Sprout Opportunity Business Wings with Angel Investors

business

Angel investors are playing a larger and larger role in the business investment community for obvious reasons. The banks are making it more and more difficult, due to a tightening of credit policies, for an entrepreneur with a new business idea or an early stage business expansion plan to find funding. Yet you can’t keep a good entrepreneur down. Angel investors see a need in the marketplace they can meet while businesses can see a need for investment fulfilled.

It’s a win-win arrangement.

Planting Seeds for Business Success

Finding adequate funding will probably always be one of the greatest challenges a business must meet. On the other hand, investors need a good place to invest their money to increase returns. The tight credit market has created the ideal forum for bringing businesses and private investors together.  By investing in companies like yours, angel investors can earn a higher rate of return while your business gets the much needed capital injection required to move forward.

One of the nice features of this type of funding is the fact startup businesses can attract the angel investors when they could not attract venture capital or equity partners due to lack of financial history. The angel investors are known for being willing to give young companies with exciting new ideas, concepts or methods opportunities they would not be able to find elsewhere.

How big is the angel investor market? According to the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire, in the first two quarters of 2010 (latest numbers reported) angel investors invested $8.5 billion. As many as 25,200 entrepreneurs obtained this type of business funding.  Many people are not aware of the size of the private investment market that includes angel investors, venture capital and equity partners.

Harvesting Success

Angels are committed to providing startup funding and even money for small business expansion. Business loans are made in numerous industries too including:

  • Healthcare
  • Energy
  • Industrial production
  • Green technologies
  • Retail
  • Biotech
  • Software
  • Computer equipment

Originally angel investors tended to be sole financiers or loose groups of investors willing to make business loans for new business ventures on an informal basis.  Today there are formal investing groups able to offer larger amounts of business funding to new enterprises if the entrepreneurs have solid business plans. In fact, the angel investing industry has grown to point where they have their own trade association called the Angel Capital Association.

One of the most common questions asked is: What makes angel investors different from venture capitalists? Though there are no formal definitions, angels are more likely to invest in startup businesses or existing businesses that are still in the early stages of operation. These are the types of businesses that often have difficulty finding traditional loans. Angels will also invest smaller amounts. In fact, the news reports are full of stories of angels making microloans.

Venture capital, on the other hand, usually invests in businesses that have been in operation for a while or have a proven financial track record of some kind. Another difference between angels and venture capitalists is angels invest their own money while venture capitalists usually invest money from formal funds created for investment purposes.

Making Good Sense

If you are searching for startup funding, approaching angel investors makes sense. This is a group of investors more open to funding entrepreneurs ready to get their small businesses up and running.

Access our network of Investors, get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

 

Understanding Venture Capitalists: How to Get Their Attention… And Approval

venture capitalists

It might be surprising, but a lot of venture capitalists understand the situation of would-be entrepreneurs who are looking for investors who will finance their startups. The reason for this is simple: these people who now have millions of venture capital funds stashed in banks also started as a small company owner who experienced the challenges of looking for someone who is interested in providing financial support.

They might have followed the traditional venture capitalist model, or used personal means – such as credit cards and personal guarantees – to raise significant amount of money. But one thing is clear – most venture capitalists understand the position of startup owners. And this shows their true nature when it comes to dealing with these kinds of partnerships.

Unlike the common conception that they are all too powerful and very difficult to please, venture capitalists are also human. And because most of them have experienced and succeeded in this industry, the requirements that they ask from startup owners should be seen as reasonable and realistic. Here are some of the traits that startup owners applying for financial support should have:

Passion – Those who are passionate, enthusiastic, and confident with their startups usually get not only the attention, but also the approval of investors.

Intelligence – Knowledgeable would-be entrepreneurs always have the advantage. Venture capitalists think that intelligence is tied with the success of the company.

Defensibility – Having a great concept is one thing, but being able to defend it at different levels is another. Most of the time, investors will point problems on the concept submitted by the startup owner. He or she must be able to defend the idea and convince venture capitalists that the problems can be resolved.

Contrarianism – Investors are waiting for the next big thing. Thus, unique ideas that have huge potential almost always get the nod of venture capitalists. After all, nobody wants another social networking site, not if we already have Facebook. We want something new.

Perseverance and Persistence – Startup owners who exhibit determination on their ideas always get the attention of investors. Consistent follow-ups and immediate response to queries sent by the potential investors show how important the deal is for the entrepreneur.

Humility – Despite the need for passion and determination, startup owners also need to have an ounce of humility. One must keep in mind that even the best actors or athletes have to follow the orders of their directors and coaches, respectively.

Aside from the traits enumerated above, would-be entrepreneurs should also understand what goes in the mind of venture capitalists. Usually, it only involves two things: fear and greed.

As noted earlier, investors want to put money on proposal that will be as big as Facebook. Because of this, they are afraid of letting a potential project go (fear). Also, venture capitalists look at the things that they will get once they finance a startup. This includes profit, recognition, and a powerful position within the company, among other benefits (greed).

In the end, it all comes down to these two. And startup owners might want to use these to their advantage. Of course it would not be easy. Venture capitalists are experienced people who will know if they are being manipulated. But having the knowledge of what they want is something that could spell the difference between failure and success.

Access our network of Investors, get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

10 Most Profitable Small Businesses that are Worthy of Your Investment

Investment

Starting up a business is a challenge. Whether it is small or big, you need to follow a series of steps along with different strategies to make it a profitable venture. To make a business worthy of your investment, it is necessary to perform thorough research on each aspect such as a business idea, market, competitors, and finances etc.

Once you find the best idea, your next step should be based on logistics of your business along with a well-crafted plan. These steps are fundamental and crucial. This way, you will create a strong base for your business as well.

