DeSantis-Cummings and Hillman are working with the Web designer again to rework the site to reflect their shift in emphasis to recruitment. They want to use less text and more photos of the sales parties to give potential recruits a flavor of what it's like to work with the company. They plan to make the site more dynamic, with a slide show of products on the home page.
As with many small-business owners, their to-do list is long and their funds are short. They've operated as many entrepreneurs do on the pay-first, earn-second system, whereby they cover costs with credit, then earn the money to make the payments.
Yet they know that won't get them to their goals, especially if sales don't pick up. The company didn't meet an earlier estimate of $92,900 for 2007 sales.
Hillman and DeSantis-Cummings don't have an updated formal business plan but say $200,000 to $300,000 will start the company on the aggressive growth they envision. They'd like to buy an expensive direct-sales software program and publish a catalog.
Two weeks ago, they met with a potential angel investor -- one of their original investors who told them to come back when they were ready for serious money, DeSantis-Cummings says.
The two arrived with their past financial information and spoke of their goals but didn't have financial projections or a written strategic plan.
Last week they were told their request was under review. Not waiting around, the two are also preparing to pitch their business to investors at the Growth Capital Conference in West Los Angeles in April.
After a year of "throwing things against the wall," they say they have proved their concept but need help with the actual steps needed to safely expand the company to the next level.
Says DeSantis-Cummings: "We need someone to say, 'This is how you execute without making mistakes. Here's how you get the biggest bang for your buck. Here's how you avert danger.' "
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