June 24, 2011

LOHAS – Raising Capital

If you’re in business for yourself, or thinking of starting a business, you probably have considered borrowing money.

LOHAS is going on right now in Boulder, Colorado.

LOHAS stands for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. This conference is all about doing business in the health and sustainability sector. Yoga, health food, massage, and even people who do business in the “spirituality sector” are among the target audiences.

This talk gave help to people who consider raising capital for their business. We divided up into several groups and decided what the biggest questions were. There were people with all levels of experience, from complete beginners to experienced entrepreneurs.

We heard people give “elevator talks”, which are short descriptions of their business or idea and what they needed the money for.

Lenders and media folk were present to advise us about how to present our message in an efficient way.

We talked about various ways of borrowing money. The “crowd” phenomenon came up, where a group of people acted as a lending source, like www.Kiva.org. We looked at valuation and a couple of rules of thumb emerged, like valuing your business as a multiple of revenues.

One of the main benefits of LOHAS is the contacts you make at the conference. This isn’t unusual, but if you’ve never been to something like this, a big takeaway is the people you meet.

Have any of you in the reading audience borrowed money for your business? I wonder if you have any tips to share. There were comments that the scene, the borrowing/lending scene has changed a bit over the recent few past years. I wonder if any of you can share any comments about that.

Stay tuned – tomorrow I’ll go to a few more talks and let you know how it goes.

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