Three Surefire Ways to Gain Funding For Your Business

At some point, you will probably need to gain funding for your business. Here are three very effective ways to do just that, courtesy of Deborah Sweeney of MyCorporation.

Whether you’re in the beginning stages of starting your new business or your current business needs a little extra cash to start a new project, gaining extra money quickly is something every business will go through at some point or another. Luckily, there are a couple different ways to do just that!

Here are three very effective ways to go about earning money for your business:

Have a solid business plan.

The best way to gain third-party investors is to have a great business plan all set and ready to go. Not only are they great for showing potential investors how worthwhile investing in your company is, they help to keep you on track and focused for years to come.

Along with your business’s long-term goals, short-term goals, and plan of action, you should set aside an area in your business plan especially dedicated for investor eyes- something they can read and then easily understand the benefits of investing in your business. Even if you’re an already established business, having a business plan you update as you go with new goals and investor rewards is something valuable to have on deck.


Crowdfunding has recently gained popularity in being a viable method for raising money for businesses. Though typically popular for artistic projects, it can also be used for raising money for the average small business.

The tricky thing about crowd funding is that it’s not black and white. Your investors get to pick how much they donate, though a lot of businesses utilize a rewards system to sway investors towards donating greater amounts of money. Additionally, you need to make sure your crowd funding is legal. Because it is still such a new way to raise money, the legal lines can sometimes blur. Crowdfunding can be a great, successful method for gaining investment, but be sure to do your homework and make sure everything is abiding by legal guidelines before you dive in head first and put all of your business’s eggs in the crowdfunding basket.

Bank Loans.

I think one of the most innovative ways to get funding for a business is actually the tried and true bank loan method.  When you loan with a bank, you often get low interest rates and you can bet that your backer is solid.  Additionally, you don’t have investors owning any portion of your business, if that’s something you want to avoid.  You do have to have a bit more of a proven history, but that will come up time and time again when owning a business, so it’s better to face that early on.

Bank loans can also be great because friends, family, and other third party investors often want a return on their investment other than simple interest.  This can cloud ownership and decision-making.  A pure loan is often a lot simpler, very reliable, and less confusing.

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.

The #1 Secret to a Successful Small Business

When starting a small business, many entrepreneurs focus on creating a great product or an eye-catching business plan. They work to build something their target market can’t possibly resist, and that investors can’t wait to throw money at. While building your product can certainly seem paramount, the real number one secret to small business success lies in who you hire to be a part of your team.

When starting a small business, many entrepreneurs focus on creating a great product or an eye-catching business plan. They work to build something their target market can’t possibly resist, and that investors can’t wait to throw money at.

While solving a specific problem in a specific niche is a key element to establishing a small business, the number one secret to small business success lies in who you hire to be a part of your team.

That’s right – it’s really all about people. Whether you run a service-based business or sell products online, the people you hire to join your small business team are the same people who can make or break your business long-term.

Gigantic companies like Google, Facebook and Apple all say the same thing: hire amazing people and get the heck out of their way. That means investing in top talent who are ready to hit the ground running to make your business a success. This has been a key principle in growing Shoeboxed from an idea to a thriving business, and we’re immensely proud of the awesome team we have.

When hiring a startup team to support your small business, it’s important to keep your current and future needs in mind. Right now, you may need someone to do your books and manage your social media accounts. But what about five years from now?

When you hire based on the projected growth of your company, you’re far more likely to make that growth a reality. Building a team based on where you want to go, as opposed to where you are now, will allow the people you hire to directly participate in your company’s success. Retention rates will remain high because each and every team member will feel personally invested in the company, and personally rewarded as it grows.

Choosing complementary personality types is also key to building a successful small business team. Just as a winning football team can’t be comprised of all quarterbacks, your startup team can’t be made up of all gregarious leaders, or all stoic followers. Look for a mix of different talents and abilities that will be able to solve a variety of problems and think creatively in group settings.

In order to ascertain how a potential candidate functions in a group, be sure to hold a round of group interviews late in the hiring process. Once you’ve determined those candidates that you’re highly interested in, bring them together in a dynamic group setting and observe their interactions as a team. You can even bring in multiple candidates for the same position and swap them out accordingly to see how each interacts with the group.

While having a stellar product or service to sell is certainly important, it’s nowhere near as important as hiring a great startup team. According to Devin Mathews, Managing Partner at Chicago Growth Partners, small business owners are “better off working with a great team and a mediocre product, than a great product and mediocre people.”

What is the most important quality you look for when hiring top talent?

Paradoxos 2013 Celebrated Ideas and Innovation in Durham

Here at Shoeboxed, we’re still recovering from the first ever Paradoxos, a two-day event that celebrates ideas, collaboration and entrepreneurship in our hometown of Durham, N.C. Hear the team’s thoughts on the event and see some great photos from Paradoxos in this post!

Here at Shoeboxed, we’re still recovering from the first ever Paradoxos, a two-day event celebrating ideas, collaboration and creativity in our hometown of Durham, N.C.

