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Should I ask my mother?

07 May 2012

Asking family and friends to invest in your business idea has a number of risks and the consensus is you probably shouldn’t ask them if you want to remain on speaking terms.

Starting or thinking about starting your own business needs a business plan, and in that plan you will have to think not just about cash flow but from where you are going to source your initial start-up monies. 

When you settle down to work out how the business will be run, you will be looking at start-up funding options among other things. What are the avenues for funding? What are the pitfalls? In fact, how can you anticipate, avoid and hopefully recover from the many positives and negatives that can sink a new business before it has the chance to get going and thrive… especially where the dollars are involved?

Here are a few places to start reading about the joys and pitfalls of starting your own business: Noam Wasserman’s “The Founder's Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup” has been well reviewed and received. His section on the pros and cons of using family and friends as investors, etc, is mostly (and, as one would suspect) full of ‘horrifying’ anecdotes and findings.

The online site,, has a really useful area where its founder, Dharmesh Shah, lists the best startup blogs he knows, “ranked daily based on traffic, search authority and online buzz”. He’s also co-authored a book “Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs (New Rules Social Media Series)”. The list of blogs, as you would expect from Shah’s own interest, revolves around online business start-ups. However, through his own blogs and bloggers who post for his site he also looks closely at others areas, such as funding, business plans and the necessity of having one, etc, associated with starting a business.

For more on courses and business start-up information, browse


Written by Louise Upton, Editor RubyConnection