Five people you should meet before you start a business

Posted by admin in Business Plans, Business Startups on 01/12/2017

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As a budding business owner who is about to venture into the entrepreneurship journey, one of the best things you can do to set yourself on the right path is meeting people. Of course, it is possible to start out all on your own but it is difficult to really go to far without having help from one person or another. The kind of people you meet and how they influence you will have a huge impact on your business and how successful it turns out.  The different types of people you will meet will help your business in so many different ways such as forming of partnerships, people who are connected to major resources you might need in your business, people with more experience than you do, and people with different connections and networks.

  1. Someone who is experienced in what you are doing

This category of people can be called the mentor. A person that has done similar to what you are doing. Such a person will have the necessary skill and required wisdom and experience,that you may not have yet and can successfully help you out with tips and advices that will help you solve some problems easily. In addition,this person may have a network of contacts that you can add to your own network pool.

  1. Mentor

For your business to be successful and gain ground in any area, you have to get in touch person who is well known and respected in the community. It may not necessarily be someone that is in the same field of expertise. It can someone you admire or has positive input and encouragement. You get the added benefits of having this mentor could give you a major boost and provide insight from being outside the box.

  1. Peers

These are the people in the same niche that you are in and within the same area. Although they might not be as much influence as the first two, but there is a very high chance that you can make use of their network of contact and they can make use of yours. You can share resources with them too since you will most likely face the same kind of problems.

  1. Local talent

You will need some skill-set that you may not have. There is a good chance that you may find someone or people who can assist you in one skilled area or the other within the vicinity of your business and may be willing to help or give you free advise.

  1. Business Plan Writer

Your business will surely need some capital for you to start with and no matter how frugal your start-up capital might be. Having an experienced business plan writer write your business plan has experience formatting your business plan in a way a bank or investor would expect to see. Having a business plan is a road map of what you expect and a guide for your business.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at http://www.funded.com created by Mark Favre. , it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need to access a vast network of business people, entrepreneurs, partners and service providers to help you start, finance and run your business, check out http://www.funded.com

 

Importance of a Business Plan

Posted by admin in Business Plans, Business Startups on 12/29/2016

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Before a business is able to commence on its operations, it is important to have some specific details about the business mapped out. This actually varies from size to size as it can be just a few sentences or even take over a hundred pages containing different formal sections, title page and table of content. Basically, a typical business plan has an average page range of 15 - 20 pages and if comprehensive, it should consist of three sections - The business concept, the marketplace and the Financials section. These sections are the further broken down into seven more components which are the business overview or summary of the plan, the business description, market strategies, competition analysis, design and development, operations and management, and financial information. However, it does not matter how long or lengthy a business plan is, what matters is, the level of importance that should be attached to a business plan should be high. In this articles we will be looking at the importance of a business plan

  1. A business plan makes direction of the business clearer

The main purpose of writing a business plan is to have a clear view of the business and what the business' goals are over a period of time. Being able to have a clear view of the direction in which a business is headed helps understand what needs to be done to achieve progress for the business. Making business direction clearer may include things like business description and its services or details of the ideal target customers of the business.

  1. Planning for the future

Time is a key factor in the development and growth of a business and a business plan can effectively take time into factor to make forecasts on possible market changes, market trends and new innovations or directions to go through as the business progresses. Having a clear direction helps a business know how and where to start from but future planning helps to have an idea of what the business' goals should be.

  1. Funding or financing purposes

A business plan, a comprehensive one, helps determine the viability of a business in terms of profit. By putting statistics, figures, detailed plans and facts in writing, it will be easier to convince an investor to fund the business.

  1. Attract people to join the business

A business plan is all a business owner needs to bring in partners, executive level employees or even secure supplier accounts. With a business plan, anybody who might be interested in the business can get the needed conviction and see the potential of the business and consequently become a part of it.

