Favorite Quotes Volume XVI: An entrepreneur speaks about raising money.

My latest fav read as I wait (and wait) for the (over crowded) 1 train during rush hour is Entrepreneur magazine.

While Broadway and Off-Broadway theater Producers have a lot to learn from each other about the business of producing, we can learn even more about business in general from businessmen and women in other industries (too often we forget that we even are a business).

The truth is, every time we start a new show, we are opening a new “start-up” company, and many of our issues cross industry lines . . . including raising money.

In a recent issue of Entrepreneur, franchisee Jay Palmer of Floyd’s 99 barbershop, talked about his recent financing woes and his inability to get a loan.  So, he was forced to do what Producers do every day . . . appeal to a private investor.

We found a personal investor and brought him into
the shop. We gave him a shave and a haircut, [showing] him that the
concept is great and the experience is unbelievable–great music, great
vibe, great atmosphere. I wasn’t even there [when he visited the
store].  After all that, he was happy to write a check for
$150,000. He had some financial figures, but [it came down to] seeing a
stream of people coming in and out the door, knowing our customers and
our employees are happy, and realizing this is a good business.

Jay’s story once again proves that the most important P in the marketing mix is Product.

Numbers are essential.  But even the best financial plan or best recoupment schedule means bupkis unless the product is fantastic (you need fans to be fantastic) .  Think about it . . . it would be great if you could recoup your show in 3.5 weeks at 35%, and that certainly decreases the risk. But if your show is Bobbi Boland, then what good does that killer financial plan get you?

So what’s to learn from Jay the entrepreneur?

Create a great show.  Then get it up on its feet, in the most fully realized way possible (the money I raised for The Awesome 80s Prom was the easiest I ever raised – because the workshop WAS the show.)

Because if you build it, they will write the check.

Need more tips on how to raise money for your project?  Click here to read all my best practices.

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More fun from entrepreneur:  check out their list of best and worst marketing ideas ever.

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