people should fund your project.
Build your contact list- Put together a list of all your contacts and start asking key people if they are willing to share their contact list as it pertains to your audience. The concept of crowd funding involves leveraging your circle of friends.
Start making your video. Projects with videos are wildly more successful. In the video, it is important that you sell yourself and your company, explain in three minutes or less the entire project and entice people to jump on board.
Start to craft your pitch in the best possible way. Think like a public relations and marketing guru in order to find the best way to tell your story.
(If you need any assistance with any of these steps call us at 641-484-3108 we will be happy to help in any way we can.)
At the end of the Jerry Maguire movie Rod appears on a sports television show. Unbeknownst to him, Jerry has secured him an $11.2 million contract with the Cardinals. The visibly emotional Rod proceeds to thank everyone and extends warm gratitude to Jerry for "SHOWING" him the money. Now via crowd funding we will ALL have a much easier way to "SHOW" our economy the money.
Next week I will be sharing the details of an exciting business development competition being held this summer here in Tama County.