Connect with us

Business Finance

Why states are now creating their own crowdfunding rules

(Business Finance) While investors and businesses become tired of waiting for the feds to regulate crowdfunding, states are stepping in to set local rules.

Published

on

crowdfunding

crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is changing, how states are keeping up

Crowdfunding is rapidly changing, and on the forefront of that movement is Judd Hollas, Founder and CEO of EquityNet. As investors and businesses become fatigued with waiting on the federal government to set national regulations for the crowd funding industries, the states are stepping in.

In his own words below, Hollas explains why states are creating their own crowdfunding rules:

Over two years ago, President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startup Act (JOBS Act) into law; however, regulations for equity-based crowdfunding that would allow the average American citizen, who has less than a million dollars in assets, to invest in privately held companies have yet to be finalized. Crowdfunding has been around long enough now for people to see its potential to drive additional capital to small and emerging businesses, and states naturally do not want to wait any longer for their business communities to be able to use it.

bar

Texas legislators have recently convened to vote on laws that would permit intrastate crowdfunding. These laws would enable Texans classified as non-accredited investors to invest up to $5,000 a year in privately held Texas-based companies. Any company in Texas would be able to raise up to $1 million per year. If this vote passes, Texas will join several states like Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, and Wisconsin in creating programs that would allow their residents to help startups and small companies create jobs and bolster their economies.

In fact Texas based companies have already started to engage in equity based crowdfunding from accredited investors with more than 100 companies each seeking to raise on average $1.2 million in capital on sites like EquityNet. Moreover, one company, Envoy Investments, is well under way to meeting its funding goal of $2 million, demonstrating the impact of equity crowdfunding on funding emerging businesses in Texas.

Small businesses fuel economic growth

Small businesses and startups have long been considered a major cause of economic growth. Not only do they provide job opportunities; they are often innovators of new technologies that lead to enhancements in productivity. Access to human capital and advancements that lead to higher productivity are key inputs to successful economic expansion. Many Texan entrepreneurs and investors are keen on this idea. After all, a company cannot grow without readily available capital.

Title III of the JOBS Act would allow unaccredited investors across the nation to invest in privately held companies, but the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has yet to adopt rules, meaning that the movement that would allow nearly anyone to have an impact on the national economy is stalled for the time being.

The delay is understandable, but…

It’s understandable why the SEC is proceeding with such caution on this matter. Investments in startups and other privately held businesses can be quite risky; but, existing crowdfunding models are leveraging the “wisdom of the crowd,” meaning that potential investors can communicate with others who have invested in companies that crowdfund and aid in due diligence processes in real time. This self-policing mechanism inherent to crowdfunding mitigates risks of fraud and faulty investments.

For non-accredited investors, intrastate crowdfunding will create a whole new asset class that they have never had access to before. It would allow them to potentially increase their total returns from their investment portfolios over time and have a hand in aiding their local economies in the process.

If intrastate crowdfunding comes to Texas it may take a while for the market to adopt it; however, the benefits it could provide for the state’s economy will be evident as more people begin to participate. Time will tell, but it is definitely a step forward to the democratization of capital.

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Why states are now creating their own crowdfunding rules | Indiegogo Projects

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Business Finance

Win over investors immediately with a great 1st impression

(FINANCE) First impressions are everything, and it’s no different when it comes to approaching investors. We have the tips to win them over.

Published

on

first impression handshake with investors

Going in for your first pitch meeting with investors can be nerve-wracking – especially if you haven’t yet met these investors in person. Fortunately, if you land a solid first impression, you can set the right tone for the meeting, and make the rest of the presentation a little easier on yourself.

But why are first impressions so important, and how can you ensure you make one?

Let’s start with a recap of the benefits of a strong first impression:

    • A reputation framework. Our brains are wired to make quick judgments about our surroundings. Accordingly, we tend to judge people based on our first interactions with them, with little opportunity to change those initial judgments later on. If you strike investors as a smart, likeable, and capable person early on, they’ll see your pitch deck in a whole new light.
    • Memorability. First impressions stick with people. If yours stands out from the other entrepreneurs pitching these investors, they’ll be more likely to remember you, specifically, and therefore may be more likely to eventually fund your project.
    • Personal confidence. If you know you’ve nailed the first impression, you’ll feel more confident, and as you already likely know, confidence makes you a better public speaker. You’ll speak more deliberately, more passionately, and with fewer mistakes.

So how can you make sure you land this impression?

    • Arrive in a nice vehicle. Show up in a luxury vehicle, or at least one that’s been recently detailed, sends a message that you’re already successful. This isn’t a strict necessity, but it can speak volumes about what you’ve already achieved, and how you might look when you drive to meet your future clients.
    • Dress for the occasion. Along similar lines, you’ll want to dress nicely. You don’t need to have ridiculously expensive clothes, but you should wear standard business attire that fits you properly and has no signs of wear. It’s also a good idea to get a haircut, shave, wear tasteful makeup, and make other small touches that improve your overall appearance.
    • Smile. Smiling is contagious, and it instantly makes you more likable. Don’t force a grin (or else you’ll look like a robot), but do flash a genuine smile as often as appropriate during the first few minutes you meet your prospective investors.
    • Use your investors’ names. When you speak to your investors, try to address them by name as often as possible. People love to hear the sound of their own names, so it might help you win their favor. As an added bonus, it will help you reinforce your association with their name and face, so you eliminate your risk of calling someone by the wrong name later on.
    • Warm-up with something personal. It’s tempting to get down to business right away, especially because your investors’ time is limited, but in most cases, it’s better to warm up with something personal—even if it’s only a few lines of a conversation. Tell a funny joke you heard earlier in the day, or share an anecdote about how your morning has been going. It makes you seem more personable and charismatic.
    • Find a common link. If you can, try to find something in common with each of your prospective investors. You might comment that you got your tie at the same place they did, or that you use the same type of pen. Look for subtle clues about their personalities, lifestyles, and hobbies, and forge a connection through those channels. People disproportionately like other people like them, so the more commonalities you can find with your prospective investors, the better.
    • Watch your posture. Your posture says more about you than you might think. Keep your back straight with your shoulders back, and walk confidently with your hands out of your pockets. This is crucial for projecting confidence (and feeling it internally as well).

