Предприниматель | Информационно-аналитический журнал - Part 30

Divorce with business partners. Instructions on how to divide the business.

Do not forget that the talks always benefit more than from the trial.

Most analysts argue that this year or the first half of it was coming once the economic and financial crisis . The main reference point for such predictions – the number of broken contracts and broken joint ventures. When the business partners cease to work together , the question arises : “How to share the losses and damages caused by wrong decisions of one of the partners and how to deal with debts that remain for the shareholders ? “.

Undoubtedly, the loss-sharing negotiations , however, and even more complex than revenue sharing . People by nature hate losing . According to studies, Ludi willing to pay more , just to avoid losses than to insure profits. Usually, such negotiations are always conducted in a very tense atmosphere, and often end up with lawsuits. Some lawyers say that some customers offering them a million dollars , but would not lose half a million . Not to be found here rationality – is human emotion .

If you plan to share the business, you should immediately decide what is more important : to leave the partner without a penny , with the risk of losing everything , or reduce losses to a minimum. If you care about the second – follow these rules.Immediately go to court to file a lawsuit . Also, call your counselor or a lawyer , immediately begin to think of how you will negotiate . The rules are simple.

1. Determine the “rules of the game.” If the trust in the other party is gone, you should first discuss procedural issues . You need to decide how much time you will meet with his former partner , where you will meet the information that you have voiced them . If the other side will agree to your terms , then it is ready for talks , but these procedural issues should be first in chrede agreements to which you need to address .

2 . Do not hurry with the final decision. Over time, the loss can either increase or decrease . It is therefore necessary to compile a complete list of what can further lead you in losses , then divide it into two groups – something that should be done immediately and what can wait for later . As practice shows , the things deferred until later in 2008, led to a profit in 2011 .

3 . Do not focus on specific figures , as these figures can only cause negative emotions. First, you must think about what proportions you will share the losses . This should be on an equal footing? Or your shares in the company were unequal ? Such conversations can help you avoid emotions and solve all mathematical way .

4 . It is not necessary to haggle, especially if the relationship is on the verge of breaking . It is better to be in talks for more flexible framework , everything else can be charged by a trusted party. This will save you from emotional decisions and help maintain control over the process .

5 . Do not rush to put the final point. Any agreement always takes time : for example , you can arrange a meeting in a year. Chances are that within a year the situation is different, the size of the losses will be smaller. In addition, if you prefer, you can restore your relationship with your partner.

Always remember that the talks will benefit significantly greater than that of the trial. But you can have more control over the process , which is already much better.

What kind of investor you need

The company’s founder LinguaLeo shares his experience of relationships with strategic investors , business angels and funds.For three years now , we are working on the development of web servers dedicated to learning the English language. During his tenure, we ‘ve to deal with different types of investors – business angels , strategists , and venture capital funds . We managed to attract investments totaling $ 3.2 million Hopefully our history of working with investors will help other beginners do not make mistakes .

Strategist

Because of their inexperience, I wanted to avoid funding from venture capital funds and business angels and immediately enter into negotiations with the strategy . Strategists – it is the large companies that operate in the same industry, as we do, that is the object of investment, which is interested in acquiring a controlling stake .

As it turned out , the position of the investor is different from our position on several key parameters. For example, strategists do not have enough experience to work with new projects that are under development, such investors are unwilling to take risks, and their interests are usually different from the interests of the owners and crew. The main purpose of such investors – to get the project to further integrate it into your business. Not in its interest to develop the company with billion dollar market capitalization .

As a result, transaction completed unsuccessfully .

There are some distinctive features of the strategists. For example , they have unlimited amounts of funding, but their main interest is only in the development of their own business . They do not want to take risks , and the means of their only target the growth of capitalization of the company. In addition, this investor may be an expert in their field , but nothing about the development of start-ups.

Business angels

A few months later I had the opportunity to work with business angels . They are called so because they are investing in start-ups , though small, but needed the money at the stage of development of the company – as it already has a product , or its prototype. They are called ideal for several reasons. First, they give the money very quickly . For example, I received a response within a week after the start of negotiations, and after two received the first tranche . Second, these investors will never interfere implement the development strategy and fully trusted by the founder . Third, they help solve a variety of issues .

Such transactions may be even a few days. For example , as I had. I was fortunate enough to meet with Sergei Kuznetsov and Yegor Rudy , who were the co-founders of the company , “Your tutor “, during a coffee break. They are involved in the development of a large network of tutors across Russia . We quickly found a common language and get acquainted with their investor Igor Ryaben’kii and after 2 days of a deal on an investment of $ 200,000 .

Very often, business angels are entrepreneurs . They become practical partners , not only put you in the money, but also to share their experiences. Since they are investing their own money, and often guided by their own intuition.

The deal is very simple and allows you to quickly arrange the export documents to get money and get started. For example, instead of having to carry out due diligence ( analysis of all aspects of the work of the company) , it is enough to meet the owner, to ask him some questions and view the metrics Google- analytics. And that is enough to make a deal .

