When you first think of a business idea, something that makes sense, something that you would enjoy doing, something that could be quite lucrative it is easy to get ahead of yourself. You sit there, thinking about all of the possibilities and the adventures that this new business could lead to after all it can be thrilling to hit on an exciting and thrilling business opportunity. However, once you come back to reality, there are a lot of steps that you need to take in order to get from daydreaming about your fantastic idea and making it a reality.
One of the most significant steps and perhaps one of the most daunting is finding the money that is required to run a startup. Doing this requires doing quite a bit of preliminary planning. This planning stage is required regardless of what kind of funding you decide you want to use to fund your startup. When choosing the financing for your startup, there are a few options that you can choose from:
Using Your Own Money/Profit
Some people decide to use the profits that they make during their inaugural months to fund their business. Generally, the profit made during these first months are quite small amounts (although some business owners use their savings as well). This can be a tough route to go, however, by not taking out a loan you are able to avoid going into debt.
An alternative form of funding when starting out is through crowdfunding. There are a number of favorite websites that allow the public to assist people and startups trying to reach their monetary goals. Depending on what your product or service this can be a fantastic financing option. Thousands of products, films, books, games and more have been funded via crowdfunding websites. However, there is a catch. Unlike working with traditional investors, the investors that use crowdfunding websites expect things in return in addition to the actual product. Sometimes this means having their name on the site as one of the backers; sometimes it is a limited edition of the product…there are a wide variety of options.
If you choose to go this way just remember that investors do expect things in return, only unlike angel investors who ask for a percentage of the company this is often in the form of a product bonus or public recognition.
An angel investor is another excellent option for people looking to start a business. An angel investor is a person who provides investment capital to a startup. Generally, this is done in exchange for part ownership in the company.
Finally, there are small business loans, which can be acquired through your bank or other lenders. These vary in things like interest rate and the amount and ought to thoroughly researched before being taken.
If you think that you are ready to start looking for financing, consider these six things if your business checks all of the boxes it might be time to move forward with your search.
Are Your Business Model and Your Business Plan Ready?
There are two things that you must have in place before going out to find funding for your business, your business model, and your business plan. Your business model is a breakdown that layout the revenue streams that your business will use – in other words how your business will make money. Whereas, your business plan is a detailed look at how your business is going to go about acquiring the business streams described in your model. Your business plan will explain in detail how your business will be legally structured, and how your management team will be organized. It will break down how what kinds of equipment is necessary and how you plan on structuring your staffing.
Have a Clear Understanding and Vision of Everything to Do with Your Product or Service
This might seem necessary, but you need to know what you are selling before you start selling it. You – and anyone else that you are working with – need to know who you are planning on selling to, how it works, how long it takes to produce and how you intend on selling it.
Once you have completed this, it is time to do your research on the market that you are looking to get in to. Understand your competitors, how they work and what they do. How are your products or services similar? How are they the same?
Are You Confident that Your Product or Service Fills a Need?
If your business is going to be successful, it has to meet a need. It needs to solve a problem. If it doesn’t do this, then your business is not going to be successful. Now, this might seem like an obvious concept – why would a product or service that no one needs become successful. Who would spend their money on that? However, many aspiring business owners get caught up in the daydreaming and thrill of coming up with a new business venture that they fail to take the time to see if it would actually be successful in the real world.
That is why, before you start filling out forms for loan applications or setting up a crowdfunding page, you need to be able to quickly identify your target audience and understand why they need your product or service.
Have Your Financial Plan in Place
Regardless of whether you are approaching a bank for a loan, setting up a go fund me page or making a pitch to a potential investor your potential financier will want to see how you plan on using the money that you are asking for. Sorry, but you can’t merely ask for money as an entrepreneur – you need to not only know exactly how much money is required to start up your business, but you also need to know how you would use it.
Although this applies to basically anytime that you are requesting money as an entrepreneur, it is especially true if you are hoping to be financed by an angel investor. This is because angel investors are individuals that use their personal money to provide startups with the capital they need.
If you have poor financial planning or worse no financial planning, you will have an incredibly tricky time convincing potential investors to take you seriously. That is why it is so vital that you create a financial roadmap that is not only detailed but also lays out projects and precisely how you’ll get from where you and your resources are now to where you hope to be within the next one to five years.
Make Sure You Have a Working Prototype
Make sure that your product works – seriously. It is not likely that any real investor will be confident in putting some of their capital in a company that doesn’t even have a working prototype.
One great way to know that your startup is ready to receive funding is that your prototype is ready to go. This means that you have a beta version of your site, a beta version of your app or at least one working version of your physical product.
You have a Qualified Team Ready to Go
Even if your business was initially thought up and established on your own, the reality is that once you get to the point where you are considering financing, you will need assistance. Before approaching investors, it is essential that you recruit a qualified and knowledgeable management team and have hired the right amount of staff. Now, doing this does not mean that you have to hire tons of people, but you will need a team to help you out as production increases and problems arise.
When it comes to applying for the funding needed to get your startup off the ground, there are many things that you need to remember and sort out. One of the critical things is to put forth the most professional stance possible. You want to ensure anyone that is considering investing in your company or buying your product that this is a professional operation. One way to do that is to have a professional website and all of the proper documentation in place. https://www.qualitycompanyformations.co.uk/ is a fantastic option for startups that are looking to put forth the best image possible; resources include business addresses, domains, legal information and more.
Can You be Trusted?
Lenders will want to know that they can trust you to use the money that they give you in the most productive ways. This means being able to show them how you have made it as far as you have. How did you fund getting your beta app created? What was your cash flow like? How did you finance your prototype? What did it cost?
Remember that investors will not only be wondering about your business but also about you. They will want to know that they can trust you with their hard-earned money.
If after reading this list you feel confident in your business and you are prepared to seek out financing, remember that the more details and answers you can provide the better. Also, if you do not receive funding from the first investor or bank that you meet with remember that part of owning a business is to be resilient and that just because one investor turned you down, there are plenty of others who might just say yes.