MIND DUMP tips for individuals:
MIND DUMP tips for family and privately held businesses
As a successful business owner you must master all the components of your business.
Not just the ones you like.
The valley of death is an actual phrase used in the investment community. Most entrepreneurs aren't aware of it, unfortunately some have experienced it. An investor may actually ask another investor about a potential opportunity if the business has survived the "valley of death" or is headed towards it.
This happens when an entrepreneur doesn't get enough money fast enough. To avoid going into debt they don't get loans, to avoid losing control they don't seek outside funding from investors. It can get pretty bad. An entrepreneurs spouse may call from the grocery store with kids in tow letting them know approval was denied. The entrepreneur suggests using another card, the spouse says they already did. The spouse ends up leaving the groceries in the cart at the check out counter. Their kids ask why.
The spouse subsequently finds out the entrepreneur has been paying the mortgage with credit cards when the house is foreclosed on and they are evicted.
Divorce, suicide, alcoholism all could be avoided if the entrepreneur just sought help BEFORE they needed it. It is very difficult to un-ring the bell.
Many business owners take pride in self funding. Often brag about being able to go it alone without outside help. Sustaining a business on cash flow only goes so far. It helps the business get by when the demands for funding are simply to support inventory or to grow. It's the unintended consequences of bad surprises that often cause the unexpected demise of a formerly successful business.
The time to establish a strong relationship with lenders and investors is when you don't need money. It also is the best time to get the most favorable rates. When times are hard you have an established relationship and strong track record of repayment which gives confidence in the source of funds they will get paid back in a timely manner.