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Hi, I’m Diane. I help entrepreneurs like you distill their ideas into profitable, growing businesses. How? By helping to make “the hard parts” easy for you, and making it simple to figure out what you should be focusing on NOW. For more than 20 years I’ve been helping all kinds of clients (in all kinds of industries) — and I’d love to help you, too :-) Visit startupdistillery.com to learn more.
 
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show series
 
When it comes to attracting investors, it takes more than painting a rosy financial picture. Investors need to be romanced. To do that, you have to connect with investors on two levels: the head and the heart. When you do that you not only grab their attention, but keep it. They sit up and take notice. They become interested. And ideally, they conn…
 
“There’s never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do it over.” When you’re starting a new business, one of the most basic human urges is to dive in without stopping to think, evaluate and consider all the “details.” Here’s how to get it right the first time. But if you want to succeed, you’ve got to rein in that urge. Admittedly,…
 
To get the critical real-world data needed to build a thriving business, you have to get out of the building and talk with 3 key groups of people. Each group has valuable information that will ensure your business plan is a blueprint that’s firmly grounded in the realities of your market. In this episode you will learn: The 3 key groups of people y…
 
There are a few of those preventable mistakes that fall into the “greatest hits” category — and that don’t always reveal themselves until your doors are open and you find yourself struggling. Why not head 'em off at the pass? In this episode you will learn: Three (3) things that can sabotage your startup. How to minimize other mistakes you might ma…
 
Yes, writing a business plan is a lot of work. And it demands a healthy dose of legwork and critical thinking, especially in some areas of business that may be unfamiliar to you. But one thing is certain: Business plans are not is a waste of time. They’re actually the best thing that could happen to your startup, and in this episode I’ll share 5 im…
 
I think we can all agree that financial projections are a key tool for any startup. And good estimates are your secret weapon for heading off unpleasant “rookie mistakes.” So instead of viewing them as a “necessary evil,” let’s take a look at how to (realistically!) forecast your revenues and expenses and set your business up for success. In this e…
 
Done right, a Sources & Uses of Funds will show you how much cash you’re going to need to (1) launch your business and (2) cover your expenses until you’re generating enough cash to cover your expenses or reach the next round of funding. In this episode you will learn: The 3 core questions every investor (or lender) will ask. Why the Sources & Uses…
 
Confusing “profitability” with “cash flow” puts your startup at risk. Even the most profitable companies can fail — and when they do, they’re always caught by surprise. Financial jargon is not only confusing, but many of the words are used casually as if everyone understands them. In our everyday lives, it’s usually not a big deal since our ordinar…
 
With all of us so distanced from each other, I’ve posted a video version of this episode so we can all feel a little more connected. Check it out at startupdistillery.com/pandemic. So much seems up in the air and out of our control right now. To take back some of that control, I’ve been focusing on the things I can do — and I’ve been having my clie…
 
Bootstrapping gives both you and your company advantages you can’t get with a huge cash infusion. This is especially true for startups that take on an advisor to help guide them through tough decisions and formulate the strategies and tactics that will help them make the most of what they have. And if, down the road, you do decide to look for outsi…
 
If you’re like most founders, every day your job consists of putting out fires wherever they spring up. The big picture falls by the wayside as you scramble to keep up with the very real demands of growing your business. Before opening your doors you had time to think about the big picture — which products and services to offer, creative strategies…
 
You don’t “need” investors to build a growing business. In fact, too much money can be a bad thing. Some of the most inspiring success stories have come from founders who had few resources at their disposal. In this episode you will learn: How limited budgets can lead to business breakthroughs. How complacency stifles innovation. Why desperation is…
 
Most entrepreneurs write business plans because they have to — either to raise money from investors or to obtain a bank loan. But to successfully secure outside funding, your business plan has to be STRONG — because a business plan is a bit of a double-edged sword. Even if you’re simply writing a business plan to use as an operating blueprint, you’…
 
You can’t move forward if you’re spending your time looking behind you. Every move you make in reaction to the competition dilutes the essence of your business, and those are the things that are drawing customers or clients to you in the first place. To build (and grow!) a thriving business requires both knowing your strengths and keeping your focu…
 
Everyone wants to grow their business over time, but not everyone necessarily wants to scale their business. “Scaling” is a buzzword you hear all the time in startup circles (and the media). They talk about it as if it’s the ultimate goal – the thing you should do, not simply something you could do. Well, I’m here to tell you: You have options. In …
 
There’s no denying we’re in the midst of worldwide financial uncertainty, with disruptions in nearly every industry and widespread confusion across the board. It’s natural to take a look around and decide to hit the pause button. I’m going to level with you. You don’t have to cancel your startup plans, and you can keep the pandemic from blowing up …
 
In a world where huge wins are so celebrated by the media, we often forget that no matter how far you’re going, you can only get there one step at a time. Baby steps may not be as glamorous as giant leaps, but in the long run they’ll take you a lot further, a lot faster. In this episode you will learn: The value of incremental change. About my clie…
 
Profit and cash are not the same thing. Believe it or not, a company can be profitable and still go out of business. How? By running short on cash (also known as a cash crunch). Since I want you to succeed, I’m going to explain the similarities and differences between P&Ls and cash flow projections as well as why they’re both important when it come…
 
Numbers not your thing? Today’s episode is designed to help you not only get comfortable with financial projections, but understand them. I promise I'll take it slow. In this episode you will learn: The names of the most important 5 spreadsheets. Why they're so useful. That the spreadsheets do not exist to torture you. Why not every one of them is …
 
Hate numbers? You are not alone. But figuring out how much money you’ll need is a necessary evil. Words help tell part of your story. The other part – the numbers – need to support that story. That means figuring out how much money you’ll need to launch, of course, but it also means figuring out what you’ll need to keep the doors open until you bec…
 
So you have a great idea for a business – something that has real potential – but you’re not ready to give up a steady paycheck (or the benefits). Great news! You can start a business and keep your day job at the same time. In this episode you will learn: Two important steps you can take to start building your own consulting business right now. Thr…
 
Even though I’m a big believer in bootstrapping, sometimes there’s just no avoiding the need to raise capital. Most entrepreneurs immediately think: investors. But that’s not your only choice – and it may not even be the best choice for you and your company. You have options. In this episode you will learn: Two traditional funding routes that don't…
 
Just because everyone talks about investors as the be-all end-all doesn’t mean you need them to build a successful business. (Pssst! You’re usually better off without them.) Nonetheless, there’s no denying that certain situations call for a pile of cold, hard cash. So how do you know when taking on investors actually makes sense for your business? …
 
When you’re starting a business, finding investors may seem like the answer to all your problems. But in most cases you’d be wrong. It’s not that I don’t believe in the value of investors, because I do. But not right away, and here's why... In this episode you will learn: How taking investor money may harm your business. What you will be giving up …
 
Imagine a stool with only one or two legs. Pretty wobbly. Just as every stool needs three legs, so, too, does your startup. Here are the three things you need to get it right from the start. In this episode you will learn: How a lawyer can help you reduce risk (in ways you never realized). The many ways an accountant can help you (even if you alrea…
 
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