Which is typical for this type of investors, it is the size of investment that is always measured in thousands of dollars. In such a case, the investor can share the risks with the owner. In addition , business angels have a very high level of professionalism , they tend to not only grow your business , but also improve the pace startup. Money from such investors are often “smart” , but not in all cases.

Venture Fund

Within six months after working in the business angels our project was to make a profit . Investment enough just for those six months . Then, already with business angels , we began to look for venture capital funds “A” class , which would correspond to our investment needs.

We are looking for investors with expertise in IT, e-commerce , SaaS- projects or education. Some of us find ourselves , we are treated to some directly or through business angels . At this time, we got the win in the contest BIT – quite prestigious in CIS competition , which took part in investment projects. There we also met representatives from the fund Runa Capital.Then we turned back in the 10 funds in Russia , but all had their drawbacks. Then we went to the United States. We communicated with the Accel, Start Fund, August Capital, TMT Investments and others. But there was not less than minuses , and maybe even more. As a result, we made ​​a deal with Runa Capital.

To meet with representatives , it took us more than 10 meetings , dozens of letters and phone calls. We have prepared several versions of the presentations of our business plan , answered a lot of questions about technology, finance, marketing , strategy and team. It should be noted , this is quite a useful exercise .

Before we signed mamorandum took six months ! But in the end we still got ” smart money “, and it is not only investment, but also a learning experience , communication command , the list of which some very successful campaigns , such as , Dr.Web, Softline, Alawar, Acronis, Parallels , and other . The difference between the investor , who can only offer the money and the investor who offers ” smart money ” is huge. And at this stage of development, we have chosen the best partner .

The founder Vitek launches new brand

With Andrew Vitek Derevyanchenko gets margin , and Maxwell gives him the sales growth .

There is a joke among competitors that Golder Electronics is the second leg . The first leg was the company Vitek, has turned into the most successful brand of small electronics and technology in Russia , the second leg is a trademark of Maxwell, appeared on the Russian market in September 2009 . Mark Maxwell offers consumer products at low prices , which once started with Golder Electronics.

As noted by Derevyanchenko , the basic principle of marketing has always been a correlation between production and market demand . Owner Golder Electronics, once received a good income from trading import video , audio and home appliances in 1999 decided to establish its own brand . He picked a good time , as due to the crisis, demand for expensive Japanese and European vehicles plummeted. In addition, he served as a good example of colleagues on the market . Back in the mid-1990s, the market of Southeast Asia gave rise to new brands that produce some of the Russian distributors . Then there Vigor, Scarlett and VES Electric. After analyzing the successes and mistakes of competitors Derevyanchenko decided to launch the development of their own models and submit them to the Chinese market.

Already in 2000 the market of Russia were first irons, kettles and vacuum cleaners from the company Vitek ( name of the company came from the Latin word vita – life and technica – appliances). Electric Vitek can be purchased at an average of $ 15-20 . Now the cost has risen to $ 30. After waiting three years, while revenues grew consumers Derevyanchenko decided to move prices higher . Then Golder Electronics started producing products with ” innovation component ” – for example , vacuum cleaners equipped with a function perfuming the air , irons with electronic control system and stereos with vertical loading discs .

Higher revenues from sales of these products will allow owners of Golder Electronics to invest more money in advertising, product development and the search for new sales channels . By 2009, Vitek has worked with about 200 dealer companies throughout Russia and federal chains of consumer electronics and appliances. Company Vitek was on a par with Panasonic, the market was small appliances Russian share of 3.8 %. About the same percentage owned by the French and the German manufacturer Moulinex – Rowenta. The range of products has reached 350 , while sales for the year amounted to about $ 200 million Derevyanchenko Then bought a Hong Kong company that has received orders for the development of engineering models Vitek.

In this case, the company’s managers Golder Electronics wanted to go back to the lower price segment , as the rise in technology has led to a slowdown in sales growth. But the Derevyanchenko was against it , because he knew that the solvency of the Russian population grew, and in such a situation is pointless to lower prices . But when the market situation has changed , he quickly changed his mind. At the end of 2008, sales techniques Vitek dropped significantly , and regional dealers demanded supply of cheaper options . According to the commercial director of Samara “Vesta Electronics ” Sergei Semenov , in 2009, his share of his company in the market of low-cost technique was 70 %.

Then Derevyanchenko decided to focus on cheaper products , such as hair dryers, irons and kettles, the cost of which should be lower than the cheapest of its products by 20 %. In search of a name for the new brand was organized three focus groups with five large cities , among which were both Moscow and St. Petersburg. Then the participants considered several foreign-language titles , but in the end everything came together on the name Maxwell. Derevyanchenko not hide the fact that the name was chosen because Maxwell consonance with the names of foreign companies. For example , Maxwell House – a coffee or Maxell – manufacturer of batteries and CDs.At the price lists Golder Electronics brand Maxwell appeared in September 2009 . Six months later, Maxwell sales were $ 600,000 monthly. But Derevyanchenko does not stop there and plans to increase sales to $ 1.5-2 million per month . Maxwell range can be extended up to 100 names , but now it includes blenders , coffee makers , juicers , scales , hairdressing machines .

