Coming in 2022: The New NaperLaunch Academy

Since 2016, NaperLaunch Academy, offered in conjunction with SCORE Fox Valley, has helped more than 100 entrepreneurs and small business owners develop fundamental business knowledge and learn the “lean startup process” to build a foundation for business success.

Today, we are excited to announce the newest iteration of the Academy. Beginning in January, the Academy curriculum will be presented in two separate workshop series: Starting a Business and Growing a Business.

3 Essential Financial Reports Small Business Owners Should Understand

Successful business owners use their financial statements to guide the management of their business. These statements show the flow of money into and out of the business, provide a snapshot of the business’s financial health, and guide the identification of trends within the operating activities. Without understanding them, it’s impossible for business owners to know if they are earning a profit or have the funds to keep up with their business expenses, as well as to plan for any future growth or opportunity.

Small Business Benefits of Joining Trade Associations

Joining trade associations can be an effective way for small businesses to increase their contacts and find potential customers, no matter what industry they operate in.

A trade association is an organization founded and operated by businesses in a specific field. Trade organizations often promote collaborative opportunities between companies and facilitate professional development opportunities for their members. In addition, they often publish materials for their members, including newsletters and magazines, directories, and professional resources.

5 Hidden Expectations of Investors

When an entrepreneur makes a pitch in front of a venture capitalist or angel investor, there are some standard expectations of the presentation. However, the potential investor may also have some less obvious expectations with regard to the impression made and confidence conveyed by the entrepreneur. The physical content of the pitch deck slides is significantly important, but perhaps more important are the lasting impressions that the content conveys. In this blog post, we will describe five things an investor expects a pitcher to know.

Some Do’s and Don’ts for Pitch Decks

Funding a startup frequently requires securing some type of capital investment from other individuals or entities. Sometimes those arrangements are made through venture capitalists or angel investor groups. This process is not simple and will be time consuming and challenging.

When approaching the capital investor, most startups use a pitch deck, or set of presentation slides, or possibly video, to make their pitch for funding. Because of the time required to prepare such a pitch deck, it is important to get it right.

Qualifying for a Small Business Loan: The 5Cs of Credit

Besides bootstrapping, there are basically two ways to fund revenue growth in a business: take on debt or invite equity investors. In this blog post, we look at using debt to raise capital, and more specifically, what is required to qualify for a commercial loan.

All commercial lenders follow some standard underwriting principles and consider certain factors. This process is intended to build up a lender’s confidence that a business owner will repay the loan according to the loan provisions. In doing so, the lender generally considers what are known as the 5 Cs of credit.

Customer Lifetime Value and Startup Growth

When it comes to assessing the effectiveness of your business’ marketing efforts, not all metrics are equally valuable. For startups, one metric that is particularly useful in measuring marketing effectiveness is customer lifetime value.

Customer lifetime value (CLV) indicates the average total revenue a business can reasonably expect a single customer to generate over the course of the business relationship. The longer a customer continues to purchase from a company, the greater their lifetime value becomes.

Business Startup Help

Let us say you have had an idea rattling around in your head for a few years about how to improve a basic service or product that you have used in the past. You are pretty sure you have the knowledge and skill to deliver that enhanced service or product. Now you are wondering how to go about commercializing it.

NaperLaunch Offers New Programs, Same Great Peer Learning and One-on-One Mentoring

With the new year comes some exciting new developments at NaperLaunch. In March, we’ll debut some updates to the format, schedule, and content of our programs. These changes reflect the latest evolution of our continued efforts to serve the needs of Naperville-area entrepreneurs and small business owners. While some of our programs may look different, our commitment to meeting business owners where they are remains the same. Here’s a look at what’s new, and what won’t change, at NaperLaunch in 2020.