  1. Effectively manage the business

With a business plan, the organization is well structured and each management position gets their role mapped out. A business plan also makes it possible to monitor the progress of the business and check if the business is well on its course to meeting up with targets, operational milestones and goals.

The importance of a business plan is not limited to these specific points. A Business plan can also help you achieve other goals such as establishing  new avenues of product development, securing suppliers and defining alternative marketing strategies to engage customers. It is an important tool for every business owners and should not be taken for granted.   

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at http://www.funded.com created by Mark Favre. , it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need to access a vast network of business people, entrepreneurs, partners and service providers to help you start, finance and run your business, check out http://www.funded.com

How Do You Know Your Business Idea is Good?

How Do You Know Your Business Idea is Good

Investors want to fund good business ideas. That’s a broad statement because what seems like a good idea to me may be different from what seems like a good idea to you. So many ideas never seem to go anywhere. Some are just so uninspiring that they can’t seem to get the attention of anyone, much less investors. You can even write a whole business plan around a bad idea, leading to great disappointment when investors spot the fact it’s bad.

A good business idea is much more than just an idea. You can sit there all day and come up with ideas, but that doesn’t make them good. Good business ideas have certain qualities that differentiate them from other ideas. For one thing, a good business idea fulfills an unmet customer need, and it is often a need the consumer doesn’t even recognize yet. That may sound odd, but great ideas are often not great until someone invents a product or service.

Determining if a business idea is a good one requires more than just knowing the market will appreciate products or services. The idea must be feasible and realistic in terms of production costs, the time from funding to sales, profitability and safety. A good business idea is also one that can be brought to fruition because the entrepreneurs have the knowledge and skills needed.

There are more qualities associated with good business ideas, but one of the most important is related to innovation. Good business ideas offer a new twist on products or represent creative and innovative new products. The new twist or innovation should represent something that matters to people which means it brings some kind of satisfaction.

There are no hard and fast rules or magic formula to define a good business idea. Instead, investors will consider all of the qualities of the idea coupled with the marketing, competitive and financial factors.

Think of Funding When Writing Business Plans

Posted by admin in Business Plans on 04/18/2016

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Think of Funding When Writing Business Plans

One of the mistakes made during the writing of business plans is treating business funding as if it is a completely separate section with no real relevance to the rest of the plan. In other words, you write your executive summary, business description, market strategies and analyze the competition in a funding vacuum. Then the financial section gets tacked on, and it basically states you need money and here’s how much money you need.

But investors read business plans closely, and they are looking for a particular type of company that fits their requirements.  The words you choose to describe your business and the presentation counts. For example, if you are looking for a business loans from traditional lenders, they are not going to be impressed with hype in the least. You may have the most “stunning” invention ever created that will change the way mankind lives once your product hits the market, but a bank is going to see that kind of claim as marketing hype.

Professional From Beginning to End

Business plans are unique products. They must be interesting, professional and well written while being interesting, entertaining and exciting. That’s not easy to accomplish which is why so many entrepreneurs decide to get professional help writing their plans. Yet one of the most important features that a business plan should have, yet is often overlooked, is funder appeal.

In other words, the funders you plan on appealing to need to be attracted to what you say in your business plan from the beginning all the way to the financing plan.  It’s easy to get carried away while writing because you’re excited about your business and finding startup funding. This can lead to the use of a lot of superlatives that make your business plan look like a lot of hype without substance.

Polish the Product

As a entrepreneur you are not a huckster, so the business plan should not make you look like the equivalent of a snake oil salesman. The business plan that makes a lot of wild promises is not going to attract equity partners. Unsubstantiated claims will not get you approval for business loans. Statements that portray you as a gambler will turn angel investors away.

Business plans should be polished products that are consistently honest and give the right impression throughout the entire document. You can’t write a plan that is sassy and reckless and then expect venture capital funding to be approved because you decide to get serious in the section on financing.