According to the commercial director of one of the dealers of Vitek, Maxwell can increase sales if it is to invest more money in advertising . He believes that the success of the brand has brought Vitek is good publicity in its niche . Over the period 2000-2009 . investments in advertising increased 37-fold , that is, up to $ 15 million, but the owner of the Golder Electronics has no plans to promote a new brand because it considers it inappropriate to invest in the advertising of the brand that consumers low commodity prices .

According to him , the main thing – the right to organize the sale. At Maxwell is a very powerful marketing channel that allows you to sell anything. He realized it only after it decided in 2006 to launch a new brand of professional grade cookware Röndell. Engaged in the promotion of this brand dealers Vitek, and revenue from sales of kitchen appliances is $ 3.5-4 million per month .

Eugene Nazarov , the owner of the brand Vigor agree that Golder Electronics has the most close-knit network of sales channels among all its competitors. And the appearance of the brand Maxwell only contribute to its loading , in addition, the demand for low-cost technique is always there. But , according to the assessment of the ” GfK – Rus” selling inexpensive household appliances in Russia last year decreased by 24% compared to sales in 2008.

Despite this , sales of Maxwell continues to grow. According to Sergei Semenov of “Vesta Electronics “, Derevyanchenko can develop Maxwell, even when all the competitors gradually fade . He believes that low-cost technology is very important to strike a balance between quality and price, in this case, even the advertising is not required. And Maxwell has a very good lineup and reasonable prices. Just believe and representatives of networks of “El Dorado ” and ” M. Video “, which recently began selling a new brand of Golder Electronics.

Products Maxwell would have appeared on the network and “The World ,” if it were not for the bankruptcy of the network, and “Technosila” if not for a change of ownership . Derevyanchenko believes that the EUMC has successfully managed a second time to take the same niche. And indeed the trademark does not require a lot of resources – responsible for it two managers in Moscow and one in Hong Kong, which oversees the development and production models (central office Golder Electronics has only 200 employees). And to the question of how much profit profit brings Maxwell, Derevyanchenko smiles , saying that profits enough that competitors could not subside quietly .

Angry boss or a good uncle

The head of Microsoft’s Russian talks about how to lay off employees and how to stomp their feet and scream .

Those who in Soviet times studied psychology, not to forget the horrors of ” professional deformation of bourgeois individuality .” Times these are left behind , but today in RuNet from time to time there are articles that describe a ” deformed professional managers with increased levels of aggression, inadequacy in the perception of people , loss of zest for life and an inability to self-improvement .” Personally, I do not accept any atrocities as in a professional environment , as well as in personal life.

Perhaps even some of the readers of Forbes are committed widespread mistaken belief that every sensible head should be able to shout , stomp their feet and awe to his subordinates . Even if a person is kind and good , but the profession forces .I think that the myth of the relationship in a team is one of the most harmful . As my human and professional experience : there is no more appropriate approach in its relations with employees, than humanity , and all manifestations of aggression and pressure are not allowed.

I can not say I never point out the mistakes , not firing , do not deprive bonuses , do not make the tough decisions . Such actions often occur in the work of any manager . But I always try to separate personal and professional relationships. In addition , the dismissal of an employee is often a blessing for him . And if he could not find himself in the company , does not mean that person is not a professional or that he lacks the zeal and intelligence. Perhaps another company people will be better able to show themselves , to do better and come back to us again , but this time as our client or partner. And if I’m firing people , I always tell him that. I always say it is not for us is not the man himself , and the results of its work , eating they are not compatible with the policy of our company.

The same can be said about the negative assessments , which must specify the head of a particular team member . To criticize a project , or some part of the problem , not the person. It should be noted that this position comes not only from the ethics and humanity , but also out of concern about the effectiveness of the business. The main character traits begin to form from early childhood. Therefore, an attempt to change an adult is doomed to success. Criticism , aggression , condemnation directed toward a particular person, his qualities of character and personality , can lead to deterioration .Every professional manager realizes that his main task is not to change or to teach people, and to find the best use of their professional skills . If the person does not have sufficient motivation or he is not doing its job , it can be transferred to another position to offer him all the options and show all perspectives , to create a situation in which he would be better able to express themselves and improve their results .

Responsibility at work and demands on their employees and themselves is one of the most important corporate values ​​with Microsoft, with which I fully agree. After all, it is unreasonable to require the person that he can not or does not want to do because of the nature of his character and personality. In such a case , or to find other options or dismiss the person, but you should not try to teach him life. Each manager must always remember that people are different . Therefore, do not try to change the staff from within or make them more like themselves .

