Rev1’s Entrepreneur Toolkit — An Overview of Business Topics

Rev1’s Entrepreneur Toolkit is a handy, easy-to-use collection of practical tips and tools curated especially for entrepreneurs and founding teams. Think of the Toolkit as an extension of the Rev1 Startup Studio, our unique approach that combines strategic services and capital to help startups scale.

Five Toolkit categories to match the critical success factors for taking a startup from concept to scale. Our roadmap is flexible. It is easy to adapt our expertise to your team’s individual needs and growth plan.

Your Business includes resources for defining your business model, forming your business, and managing you growth. Close and trusting relationships with individuals who bring diverse experience and perspective will help entrepreneurs create stronger and more successful companies. This is especially true when it comes to board of directors. An entrepreneur’s relationship with the board of directors can be one of the most beneficial tools a new company has to problem-solve and grow. Your board is your ally. Building a trusting two-way relationship will pay dividends for the company and in personal development.

This roundup provides brief descriptions and ready links to topics on Business. Use this content to expand your own knowledge or to supply an easy-to-read series for your founding management team. For many entrepreneurs and their teams, starting a company and receiving equity fund may be their first experience in working with a board. Invest time and thoughtful preparation in building a board and learning how to work together effectively.

Rev1’s Virtual Library of Business and Relationship Topics
Getting Started

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Business – Starting a business is hard. Mistakes are inevitable, but many missteps are avoidable. Here are five common mistakes that entrepreneurs make when dealing with contracts and agreements. There is more than enough opportunity to make original mistakes of your own. You don’t need to make the ones on this list.

Company Formation: Corporation or LLC – Of the many decisions facing the entrepreneur starting a high-growth business, company structure belongs at the top of the list. Every founder must form a legal business entity; however, that doesn’t mean that the form of that entity can or should be decided on day one. Don’t be the entrepreneur who hastily opts for the $49 Internet “set up an LLC today.” Instead, take a step back, think about the business you want to build and choose a business structure that matches your vision and exit strategy.

Choosing the Right Legal Structure and Governance for Your Company – Well-managed and effectively governed companies raise capital more effectively, have happier, more engaged employees, and tend to produce clear paths to liquidity for their investors. So establishing the right legal governance structure early is a key to business success.

Business Models for High-growth Companies – Business models are not a one-size fits all. Considerations vary based on the industry, the validated markets, and the value proposition that the startup offers customers. This article explores business model considerations for concept stage firms in advanced technology and biotechnology.

5 Questions for Choosing the Most Effective Financial Modeling – The financial model that a company chooses validates the business model and must be consistent with the business plan. The financial model is the basis for fund-raising, and it is an effective and consistent framework to communicate with board members, investors, and employees as the company gains customers, pivots to address market changes, hires talent, and grows.

Legal Checklist: Startup Milestones that Trigger Associated Legal Needs – This tool presents a checklist relevant legal needs that a startup encounters. It is not intended as legal or tax advice, but it is a good reference point for entrepreneurs embarking on their startup journey. Often, the professional tax, accounting, and legal advisors who help entrepreneurs start their companies, remain trusted advisors to the company and its officers and board as the business grows.

4 Tips for Managing Startup Taxes from Day One – Taxes are part of doing business from day one, whether the company collects a dollar of revenue or not. Here are practical ideas to make the process more successful and less painful. No one expects an entrepreneur to be a tax expert. However, entrepreneurs who ask the right questions are better positioned to get the right professional help.

Important Things to Think About

Powerful Reasons to Launch a Startup in a Recession – Economies and businesses are cyclical–advances and retreats are part of the game. However, in times when markets are in retreat many entrepreneurs have founded successful companies, including Intel, LG, PeopleSoft, Sony, Sun, UPS, and Walmart–just to name a few. The beginning of a down market is one of the few times that corporations will carefully evaluate a product that can legitimately save them money. Recessions force potential customers to think about their business operations and competitive alternatives.