If you can land a great first impression, you’ll set the stage for a killer presentation—but don’t think you’re out of the woods yet. You still need to make sure you have a fantastic pitch deck in place, and enough knowledge on your startup idea to handle the toughest investor questions. If this is your first pitch, don’t worry – it does get easier – but the fundamentals are always going to be important.

Continue Reading

Business Finance

Follow these 7 steps to get outstanding invoices paid to you ASAP

(FINANCE) For a freelancer, it’s more important than ever to bring up the issue of getting paid on time. Here are 7 tips to get your money.

Published

on

Handing over card representing getting paid.

For many, an awkward topic of conversation revolves around getting paid. Whether asking for a raise or asking to borrow money, people often feeling uncomfortable when talking money.

This is equally, or possibly even more so, true for freelancers who are solely in charge of their finances. Without a system of weekly direct deposit, freelancers have to work overtime to keep their earnings in order.

The issue with this is that clients also have a lot on their plates, and something as simple as a freelancer’s paycheck is common to fall through the cracks. This causes freelancers to have to work friendly reminders into their repertoire.

However, freelancers may not always be knowledgeable of the best ways to keep their finances in check (no pun intended). Below are seven ways to enhance payment methods.

  1. You have to be willing to make billing a priority. Due to the fact that money is awkward to talk about, as aforementioned, many let this fall by the wayside. The best way to do this is to keep up to date with your invoices and send them as soon as they are done. Making a calendar specific for billing can help with this idea.
  2. This second bit dates back to when we were young and learning our manners: it is crucial to be polite. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also increases speed in payment. Using “please” and “thank you” in invoicing emails are said to get you paid 5% faster.
  3. It is best to try and keep a complicated concept like finance as simple as possible. Make sure you are creating specific due dates. This will help to signify importance of payment.
  4. Now that virtually anything can be done online, it would make sense to use electronic payment verses an old-school check. Accepting online payments will get a user paid, on average, eight days faster as opposed to a check.
  5. This is an important notion to keep in mind for any aspect of your business life: be professional. Invoices are often seen by many eyes so it is best to include your business’s logo on said invoice. This has been found to increase chances of being paid on time by 10%.
  6. Specificity is urged again in the form of transparency. Make sure you are giving detailed descriptions on each invoice so that anyone looking at it knows exactly what you are being paid for. By doing this, you are 15% more likely to be paid on time.
  7. While you may be invoicing month by month, try to avoid sending on the 30th or 31st. Being that everyone, generally, sends their invoices in on these dates, it takes 10 – 20% longer to be paid. With everyone sending it at the end of the month, it has a tendency to back up payroll.

The most important thing to remember is that while the topic of money may be awkward, it is your money. If you let a few invoices fall behind because you are uncomfortable reminding your client, this has a way of adding up. Be sure to keep on track with your finances to earn what you are working for.

Continue Reading

Business Finance

What small business owners need to know about succession planning

(ENTREPRENEUR) We’ve all heard the phrase “You can’t take it with you,” but succession planning provides peace-of-mind when leaving behind personal assets.

Published

on

Two silhouettes of people looking out over the sunset to discuss succession planning.

Succession planning is a forward-looking strategy to ensure the “next in line” is prepped for what is to come. Within an organization, executives or management create a blueprint in hopes of a seamless transition of operations to “partners, future generations, or successor owners,” as Patrick Hicks, the Head of Legal at Trust & Will, states.

Succession planning can be useful in both professional and personal environments, including handing off entrepreneurial businesses or assets of any value. It’s important to create an Estate Plan for whom you plan to replace you in regard to property ownership.

Hicks says that, “Property rights are the cornerstone of modern society.” Property rights include the authority to determine how a resource is used or disposed of after death. This can include giving in a neighbor, a charity, or the most common choice, your family.

“Giving it all to family is typical but giving it all to non-relatives gets second looks. An estate plan is the manifestation of your wishes. It doesn’t matter if anyone else approves.”

It can come as a shock to hear if your assets are undesired by family- or even worse- if it comes as a surprise to them after a loved one’s death. Some choose not to communicate succession plans during one’s lifetime as it could damage familial relationships, but on the other hand, it could also provide a smoother transition. If an heir does not wish to take on the property, there is a chance for contest or litigation that could reduce the benefits of having a succession plan in the first place.

Another scenario is if your dependents do want a hand in property assets after death, but your wishes are to relinquish it elsewhere. Hicks says, “Typically, children do not have a right to claim their inheritance, unless some special rule applies.”

An example is if you leave behind a minor child or surviving spouse, where in that case, they may be entitled to receive support. This could include at least of share of property if no estate plan was in place. However, the necessary support can also be provided by the dearly departed through life insurance or another means.

“When it comes to estate planning, there are societal norms and bounds,” Hicks says, but ultimately, no matter the wishes, having a succession plan can provide peace-of-mind when thinking of the future.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Great Partners

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!