I believe that discussing human personality – a sign of lack of professionalism , as it is a direct interference in the private life of man. And , as you know , the personal life of a man and the personal because that is not public . You may know about the different events in the lives of employees and support them , but do not give them advice or intervene in matters which are not related to the work . In a sense, this is the reverse side of the coin : on the one hand – the evil boss, on the other – a good adviser , irritating his care and attention. I think it is equally harmful to the business is to do both

How to convince an employer that you are worthy of greater wage

According to recruiters , you need to work to increase . First, you need to prepare the iron arguments

White -collar workers are not so often turns to get a raise . Typically, this increase they receive during the transition to a new position or to another company. To this must be prepared in advance , so as better to have on hand trumps when to start talking about money.

An important reason.

The best reason to get a raise is changing jobs . According to the manager of external communications recruitment company Acumen International Eugenia Aleksandrova , if an employee is committed to improving their skills and thus does not change positions , higher salaries, he did not wait . Sell ​​yourself more when you can move to a different position at another company , she says.

For example, if you want to improve your English or to obtain additional knowledge – it is up to you. Do not expect to receive for this increase to the salary , the head of the practice of ” Production and Technology ” recruitment company Hudson Antonina Ermolenko . You can get such a premium in the transition to a new position in the new company , confirms it .

But there is a company in Ukraine that offer their employees opportunities to climb the corporate ladder. A person can start with an ordinary salesperson and grow to the director’s office, says Antonina Ermolenko . But, unfortunately , not many companies welcome such a ” leveling ” of skills and abilities .

Raise your price

If you want to upgrade to a paid position , conduct a test of their skills and knowledge. While it is very difficult to determine how much it means this or that skill in payroll , yet recruiters sought to determine the degree of importance of the various arguments.According to experts HeadHunter Acumen International , Ukraine and the principal value of an increase in wages should be built in the following order:

1. Experience . In this regard all recruiters agree that it is important for the employer to the applicant previously served similar functions , explains Antonina Ermolenko . Therefore, it is important to strive to achieve the goals on the present job , and always capture these gains. To confirm his words , it is better to take on a job interview recommendations.

2 . Management experience. According to Evgenia , this experience is very important for all high-level positions . You should be able to tell about the achievements of the team, you were driving , in specific terms.

3 . A broad base of contacts. This is especially important for marketers , sales managers and recruiters . This framework must be comprehensive , relevant and constantly updated.

4 . Knowledge of PC . This criterion is a basic prerequisite for employment , said Natalia Matsipura , PR-manager recruitment portal HeadHunter. According to her, sometimes even welders do not take the job without the knowledge of the PC.

5 . Knowledge of a foreign language. Certainly , knowledge of English will not only add points to you at the interview , but the impact on your future salary , according to Eugene A. . But if you want to work in a German or a Japanese company , better to start visiting the respective courses.

6. Demand for specialty.If your specialty is one of the gaps in the labor market , you can increase your salary requirements . According to recruiters , very popular with employers are sales managers , programmers , lawyers , accountants and financiers .

7. Communication , familiarity with officials. This criterion is very important for executive positions in GR (government raltions, due to the government ) and the PR, especially for lobbyists , which is very high demand .

8. Higher Education. According to recruiters , even today in the car park is very hard to get without a diploma .

9. Certificates , courses and workshops . This criterion can contribute to you at the interview. But, according to Antonina Ermolenko , one only having an MBA is unlikely to raise salaries . As she says , it is rather confusing , but it is not a rule , as many companies want to see in your office employees with MBAs , but are not willing to raise wages because of this .

10 . Driving license / driving experience. This criterion is not mandatory, but for many senior positions driving license is desirable .

Not all plants are still sold out

The owner of the holding ” NOVAEM ” tells the story of how he bought several unprofitable enterprises , and three years later combined them into a strong holding.

Until a few years ago, I thought to create a holding is impossible because everything is already sold out on loans for shares . Today, no plant should not be without a host . I thought my train left , because everything sorted out back in the 90 ‘s. But if you look at things from the other side , really wanting to create something, then anything is possible . VC example, we have also succeeded.

How to start the creation of the holding

In 2009, I had the opportunity to buy Barnaul “Sibenergomash “, which produces boilers for power plants. I have worked at the plant for economic life of 10 years , but in 2003 he resigned and began working in metal trading . The company ” Trubmash” , in which I worked , was engaged in that supplied the pipe Energy. Turnover “Trubmash” was about 1 billion rubles a year , and the prospects were good. But I wanted more.We have also worked with other suppliers of metal, through which we learn that “Sibenergomash” going through hard times . This plant was part of the ” Energomashkorporatsiya “, which could not pay all the loans, and therefore the plant planned to sell to the highest bidder . Then I got the idea that it is much more interesting to engage in the production of machinery and equipment for them , rather than selling pipes. After production – is a whole other level . All the same, the 10- year experience in this plant has had an effect .

It is not enough to own the plant – it is very important to be able to properly manage them . I knew everything that was happening in all corners of the factory, I felt it . And when we came to buy the plant, there were those who wanted to buy it, only to sell the next day . For local authorities , this decision was unacceptable , because they wanted the company is developing steadily .

