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Hiring a Funding Advisor

If you're heading out on the fundraising trail, consider taking a guide along to keep your company on the right path.

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This story appears in the December 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Fundraising is not something most business owners do often--maybe only once in a lifetime--so the thought of doing it wrong, getting ripped off, or simply failing can give you heartburn. Fortunately, there are consultants and investment bankers who specialize in planning and executing capital campaigns. And while hiring an outside advisor can be a difficult decision for an entrepreneur who is used to doing things independently and on the cheap, an advisor's expertise can jump-start a process that might otherwise stop you in your tracks.

No Time to Stub Your Toe

There's no stopping Tori Stuart, president and founder of Zoe Foods, a $2 million natural-foods company in Needham Massachusetts. Stuart, 40, is anxious to raise nearly $3 million to fuel growth of about 150 percent in the next 18 to 20 months, but she knows from experience that she needs help with the process. "As a small-company owner, I find raising capital is a big time-sink," Stuart says. "And nobody's going to do my job if I'm raising money." So Stuart is already speaking with investment bankers, and plans to hire out the process rather than let it distract her from driving the company's growth.

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