4 Tips Every Investor and Startup Can Use to Create Inclusive Entrepreneurship – Inclusion starts at company formation. Diverse teams deliver better financial results. The second employee should not look like the first. Diversified networks lead to better talent and deals.

Business Equity Compensation: A Tutorial for Busy Entrepreneurs – Equity compensation is a tool for cash-strapped startups to attract, retain, and motivate key employees with a future interest in the company. Equity compensation can also be an effective method to compensate key business partners, corporate advisors, and board members when the company is pre-revenue. As a company grows, equity can also be used as a bonus or as compensation for achieving key business targets or goals. Build an equity compensation plan with legal counsel.

7 Practical Actions to Prepare Entrepreneurs for Success – Demand for innovation, collaboration, and change is turbo-charged. When it comes to entrepreneurship, tenacity and creativity will win the day. These seven tips, from advice on managing cash and leveraging assets to recommendations for corporate and community leadership, help company founders to apply the entrepreneurial mindset that allowed them to take the risk of starting a business in the first place, to manage through the journey.

Creating Great Boards and Relationships

Building Your Advisory Board – Once a company secures outside funding, a board of directors is required. Before reaching this stage, learning to work effectively with an advisory board provides hands-on practice for dealing with the board of directors.

5 Ways an Advisory Board Can Help Your Startup Accelerate – While your company is still in the pre-concept stage, begin looking for mentors and experts to serve as advisors to your company. Solidify these relationships, and when the startup reaches the concept stage, add structure to the advisory relationships by inviting three to four individuals to participate on your company’s advisory board.

5 Steps to Building a World-class Board of Directors…Here’s How You Start – There’s a lot to learn and many great local experts to learn from.

Building and working with a board is sort of like playing in the major leagues—you can’t truly learn how to do it until you’re at the plate. But you don’t have to wait until you’re closing in on your Series A Round to prepare. These five tips can help entrepreneurs develop board know-how early on.

Video: How to Create a Board of Directors to help Your Company Succeed – Corporations are required to have a board of directors elected by the stockholders. Once a startup secures outside funding, term documents will require the company to have a board. Effective CEOs work closely and well with their boards.

14 Rules for Leading a Successful Board MeetingIn most startups, the CEO also serves as chair of the board of directors. That responsibility includes managing board meetings. For young entrepreneurs, that’s often a new experience. These suggestions help entrepreneurs get the most out of board meetings.

How to Plan for a Successful Sale of Your Business – Contemplating exit scenarios should be part of the business plan for day one–with the realization that exit strategies, just like every other aspect of a startup company can change as the company develops and grows. Business owners who are serious about selling know that it’s a team sport. Nothing helps the sale process go smoothly and produce a good valuation than organization. Establish and follow a system from the earliest days. Successful exits take a lot of work, but common sense planning and organization go a long way towards making the work pay off.

Executive and Entrepreneur Experience in Business and Relationship Creation

Video: How to Shift Your Business Model for Better Pandemic Response – In this video, two CEOS of Rev1 Ventures portfolio companies discuss how their firms pivoted to meet new needs and opportunities when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Their suggestions and the approach they took to managing when the unimaginable happened in 2020, provide a valuable mindset and framework for managing in all types of unexpected and unavoidable scenarios and market conditions.

The Backyard Effect: The Heartland’s Formula for Recession Recovery – The lessons of the pandemic have been many. People were surprised by never-imagined events. The pandemic crisis re-educated all of us about things we knew but perhaps forgot. Through the lens of the pandemic, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders recognized and recommitted to things that they had been doing “right” all along. Here in the Midwest, one of those right things is a phenomenon that we call “The Backyard Effect.”

How to Win in the Post-pandemic Working World – Disruption is the mantra of the startup world. Entrepreneurs are built for situations where “normal” isn’t “normal” anymore. They innovate and imagine. The COVID-19 pandemic created widespread disruption in virtually every aspect of our professional lives. The workplace as we knew it is forever changed. As companies plan for the months ahead, hybrid work is here to stay. The GenZ cohort of talent has a different approach that previous generations. New companies have the opportunity to organize and to create cultures and policies to support this new work environment.