I provide part time and interim CFO Services, I work with startups and established businesses. I am experienced in the high tech, manufacturing/development and construction industries. I assist companies with establishing budgets, accounting and control systems, cash management, raising debt/equity financing. I work closely with bankers, CPA's, attorney's and shareholders on behalf of the business. My primary goal is to help guide the business from a strategic and financial viewpoint. One of the key tools in this process is to help create useful information that business managers can evaluate business progress and project future results. I have worked expensively in and with all aspects of business management including Operations, Sales, Project Management and Finance. I can communicate important business information to and between these various functions. I have worked extensively with people who have a long history of being in business and people who are just starting out.
You can certainly raise too much.
Although, I tend to not look at this question from the standpoint of dilution, as much as the impact of too much cash on a startup.
One of the things that makes a startup successful is that it is literally fighting for its life. This helps ensure that resources are used efficiently and only essential investment are made.
The availability of too much cash can lead to people becoming complacent and losing the required sense of urgency required in a startup.
Having said that everything is relative. If you need $300K and raise $400K that is not a bad idea, because it always goes quicker than you expect. However, if you need $300K and raise $2MM that is definitely not a good idea.
From an ethical standpoint I would tell him that he cant wait until you have an exit or sufficient cash flow to buy him out.
First he quit. Second, he wasn't performing to expectations, Third, he wasn't there long enough to make much of a difference in the business. You obviously owe him what you told him, but I would not try and perform any superhero feat's to make it happen in the short term.
Having said that, if the amount is minimal and you have the cash you may just want to buy him out now, so that you don't have to deal with him in the future.
Generally speaking, Yes.
I say this for a couple primary reasons.
1) If you do not place value in your product, why should the customer? And if you are not charging for it you are not placing value on it.
2) the customer will be more "invested" in the success of something that has cost them something. If it was free and it fails, "who cares"? if it cost them resources they may be more interested in making it work.
There could be overriding factors, but this is where I start with a question of this nature.
The only reason you would pivot is if you have made the determination that the current course will not provide you with the best possible return.
Until you have spent some money and time on marketing I don't know how you can make the determination.
If you are getting revenue without doing any marketing it seems like there is good potential there.
I guess the bottom line is: don't ditch the current plan if you have not given it a chance to succeed.
I would try and find some additional financing so that you can make this determination.
This is a fairly simple exercise in cash management/budgeting.
You know you have $100K, it has to last 18 months, and you probably have a good idea of what it is going to cost you to get to the next milestone.
Now you just need to put that down on paper and see if everything pencils out.
Would be happy to discuss with you how to make that happen.
Your lack of enthusiasm will be apparent to anyone you will want to raise money from. So, that is probably not a viable option.
I think the alternative of bringing in a partner who is passionate about what you are doing is a great idea. That sets up smooth transition for you to get out.
This will still take a while the bottom line is you can stay or leave whenever you want to, but as you have already clearly stated the amount you get out of it will depend on how long you want to stick it out. If the additional return you think you will get is worth it, stick around and make something happen. If not, cash out and move.
Those are good links that talk about valuation.
I think you are trying to make a link between the par value of the stock and the valuation of the business. There really is no link.
If you establish the corporation and are the only shareholder then you own 100% of the business. It doesn't matter how much money you have invested in the business. In fact, you don't actually have to put any money into the business.
This discussion of valuation only really matters when you want to bring in outside investors. and then, it still doesn't matter what the par value of the stock is, and it really doesn't matter how much you capital you have invested in the business either. What matters at that point is how much value you can convince an investor that the business is worth.
It is perfectly appropriate.
Persistence is necessary in the sales process. You need to be polite and respectful of people's time, but multiple contacts is usually necessary to close business.
People have an automatic filter against being "sold" something, and often times in order to get through that filter it takes multiple attempts. Most of my clients told me no the first time I approached them, but diligent follow-up had lead to closed deals.