And then a few could this promise . Everything has fallen in price, and few would dare to invest in the company , because the company had a little bit of money. Probably , our application was almost the only one in this auction . We bought a “Sibenergomash ” in the summer of 2009, having paid for it 367 million rubles.

Here is everything in order

The plant was in poor condition. The works were many: to deal with the infrastructure , to repair the roof , shop, organize the work with people who have long since ceased to believe. And the former owner of the plant popervah accusing us of raiding : he put protection at the entrance, so we could not go inside. But the factory workers were eager to change, so keep the defense was very difficult. Many realize that a change of ownership may come a better time . Some even advised to break something , to push , but we went the other way : to communicate with people , talked with the leaders of the plant in order to defuse the situation that has developed in the factory. It turned out that it is enough just to come in and tell people what they do not want to harm anybody , and resell the company no one will. A guard who was of the inhabitants of another town, she soon left .

For three years in a factory was invested more than 1 billion rubles. And if in 2009 the income was 800 million rubles, or in the next year , it increased by 70 %, and the next – another 50 %. How did we get this far ?

We took an active search for new customers , and at the same time trying not to let go of old , telling them that the company will grow. We no longer trust the managers , and it gave the result. If you give a person an opportunity to negotiate , make allowances 5-10 %, it immediately becomes a different feel. I tried to create a cohesive team for the development of the plant.

Do not forget about the people

I always try to be with people that they know , where is the Black Sea . In addition , I receive from them a boost of energy that will not get in the office . I do not spend my collection , but I can just walk , shake hands with the workers. I always say to them specifically . Can ask , for example, if they are not in the cold room. And it immediately becomes public . I can on any machine to see how much income you can get from it , but this person can not be determined. As can motivate people , they can provide energy greater than a machine .

Contributed to the increase in the number of orders that “Trubmash “, which was also part of the group, could very quickly provide us with metal, which is our competitive advantage . We have always tried to be the first in those competitions that have helped to develop new technologies or acquire new competencies. For example, in order to Kazakh energy made ​​an order with us , we purchased 1,500 tons of coal on their ekibastuz section, sent him to the German city of Cologne, where with the help of burners Siemens, who planned to be installed on our boilers, the coal burned .

German experts have concluded that this method helps to reduce emissions to limits that will take effect in Kazakhstan since 2013. Then we received an order for two boilers , but we plan to get more orders and , as all work in Kazakhstan on ekibazstuskih coal , reduce emissions into the atmosphere may be the only way .

We control the entire production chain

Competition in our industry is high. We knew that in order to get some advantage over our competitors , we need to have a base of raw materials to build the entire chain – from metal to finished boilers.

Quite by chance we found you want us to plant . I was told that in Alapaevsk Sverdlovsk region is frozen enterprise, which belongs to the Ukrainian group “Privat” . This factory has a blast furnace , which can produce ferromanganese . This was the plant that could return to work at the desired approach.

We turned to the “Private” with a proposal to buy the plant , to which immediately received an affirmative answer. For 4 months of the transaction was completed, and in November 2011 we launched the work of the blast furnace . Get all the arrangements to start work was not so easily , but the people had suffered already , and if an official did not give his consent to run the plant, it would not understand even the governor of the city.

When people see that the company is started again , they can work at night , but would not miss the chance. Where once it employed 100 people , now has 500 . We plan to run the plant for 90 % of output possible in January. Total acquisition and launch of the plant in operation , we have spent about 1 billion rubles.

Last fall, for us was marked by the purchase of another plant – ” MORSHANSKHIMMASH “, which is in the Tambov region. Information about it we got through banks. The fact that the regional authorities have decided to save the plant , and so bought it from the previous owners . They supported the company afloat, not allowing it to close, trying to find the money from the bankers , who in turn found us .Then we decided to work on increasing the production of additional equipment for boilers , as well as develop existing competencies. In this way we were able to ease some of the production process at the Barnaul plant , and a good opportunity to start the production of equipment for the oil and gas chemistry , which we have previously carried out in Morshansk.

This plant we bought at his own expense . At the group zakreditovana only 10 % of annual revenue. It should be noted that in 2011 it amounted to 12.1 billion rubles, although in 2010 the figure was 5 billion rubles.

New accounts for the payment of SSC

The Ministry of income and charges still defined new accounts for the payment of a single social contribution . The account numbers are available on the website of the Ministry of income and charges in the “registry “.

Open accounts are blocked, about putting them into action will be announced later .

If you have any questions about the payment of a single social contribution , now all the questions you need to address that tax , in which you have registered and been registered as a taxpayer , not the District Pension Fund , as it was previously .

Recall that in September it was decided to delegate the Ministry of income and charges ” Money matters “, that is now a unified social tax you pay the Ministry of income and charges, and report on ERUs you are applying previously served as the Pension Fund, in which registered .
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Account for payment of ERUs

15 tips to budding entrepreneurs

Alexander Drees , a serial entrepreneur , talks about whether or not to talk about that ” failed idea ” how to choose the investors , how to behave , and what pitfalls to avoid .