Payment and Plan in Full

Polishing business plans also means making sure the plan is complete. You are in a hurry to get your plan done and to find financing, but a condensed plan won’t get you anything except rejected and especially when looking for startup funding.  Business plans prepared for venture capital firms or equity partners need to contain all of the important information about your business.  The same thing is true for angel investors. If your plan is missing essential information including marketing plan details or financial projections or only summarizes an operational plan, then the assumption will be you have not bothered to work through these details.

The original business plans that entrepreneurs use to find business funding need to be comprehensive plans that are consistent and always keep potential investors in mind. It never pays to skip the details.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at http://www.funded.com. , it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions.  If you need to access a vast network of business people, entrepreneurs, partners and service providers to help you start, finance and run your business, check out http://www.funded.com.

Angel Investors Offer More Than Money

Posted by admin in angel investors, Business Startups on 03/15/2016

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Angel Investors Offer More Than Money

Angel investors are known for investing billions of dollars investing in start-ups and have funded tens of thousands of small businesses. So it’s reasonable that entrepreneurs developing business plans will associate angel investors with money first. Yet angel investors have a lot more to offer business than just financing. They also have entrepreneurial skills, market knowledge and business savvy, which are all assets that new businesses can and should use to their benefit.

Angels spent considerable amount of time in a process called due diligence. They use their knowledge and business analysis skills evaluating business plans with two goals in mind: earn a designated return of investment and limit risk of loss. Investors consult with a number of professionals and get expert advice from a network of attorneys, accountants, business analysts and investor associates. For every entrepreneur initial rejection of funding by potential investor can also be an opportunity. Opportunity to learn from the reason of rejection, the business plan can be perfected for future requests using the information gleaned from the review process.

If the business plan is accepted, many angel investors offer time and advice as well as money. It’s not a case of interfering in the business or its management but rather a case of providing insight based on management and business experience. Most business owners welcome this insight as having enormous value. Angel investors giving feedback, mentoring entrepreneurs and promoting business growth are giving entrepreneurs assets that are at least as valuable as money for business growth. For some businesses, they are more valuable.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at http://www.funded.com, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.http://www.funded.com

Typical Angel Investor? Is there such thing?

Posted by admin in angel investors on 09/03/2015

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Typical Angel Investor

Have you wondered where angel investor come from and what type of people to deal with and present your plan to?  Is  it a Donald Trump type of person – flashy and quite wealthy? Or is it someone more like your neighbour down the street who is quietly amassed a small fortune yet live prudently? The truth is angel investor could be either a person or a group of people.

The stereotype of an angel investor is someone who is a hardened business entrepreneur who has amassed great wealth but is always ready to earn more. Picture someone who is swoops in, evaluates the business plan, does some inquiries and then funds a start up with the expectation of high returns. In reality,  the angel investor may not be  as wealthy as you think but they are financially savvy. Most are still employed but they are looking for a way to grow their money by promoting innovative new business.

Angel investors fill a gap that exists between the venture capitalist and the commercial lender. Venture capitalists and financial institutions lend larger amounts with the former willing to accept high risk and the latter expecting minimized risk. Many angel investors invest smaller amounts of money, $20,000 instead of $200,000, but there are no limits so $500,000 up to $2 million is possible. They don’t want to play an active role in the business, but do have business savvy. Mostly they just want to make money.

Angel investors are also groups of people who pool their money to fund startup businesses. They include investment clubs, professional groups like doctors or lawyers and even other entrepreneurs. The reason there is a bit of mystery surrounding angel investors is simply because they keep a low profile, so are difficult to categorize. What you do know is that they are financially savvy, thorough in their evaluation of businesses and hopeful of earning a high return on their investments. So don’t stereotype angel investors because they can be anyone.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at http://www.funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.http://www.funded.com

The power of ‘value proposition’ over angel investors

Posted by admin in Business Plans on 03/17/2015

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All entrepreneurs know that angel investors rely on business plans in coming up with a decision to whether or not approve a funding request. Unfortunately, while this knowledge is already known to many, a lot of business owners still have a hard time crafting an exceptional plan.

