Thursday, April 06, 2006

Finding An Angel

On average, angels are 47 years old, have a postgraduate degree and management experience in an entrepreneurial venture.
What Do Angels Do?
* Angels seek investment opportunities in a company with high-growth potential, proven management and a business plan that includes information about the company, its management team and its markets that will enable the assessments of potential value.
* Angels seek above-average returns.
* Angels invest in companies seeking between $50,000 and $1 million.
* They prefer to finance manufacturing or product-oriented ventures, especially in the high-technology fields.
Source: Missouri Venture Forum, “Valuing And Structuring Seed-To-Early Stage Businesses” seminar.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

How To Screen For Good Employees

The hiring process can be a daunting task, especially for a small business. However, don’t short-change yourself or your company by not doing a thorough job. If you spend inadequate time researching candidates, waste time holding inconclusive interviews or fail to provide adequate training, your efforts can prove to be a drain not only on your time, but your company’s bottom line as well.
Effective screening starts with effective networking.
Every company should always be in the recruiting mode. Ask yourself who would make a good employee? What characteristics do you value in a good employee? If you always “keep your eyes open,” when you actually do need to hire, you’ll be one step ahead of the game.
It’s also a good idea to discuss what you are looking for with trusted business contacts and quality employees. They just may know someone great for your company! Take a close look around you: people at the gym; a server in a restaurant; a vendor making a sales call; customer service people—other companies’ technicians. Do they treat you the way you want your customers to be treated? One of these people may just be your ideal employee!
Don’t underestimate the power of Internet search engines such as, and Also check out newspaper classified ads and other printed materials. These resources, together with personal networking, should provide you with a healthy pool of candidates.
Written by Keith Jacob ( is the president of St. Louis Staffing, which has been placing light industrial temporary workers with employers throughout Missouri since 1996.