Start-up – it’s quite hard work , but also the greatest drive, apart from sex. Since I am an ambitious entrepreneur, I have accumulated a lot of experience about the failures and successes.Over the past few years I have been able to formulate the rules of 15 , following which it is possible to overcome this the hard way in an easier way ( it does not matter in what order are located tips ) .

1. Check whether you are compatible with the investor.

Money is very important for a beginner startups , but they should be very neat and carefully choose their source. Since most of the funds and business angels to be forfeited shares of your company for the first time you will be ” married ” to them. Therefore it is better to love your foundation , or his angel . Determine in advance how you will approach each other . And if you have any doubts , it is better to abandon the deal.

2 . Line up a prototype at its own expense

Never attempt to attract investors , not having built a prototype. Money for the better team to collect from their own savings , and invest your project ask relatives or loved ones. It is much easier to sell something that you can show . In addition, you will be able to prove in practice that they are able to embody the idea of ​​a startup. I advise you to listen to the principles of Eric Rice (Eric Ries) and Lean Startups.

3 . The prototype does not have to be a very complex

At least there is a minimum . You should not build a commercial decision , not having a big budget . You have built a prototype to demonstrate one or more functions . Make it as easy as possible to understand and apply . Take the trouble to create a usability and interface.

4 . Test your prototype

Once you create a prototype , ask your family, friends or co-workers begin to use it. Listen to their comments and your comments and try to improve the product . If you want to get investment from people like Dave McClure , you will need to prove to users that they need your product that they love him and they are ready to share our impressions of it with your friends. You should not really worry about mistakes. If your first customers do not care they will tell you that you need to modify . Since you are startups , you will forgive a lot.

5 . Assemble a strong team

From my experience I know that a lot of individual start-ups tend to fail. Assemble a strong team before founding the project. You should not start a project without having in his team in marketing, expert on design and interface , developers and technicians . Do not assume that your team – is hired workers . They – co-founders of your project and your partners in its development , so treat them that way.

6. Do not confuse the startup and big business

Do not think that top managers in large companies are always good businessmen silt mentors . Startup and big business – they are two completely different things. Also, do not assume that the adviser of ” Yandex ” or Mail.ru will lead you to the partners or investors.

7. Learn to delight audiences

As the founder of the project, you should do all people to admire your product. Be an active , passionate, incendiary . Your presentation will look more natural and better the more you speak in public , and you will be much easier to convince everyone how cool you are . Always watch for a reaction , listen to feedback , learn from our mistakes and improve their product. You have to inspire people to work with you or for you to use your product or invest in it .

8. Look for investments

While you are searching for investors , the full workload , divide among the members of your team, so as not to run the ” churn “. It would be better if your team is the product manager . Around you have to be talented people. And you, as a brilliant director , have to seek investment, which will leave 90 % of your time.

9. Do not waste time in vain

Generally, they are designed to attract attention, but not to increase the budget of the project. Today, it is as valuable as money. The investment must pay off in full , as in the case of cash.

10 . Focus on the big market and addressing important issues

Find out if your product enough market. To an investor you are truly interested , you need to or supplant other players with multi-billion dollar market , or to solve an important problem. Small problems can only attract small investors. A major problem may be of interest of major investors .

11. Always be closer to the investor

If you want to attract investment from the fund in Boston , you should move to Boston . Because an angel or a fund – this is not just a source of money. Many investors have good communication and relationships with other investors , partners , funds and so on. They were already working in the market and achieved certain results, not even once. So look for a way to make money .

12. You should not expect much from associating your business angel

But too carried away by the previous council is not worth it . When you select a source of funds, do not overestimate its relation to the market or mentoring abilities. Even if your angel sign, for example, with Igor Matsanyuk (Farminers, GameInsight) or Dave McClure (500 Startups). In any case, he too will not help a startup .

13. Enter the Business Incubator

If you live in Europe , you will need to become a member of the incubator Seedcamp or Startupsauna ( they will help you for free, without asking for shares of your company). Also note Techstars, Farminers, Launchpad, Y- Sombinator etc.

14. Or make the product or the project open

If the ideas are not implemented , they are not worth anything .

15. Do not be afraid and do not hesitate failures.

Originally put clear goals . Listen to the feedback and comments of your customers , invent new version , check them in public, and improve as long as you achieve set results. And if after six months you will not achieve any results , stop the project. For a start failure – it is also the norm , so do not be afraid or ashamed of. And if you want to achieve great results , be prepared for failures , if the risk .

New ideas for fitness clubs

As a chain of fitness clubs Snap able to grow, while the competitors are going bankrupt .

Weekday evening in the club Snap Fitness, located in the town of Pine Brook , New Jersey , you can see dozens of men aged 30-40 years , pedaling exercise bikes, and raises the bar. These men have come to the club in tracksuits and go straight home , without taking a shower . According to Richard Prohova , in this club, no queues , and the prices are low . You can just come and do it.