The problem is with the content. More often than not, entrepreneurs only focus on what they believe are the most important aspects of the business plan: the company’s history, its marketing strategies, and its financial reports and outlook. While these are all necessary in convincing the investor that his or her money will be on the right hands, it lacks an important element that could mean the difference between a yes and a no – the value proposition.

The value proposition is an element in the business plan that defines why the consumers would avail of the product or the service. It provides the “benefits” that the purchase of goods or services would provide for the consumers.

This is something that an angel investor would want, as it would differentiate the business from its competitors. Moreover, it would provide potential investors with an idea on how the business fares when it comes to the alignment of its operations with the market.

Having a carefully crafted value proposition could attract more investors to provide funding for the company. For instance, a consulting firm would not be able get the nod of an investor if its value proposition is limited to statements such as, “it could help customers get a high return on investment.”

A better proposition would be, “customers will be able to experience an improvement of return of investment by using the company’s state-of-the-art and up-to-date propriety software and equipment.”

By tweaking the value proposition to provide a clearer picture of the business’ understanding of its target market, entrepreneurs would be able to convince angel investors that it is ready to accept financial support for possible expansion.

At the end of the day, the business plan remains the most important weapon that business owners can use to convince angel investors to pour money into their businesses. Having a carefully crafted value proposition within the plan would ensure that the business has a good chance of getting that evasive nod from an angel investor.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at http://www.funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.http://www.funded.com

Business Plan Starts with a Mission to Succeed

Posted by admin in Business Plans on 12/15/2014

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Business Plan

Business plans are intended to be flexible plans for succeeding, not just surviving, as a company. Yet, according to a famous Harvard professor John Kotter, 70 percent of business initiatives intended to bring organizational change will fail. That is a remarkable figure because it means efforts to adapt to a changing marketplace is failing. There is a barrier between the business plan founded on a mission and the real world.

The setbacks are sometimes one of losing sight of the company mission and weakening to plan. The purpose of the mission statement clearly states what your organization seeks to accomplish: It has a philosophy underlying it that does not change. The mission statement is a reflection of the nature of products or services sold, potential for growth, pricing strategy, customer service, and role in the community, competition and others.

The business plan needs to be developed so that each and every segment drives the business towards fulfilment of the mission. A change of proposal is merely a strategy for keeping the business on track to fulfil the mission. Leading change requires first turning to the mission statement and the business plan. A business that needs to change must be able to write a sense of urgency all through the organization because staying true to the mission statement is needed to succeed. If a change idea is needed, it means the business has gotten off course from its mission and its vision.

The business plan goals and strategies may need to be revised, but that should always be a step in the change process. In fact, business plans can serve as the direction for change as each section, from the Executive Summary to the Financial Statements, are reviewed in light of the need for change. Leadership will identify specific strategies for incorporating change and then communicate the revisions on an organization-wide basis. The change process must be empowering and encompassing, meaning employees at all levels should be embraced as change agents.

Business plans begin with a mission statement and then serve as a living breathing document. Leading organizational change is not always easy, but it can be impossible unless there is buy-in to the mission and the business plan. The strategies used to get that buy-in can vary, but staying on message cannot.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at http://www.funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.http://www.funded.com

The secret of successful angel investors: Diligence

Posted by admin in angel investors on 11/18/2014

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The secret of successful angel investors: Diligence

Having a lot of money is not the only thing that is needed by someone who wants to be a successful angel investor. While this is definitely a plus, as it allows one to invest in a lot of startups with potential, there is also one other characteristic that all effective angel investors have in common – diligence.

Diligence is one of the traits that are often overlooked, especially those who are new in the field of entrepreneurship. Most people are focused on looking for money as fast as they could. However, as business owners and investors start to gain more experience in their respective professions, they become aware of the importance of things that they used to they do not pay much attention when they are new to the field, such as the importance of diligence.

