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Continue self-funding or get outside investment?

frankrfrankr subscriber Posts: 1
edited November 2006 in Startup Funding
I`m looking for some opinions about what I should do with a web startup that I just launched. Over the last 10 months, I`ve developed a web-based platform that lets you upload photos and text and create a personalized children`s book, which can be shared online and/or ordered as a hardcover or softcover physical book.  You can see the website (just launched last week) here: www.mypicturebook.comQuestion: Should I continue to self-fund this business? Or should I polish up my business plan and look for outside investment?My main source of income is through my UI design consulting business, which is really booming now. The problem, which is not a bad problem to have, is that the consulting business takes a lot of time and effort.  After 50hrs/week of consulting, there`s hardly any energy left for My Picturebook.  However, the consulting business throws enough cashflow to do both, albeit slowly (in terms of My Picturebook development).I`m considering putting my consulting business on hold and securing some angel and/or institutional investment (such as Charles River). This will allow me to focus on My Picturebook for a while and take the idea to the next level.So, what do you guys and gals think? Should I go the slow route and continue the part-time effort - OR - should I take the plunge and get outside investment (hire a couple people, initiate lift-off, etc.)?


  • keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    You obviously believe you need more money to take MyPictureBook to the next level? What is the "next level" in your opinion? Lots of options running through my mind but I think it is only fair to get more info before throwing out a bunch of suggestions.
    BTW - I like the MyPictureBook idea. Very creative. Kids, boomers, and seniors - the growing markets!
  • frankrfrankr subscriber Posts: 1
    Richard - thanks for the quick response.  The "next level" refers to at least 2 things: product development and marketing. Product Development:Currently, the product is little more than a proof of concept (compared to the larger vision). There`s only 1 book on the site (How My Car Saved Earth) and the customer is only able to customize a few aspects of her book before she buys. There are many other features I have in mind that will make the product appeal to a much larger audience in terms of children`s book authors, retailers, and buyers.Marketing:I`m almost embarrassed to reveal my limited plans in terms of marketing. My only plan is to build organic traffic through PR on blogs, online communities, and niche magazines that cover related topics such as autos and children`s products.  Over time, I will be able to do some low-budget online marketing but with outside investment, I will have more resources to step up this effort.
  • robertjrobertj subscriber Posts: 0 Member
    Frank r,
    I would definately advise you NOT to put your consulting business on hold -before the funding is in place. (or nearly in place)
    I know it`s tough to work on your project after a 50 hour week, but getting capital often takes longer than you plan- and without cash flow from the job it can become stressful.
    Before you "put your consulting business on hole" -get everything ready (including yourself) to raise capital.
    Robert Johnson
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