The network includes 910 Snap Fitness clubs , 60 of which were opened in December last year. Even during the recession club network continues to grow, while Bally’s Total Fitness, one of the most popular in the U.S. chain of fitness clubs , recently sought protection from creditors under the Bankruptcy Law . How do they do it ? Snap Fitness clubs are working around the clock and are easy and low cost. Monthly membership fee is only $ 35 , and you can always suspend or cancel the membership without paying any fines. To date, visit the clubs 400,000 members.

Gyms at Snap Fitness clubs are small, only 230 square meters. m, with a minimum of equipment. In each room there are five treadmills and cardio equipment , a few bikes , as well as shells for strength training . In the clubs, no spas , rooms for children and bars with fresh juices . And the showers have only a few clubs. Most clubs workweek staff consists of 25-40 hours per week. According to Peter Taunton , Snap Fitness Network offers customers a low-cost and convenient training.

Snap Fitness is working on franchising . Of the 820 most of the owners invested in the business of just $ 175,000 , most owners are working in rented premises. The greatest expenditure of $ 120,000 required equipment , the system passes the card , TVs , video surveillance system , as well as one-time fee for the license, which is $ 15,000 . In addition , every month franchisee owner pays $ 400 and 50 cents for each new customer . Also, the owner receives $ 5 for every new card for the customer and for the installation of the billing system . ( For comparison, the cost of the license in the chain of fitness clubs for women Curves is $ 30,000 and the $ 800 monthly payment . ) Franchise pays for itself in three months , if the number of members is 275 or more people. After the conclusion of the lease is for 10 days , you can open and equip a room. According to Taunton , each franchisee receives from the owner of the trailer , which already has all the necessary equipment , we can only extract .

For many franchisees gym – it is an additional business , the majority of them do not participate in the management and tend to have most of the work . The owners of the franchise always have access to the records for each club on the Internet. They can even keep track of what is happening in the club with a video surveillance system. According to Taunton to own such a business , you need to have a web browser.

Most of the club members – people aged 35-55 years , who already have a family , so the time trying to have a cup of coffee or flirt girl in a nearby trainer , they do not. Many live near the hall. Taunton recognizes that potential franchisees and women are often interested in the safety of gyms, for which he can guarantee. Enter the club can only be with the card . All the walls are equipped with panic buttons . Taunton recalls only one case in the history of the network : Teens broke into one of the clubs hoping to steal a TV. In addition, each franchisee owner pays a monthly fee for insurance in the amount of $ 255.

The concept of a network of such clubs appeared at Taunton in 2003 , and today it brings success. In 2008, the chain of fitness clubs Snap earned operating income of $ 10 million, which was almost two times more than in 2007 , and the amount of revenue increased by 67 % to $ 30 million , while in the period from January to November, the company managed attract another 483 franchisees. Snap clubs have in Mexico , Australia and New Zealand. In May last year sold a stake in Taunton Boston investment group Summit Partners, which allowed him to cover the cost of development of the network abroad. Taunton now owns only 60 % of the shares. In his plans for the next five years, opening 5,000 clubs worldwide .

Prior to Taunton were other entrepreneurs who have discovered in the United States around the clock showed a minimal amount of equipment. Co-owner of Anytime Fitness club chain Chuck Runyon once said that Taunton can earn money for their idea. But , unlike many competitors, Snap club members have more options . They alone can count the number of visits , prepare lesson plans or diets undergo a medical service online.

Snap network of clubs has become the embodiment of all the ideas that have appeared in Taunton for over 20 years in this field. When Taunton dropped out of college , he decided to take up a professional game of racquetball . But after a while found himself without a job. Then he returned to his native Wilmar , Minnesota, where he was offered a management unprofitable at the time the club Kandi Kourts for $ 16,000 a year. During the first year on revenue of $ 340,000 loss amounted to $ 40,000 . Taunton recalls that worked but then it’s not hard. Six years later he bought out Kandi Kourts from owners for $ 450,000 . In 1990, he gave the club the name America’s Fitness and laid it in the bank , having received credit for the discovery of several establishments near the big city of Minneapolis, Minnesota .

Taunton led America’s Fitness for 20 years , but due to the ever-increasing costs that exceed $ 1.5 million and liabilities in 2002 he sold five rooms, which earned them $ 3 million then he began to think about their own business. Then there was Snap Fitness.Who is the owner of the chain of fitness clubs ‘m sure will be able to attract an even greater number of franchisees , as many are now looking for a job. In addition, he is willing to bet that another 300 000 new clients come to clubs this year , abandoning the expensive gyms . According to him , they have people get what they need, and therefore keep returning to Snap.

Chichvarkina wine business in London

Founder of “Euroset” spent on wine shop over £ 10 million and wants to earn an income for a few months already . His shop Hedonism Wines different kind of design , and its founder believes that it assembled the best collection of wines. What it does have prospects?

