5 things learned by raising money from friends and family.

by Clate Mask of Infusionsoft, Contributing Writer, bizjournals.com

Asking friends and family for money can make for a few difficult conversations around the dinner table. Here are some tips that can help.

Raising money for a small startup was a humbling experience. When my co-founders and I were working to get Infusionsoft off the ground, we knew that we needed money to achieve our mission and we wrestled with the pros and cons of the many different options available.

Ultimately, we ended up funding our startup the old-fashioned way: we asked our friends and family for help.

Asking friends and family to invest in Infusionsoft meant going against everything I learned back in business school. In school, my professors emphasized the importance of creating a solid business plan and leveraging it to raise money.

While this sounded logical in school, it turned out to be significantly more difficult in the real world. A business plan is necessary, but the approach to funding doesn’t start with investors. It starts much closer to home.

Asking friends and family for money made for a few difficult conversations around the dinner table. Afterwards, I would wrestle with the stress of knowing that failure meant loss not only for my family, but perhaps financial catastrophe for the ones that I loved.

As our company continues to grow, many of the people closest to us — the friends and family who helped us early on — have benefitted greatly. Here are five things I learned while raising money from friends and family…

Read more here…

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