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Last Update: Sunday June 16, 2019

Key Idea: Find Like-Minded People

With a clearly defined mission, it is easy to find others who think like you think.

Key Question:

A: 

When Debra decided to launch her company she left home and went searching for people who think like she does.  She learned about a conference being held in Washington DC for Businesses for Social Responsibilities.  She went to the conference and met the woman who ended up being her first angel investor.

Small business owners are in-charge of operations, administration, finance, marketing, human resources, technology, and everything else! No one can be expert in all of these areas. Each of us needs to "know what we don't know." If part of what you don't know is finance, find a CPA who can help you. And if you decide you want OPM to really grow your business, you'll also need an attorney and perhaps a venture capitalist, angel investor, business broker, underwriter and/or investment banker.

Q: Where does a small business owner find these experts?

A: Of course, talk to those who have done it! Other small businesses in your community that have been successfully served by their financial experts are a great source of referrals to you. If you have one expert, e.g., an attorney, whom you are really pleased with, than ask the attorney for referrals for the experts you need. You should interview several candidates for each role. You are looking for technical competence and a feeling of comfort in dealing with the expert. Look for experts that are able to explain complex terms in layman's language. Remember that ultimately you will have to make the decisions; the role of the expert is to explain your options to you and make recommendations. Ask each expert you interview for references and call them.

Think about it

Do your customers, employees and suppliers know what you stand for in the marketplace.?  Do they know what kind of information and contacts to pass on to you?  Have you ever felt like your ideas are bigger than the circle of contacts you have now?

Clip from: St. Claire's Mints & Organic Sweets (EcoNatural Solutions)

Boulder, Colorado: Debra St.Claire started her business, EcoNatural Solutions in 1993 to begin manufacturing  a totally organic breath mint and a healthy candy for children and adults.  She is an herbalist, naturalist, and vegetarian. When she learned that there was beef gelatin in her favorite peppermints, she was so disappointed, she said, "I'll make my own!"

Today St.Claire's Organic Sweets are on thousands of store shelves around the world.

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St. Claire's Organics started as EcoNatural Solutions, Inc.

St. Claire's Organic Sweets, a global business

6235 Lookout Road
Boulder, CO 80301
303-527-1554

Visit our web site: http://www.stclaires.com

Office: 303-527-1554

Business Classification:
food processing

Year Founded: 1993

Find Like-Minded People

HATTIE: All right. So how did you put the money together to make it happen?

DEBRA: It's very interesting that almost the moment I made that decision, within a week I heard about a conference in Washington, DC. It was an organization called Businesses for Social Responsibility. Well, if it's a conference on businesses for social responsibility, there might be some investors hanging out there, too. Let's go see what the next day brings.

I caught the eye of a very distinguished looking woman sitting at a table and she looked at me. There was interest, and as I passed she said, `Sit down, tell me what you're about. Tell me what you're doing.' So I talked to her and told her my story and what I wanted to do with the project in Peru and that we wanted to buy rain forest land so that we could preserve the medicinal plants, so that we could work with the indigenous peoples and understand what they knew. I talked to her about the problems that you can lose all those generations of knowledge in one single generation. And so she looked at me and said, `We need to talk further.' And we talked two other times, and at the end of that journey, she wrote me a check for $10,000.00 and said, `Go do it.'

People who believe in you are very, very important, and to be able to tell your story in such a way that you can communicate that you're going to stay with it until it's done, is very important. And if you're not sure that you can do that, then don't take your investors in.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Why did you invest in this company?

Angel Investor: There were several things that really were interesting. Number one, I came from that background -- my father was a chiropractor -- and we were raised on natural foods but the food always tasted awful. I was very excited about supporting a product that was good for you and also tasted good.

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