Chichvarkin said he was in hell. According to him, this is a hell of finding the right people , preparing for the opening of the store, it took half a year , as well as scrapping the walls in the room , which is located in Mayfair . Now in his store features more than 4,000 wines , including the cost of the most expensive of ₤ 100,000 : Château d’Yquem 1811. He believes that it is necessary ” to make this puzzle and then do not get in the way .” According Chichvarkina , many shareholders are a lot of unnecessary rules , which is impeding management. He tries not to interfere .In just open the wine business a very important role is played by a person who selects and buys a range of goods. The store Chichvarkina this role is performed by a former wine buyer for Harrods Alistair Weiner . Very interesting, as Chichvarkin managed to lure Weiner , who worked for the famous department store 16 years and opened the flagship division of spirits and wines in Harrods two years ago. Before accepting a job Weiner Chichvarkin together with the project manager Tatiana Fokine revised considerable number of people who worked in the interest of Chichvarkina stores . In the words of Chichvarkin , Alistair knew that we are perfectionists , and therefore very interested. We promised that we would not disturb him .

What is there at Hedonism Wines, that no other wine stores , like Corney & Barrow, Berry Bros. & Rudd and Justerini & Brooks? What’s not to love about Eugene British shops , it’s inconsiderate and slow approach to customer service. And Hedonism Wines can offer customers more affable , fast and friendly service . His team people talk not only in English but also in French, Spanish , Dutch , Chinese, and Italian. His team, half are sommelier who own their ” Michelin ” restaurants.

Hedonism Wines is located on Davis Street, near Berkeley Square , which is full of offices and GDP in this place than some Baltic countries . The founder of the store hopes that regular customers of his shop will be their neighbors with Bekrli Square. So far Hedonism Wines are 18 people with the back office.

Used in creating the interior large bottles . What does this mean ? Trying to match the taste of wealthy Russian buyers, who seeks to gigantism . As stated Chichvarkin , to create such an interior no specific targets were not prosecuted , but to comply with the concept of the store. From the amount of 3 4500 bottles of 75 liter , 90 -liter and six 25 even larger . If you go to the store Jeroboams, how many bottles of Jeroboam you can get ? We, as the name suggests , there are bottles of hedonistic character.

If the store you can purchase up to 12 bottles of any size , this means that the climate control system in such a store in the amount of up to 3 parking spaces , and the weight – 3 tons. At Hedonism Wines has its own warehouse , which is that production , which was bought by a lot or an interesting price .

As for prices , then he owned a shop does not agree with the fact that its customers can only be rich. For example, the cheapest bottle of wine at Hedonism Wines costs only ₤ 13. Some types of sparkling white wine and is available immediately chilled. In addition to a wide range of wines and chilled , Chichvarkin also promises to deliver the implementation of one hour – it already has a fleet of scooters. For example , if the customer calls of ” Dorchester “, then it can get the wine even faster than the food.About how much money had to invest in a wine hedonism, Chichvarkin responsible reluctantly. From his words it is known only that the deal has been invested in the eight-digit sum . How quickly this store will pay to the owner and how many chances of success of this project in one of the most competitive and conservative wine market ? Some are skeptical , as recently in the UK wine market is stagnating , and even companies with established reputations have suffered losses . Even the famous Berry Bros. & Rudd confirmed the losses due to the decline in demand for expensive wines , as well as the victim collapse campaign en primeur.

The main difference between a wine Rink – slow : need a lot of time not only to form a range of products, but also to build relationships with manufacturers who tend to belong to the newcomers with considerable caution , and make contracts for years to come . Angus MacLean , manager of sales at Laithwaites, specializing in sales of vintage and rare wines , said at the opening of the wine business , there is another difficulty – no one can predict how prices will change in the wine and the situation on the market as a whole. Until a few years ago, it was seen that prices will continue to rise , but now it is a lottery . As McLean says , it is possible to reduce the risks if properly form the range , but it is always the best wines coming to the market in small quantities. The best strategy , in his opinion, may be a time when the company is ready to sell wine with minimal profit , and even without it, to get a foothold in the market. If the company has the means to stay on the market 2 years , then the business can be successful. But in the case can offer customers something that no other .

InvestManager of Wine Investment Fund Chris Smith gives a more optimistic forecasts , as the wine market has a global scope , and location of such business in London is more than favorable. At this point, focus the best wines of the world , and their own are not made, so there is a very good demand . The fact that the people of London less affected by the crisis , and therefore continue to keep buying expensive wine for your table .

According to Chichvarkina , his shop will be able to get a plus in a few months. He denies that Hedonism Wines – it’s just a toy , not a serious matter . He says his store is not a charitable foundation : the range in their shop perfect , here assembled the best collection of wines in the world . In Hedonism Wines very interesting , nice and cozy , it was all done so that the wine connoisseur felt like a candy shop . If people because of their traditions or preferences will go to other stores , the Hedonism Wines would react to this with understanding. But while the work for them while.