Diligence is defined as the person’s carefulness and persistence in his chosen career. It came from the Latin word diligere, which means “take delight in” or “to value highly.” Presently, the term is often used to describe the characteristic of working hard for one’s chosen profession.

Diligence plays a huge role in the success of the investor. As already stated, having a lot of money would not guarantee an angel investor’s success but diligence would.

This particular trait is most important for angel investors when selecting a particular business that they would like to invest in. According to experts, the most successful angel investors are those that take time in selecting the businesses that they would invest in.

Angel investors who are new to the business must keep in mind that money is not the only key to success. It should be coupled with the right amount of other traits that will help entrepreneurs in transforming their vision into realities.

The reality is that there is no real recipe that would enable someone to become more diligent in one night. It comes over time but experts advise angel investors not to rush into signing a deal without looking at all aspects of the business plan. This will soon develop into the fitting diligence that all successful angel investors have.

 

 

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at http://www.funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.http://www.funded.com

Funding Business Expansion through ‘Private Equity Financing’

Funding business expansion

Expansions are believed to be the best indicator that businesses are doing good. Unfortunately, while every entrepreneur seems to be of the opinion that bigger businesses are always better, the act of expanding a company is easier said than done.

It is easy to determine if a business is ready for expansion. In fact, there is only one major indicator: there is a bigger demand for the product or the service that the company offers. However, having a bigger demand does not necessarily mean that the business owner can easily whip out a plan on how he will expand his or her business – there is a bit of a problem called money.

A business owner would be lucky if he or she has some savings that can be tapped for a business expansion. This is not generally the case. And while there are a lot of options when it comes to financing a business expansion – angel investors, bank loans and support from venture capitalists – there is one option that has started to get attention of business owners over the years: public equity financing.

As the name implies, private equity financing means that an investor would be invited to put his or her money in a business in exchange for a partial ownership of the company.

This in itself would make a lot of entrepreneurs turn around and look for other ways to finance their business. A lot, of course, would not want to hand over the reins of the company that they built to another person in exchange of financing a business expansion.

But looking at it clearly, public equity financing is not as bad as it sounds. For one, agreements between the parties will still have to be forged – meaning one does not necessarily have to hand over the control of the business to the investor as the original owner have an option to retain the majority of the company, thereby putting him or her in direct control of the operations.

One has to keep in mind that investors, at least most of them, are merely concerned with the profits of their investments and would not want to be bothered by the rigors of administrating a business. Moreover, by being technically a part-owner of the company, the original owner will have an assurance that the investor is putting a great deal of interest in the business that also carries his or her name.

This is why public equity financing works both ways in expansions: investors get their bigger profits, while original owner gets to expand his or her business.

Looking for partners

The challenge in public equity financing, like in other forms of investor-related concerns, is for the business owner to find and convince one to be an equity partner in his company.

Finding will not really be a problem, as there are always those who have some extra funds that they intend to invest in a business eyeing expansion. The major concern is to be able to convince them.

In convincing potential equity partners, business owners must keep in mind that they have to convince the former that they will earn profits from their investments. This can be achieved by presenting relevant information as to the operations of the business.

This may include, among others: discussions on the competencies of the current management to handle the expansion, the risk exposure of the equity partners, the business plan and objectives, the financial history and performance of the business.

The entrepreneur should also be ready in negotiating with the terms of the deal, including, as stated earlier, the level of control – or the lack of it – that the equity partner would have once the agreement is in place.

Finally, entrepreneurs must be able to list down his or her reasons for the decision to expand and, more importantly, to utilize public equity financing as a means for the business expansion.

Like what had been repeatedly said, capital for business startups and expansions will never run out – one just has to know what he or she is looking for and, more importantly, where to look for it.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at http://www.funded.com Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.http://www.funded.com

 

 

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