Designed to bring together our 80+ local startups, restaurants and breweries that call the Tastiest Town in the South home, and entrepreneurs from all over, Paradoxos was a great success at its stated mission of achieving the “maximum collisions of ideas and people” on Thursday and Friday of last week.

Shoeboxed was out in full force throughout both days of the event, helping out and interviewing attendees on the popular Red Couch.

Paradoxos Day 1

Shoeboxed Team Paradoxos
The Shoeboxed Team at Paradoxos.

Paradoxos started on Thursday morning with Triangle Startup Factory Pitch Day at the Carolina Theater. Each of the five TSF startups pitched their companies and products to a receptive crowd of local entrepreneurs, freelancers and (perhaps most importantly) investors. It was especially exciting to see the two startups with whom we share a connection present their pitches. TabSprint, a mobile payment solution designed for bars and nightclubs, got jumpstarted at a Shoeboxed Hackathon and worked out of our office for several months. The other startup that we were especially keen to watch was BringMeThat, an online food delivery solution that’s already acquired customers and is growing quickly, since our COO/CFO Tobi Walter is their mentor and introduced the company before their pitch. All five startups did a fantastic job and made us truly appreciate the amazing talent and innovation we have here in Durham. The event was followed by a rainy (but fun!) food truck rodeo at CCB Plaza downtown, and then an after party at local pub Bull McCabe’s.

Paradoxos Day 2

jake couch paradoxos
Our marketing manager Jake Brereton interviewing David Baldwin of Baldwin&.

On Friday, Paradoxos attendees headed back to the Carolina Theater for The NEXT, a series of 5-minute presentations called “rants” from entrepreneurs and interesting folk from Durham and beyond. Speakers included David Baldwin of ad agency Baldwin&, Alison Dorsey of LinkedIn, Paul Singh of, our CEO Taylor Mingos, and more! Taylor gave a quick rant about “Recent Advances in Technology That Even Non-Geeks Should be Geeking Out About.” His talk was so interesting and full of enthusiasm that he was voted one of the five speakers asked to return for the panel discussion at the end of the event. We don’t know of any other event where you get the chance to learn about topics as diverse as apiculture, anti-smoking laws and brain-machine interfaces in a single afternoon!

On Friday night, we sponsored an event with our Durham friends ReverbNation and Adzerk at our favorite local brewery, Fullsteam. Thank you to everyone who came out, and a special thanks to everyone who stopped by to chat with our marketing manager Jake on the Red Couch!

Paradoxos Received Rave Reviews from the Shoeboxed Team

“The Paradoxos conference blew away all expectations and sets a very high bar for next year. This is very exciting for Durham and the region.”

-Taylor Mingos, CEO and Founder

jake tobi paradoxos
Jake and Tobi having some fun on the Red Couch.

“I have never seen more investors and entrepreneurs in one room in Durham – the sheer mass of really impressive people was amazing!”

-Tobi Walter, COO/CFO

“For those of us who live and work in Durham, Paradoxos was an energizing and eye opening celebration of all the great things that are literally taking place in our own backyards. For those who traveled here for the event, it could not have been a more perfect moment for many of Durham’s best and brightest to shine in front of a national audience. Paradoxos 2013 was a terrific foundation for an annual event that will most certainly grow in both size and scope in 2014 and beyond.”

-Jake Brereton, Senior Marketing Manager

“I thought Paradoxos was a great showcase of all the innovative ideas that the Triangle area has to offer.  It is the only event of its kind that harnesses the academic prestige of the area’s three top tier universities and combines it with Durham’s thriving start-up culture.”

-Mike Hourigan, Affiliate Marketing Manager

“Paradoxos was fantastic!  I learned about hot, new startups founded in the Triangle region.  And I met not only the tech leaders of today, but also those who will clearly serve as the visionaries of tomorrow.  Further, Paradoxos was chock-full of educational sessions and ideas that both fed and represented the creative, unique entrepreneurial spirit of the area.”

-Corey Post, VP of Marketing

“Paradoxos was awesome. I got to see the initial steps entrepreneurs take to get their businesses off the ground as well as hear about success stories from around the community. The best part was the panel discussion at the end of The Next which was both engaging and informative. Next year I hope that the event includes more people from around the country so that it can continue to grow and support entrepreneurs from all over!”

-Sarah Atkin, Customer Advocate

“My favorite part of Paradoxos was Pitch Day.  I’d never seen start-ups pitch to investors before, and it was cool to get a little look into the process of becoming a full-fledged business.”

-Jordan Graves, Marketing Manager

296213_10100376848409574_754963186_n“My favorite part was Paul Singh’s advice: ‘Startups aren’t cool. Businesses are cool. Well, actually, revenue is cool.’ I also enjoyed the pitches; it was interesting to see that three out of the five TSF startups are related to the restaurant industry. Lastly, it was great to catch up with the TabSprint guys since they got jumpstarted at a Shoeboxed Hackathon and worked out of our office for several months.”

Rolf Garcia-Gallont, Business Development Manager