So, if you are looking for a small startup that is worthy of your investment, have a look at these 10 fantastic business ideas.

1.    Real Estate Broker

Working as an intermediary between sellers and buyers, real estate brokerage is one the most profitable businesses. You will only require a brokerage license. This is also a cost-effective business idea, which means you can run it without an office as well.

However, you need to know the industry and your competitors before beginning and then you are good to go. Plus, real estate brokering is all about contacts; make sure lots of people know about your business so you can achieve your milestones.

2.    Catering Service

Catering is ideal if you are looking for a small but profitable business as you can provide these services from your home. Many people and even businesses do not think twice to pay high-quality caters. With reliable catering services, you are sure to make a handsome profit, especially on different special occasions.

If you are a hard worker and determined to build a successful small business, catering seems a decent business idea.

3.    Online Tutor

Online tutoring involves creating professional social media profiles and letting people know about your skills. Whether you love to play musical instruments or know different languages, you can teach anything online and become an online tutor.

Online tutoring neither requires extra expenses nor time. So, you can consider it if you can speak fluent French or play different piano tunes.

4.    Food Truck

Food always stays in demand and attracts people. Therefore, you can never go wrong with a food truck, especially if you provide high-quality food and beverages. Take note that opening a small restaurant requires a considerable amount of money.

Plus, there is a risk of loss because of intense competition in the food industry. In this case, a food truck seems an interesting idea. You do not need space or extra staff which makes it a profitable small startup venture.

5.    Personal Trainer

People who love to stay fit and healthy never mind paying their personal fitness trainer. Also, getting certification in personal training is affordable as well. Thus, you can get the required qualification and start offering personal training services.

This is one of the small businesses that are worthy of your investment as in current times people know the significance of a healthy lifestyle. Since this industry is competitive, you should use the internet to market your services and to build your client network.

6.    Web Designing

Technology companies are always looking for web designers who can make top-notch websites. Web designing entails developing value-driven, intuitive and beautiful websites.

If you have got an eye for website designing, you can offer these services to various companies and brands and start your web designing business. If you are new to this field, you can even learn the basics of website crafting and become a pro. Moreover, there are many online courses available that can teach the latest website trends as well.

7.    Social Media Marketer

Social media platforms have become a part of our daily life. Not only this, many people are running their businesses online on these platforms. You can start marketing on your social media profiles as well. For instance, you can use your Instagram account for marketing purposes.

All you need to do is decide the type of content you are willing to share such as technology, beauty, or health etc. and build up a considerable following on your account. Brands often look for social media accounts with a huge following to market their products. If your content is related to their business, they are likely to approach you.

8.    Local Business Consultant

New startups are always in demand of consultants who can solve problems related to their business and provide solid advice. Therefore, if you have developed the right skills or are a pro in your industry, you can become a consultant.

Whether you are a business strategist, marketer, or have other skills, feel free to offer your services to local businesses. Plus, you can take help from online courses on how to get clients and build your brand that is worth your investment.

9.    Travel Consultant

You can turn your love for traveling into a profitable small business. You can begin by creating official groups on Facebook or LinkedIn. This is an effective way to attract travel enthusiasts. In the group, you can share cheap flight rates and even recommendations for next traveling destinations.

Travelers are always in search of different recommendations to explore different places. In this case, they can count on you and you can teach them how to turn their dream trip into a reality.

10.    Become a Photographer

Turning your skills into a small profitable business is easy if you have a passion for photography and you own a camera. All you need to do is learn top-notch editing skills which are crucial in this industry along with finding a suitable niche, such as food photography or travel photography etc.

To build an impressive online portfolio, you should do photo-shoots frequently so people will know about your skills. For this, you should not hesitate to capture a few photographs for free. With a professional portfolio, you are likely to get clients in a short time.

Bottom Line

There are plenty of ideas that are worthy of your investment. However, the competition in different industries can give you a tough time. You can overcome this part if you focus on the quality of your services.

Access our network of Investors, get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

Small Business Loan Is Easy to Get If You Are Doing the Important Things Right

Business Loan

When your business is in its starting phase, you need a loan to grow it. Yes, there are ways for you to start your business with very little capital, but even in the age of the internet you need loans for the growth and expansion of your business. Oftentimes, startup and small business owners are scared of taking loans because they believe returning the same loan with interest on it will hinder their growth. The fact is a loan is not such a big liability if you have done your homework before getting it. Hastily getting a loan without researching the market and knowing your business’ growth potential can be detrimental to the business.

Your Business Plan Matters Big Time

It does not matter how experienced your management team is when your business plan is weak. When you ask for a loan from lenders, they are trying to find reasons to forward you the desired loan. They want to be sure that the loan they forward is returned in time and according to the terms and conditions set at the time of loaning. Lenders will seldom gauge the potential of your business to return the loan based on what you speak. What they want to see is a solid business plan and that’s why you need to have an impressive one. A strong business plan will consist of the following and some more.

  • The company description
  • Management role and experience
  • The product description
  • Strategy for marketing
  • Financial projections
  • An executive summary
  • Documented cash flow

Keep in mind that banks often look at the cash flow in the documented form, and their scrutiny is not limited to what your projections are for the future but more importantly how you have managed things in the past. They will look at your company’s cash flow records for past couple of years to see if you should be given the loan you are asking for. So, keep your business plan in mind and make sure you have worked on every aspect of it to present something impressive to the investors.

Your Loan Options Are Many

Sometimes, you have a solid business plan and everything else is in place, but your understanding of loan options is not at its best. Many small business owners live with the impression that the only institution available to them for obtaining a loan is a bank. That’s far from truth because there are dozens of other ways to obtain the loan or investment for your startups that’s much easier to manage than a bank loan. Some of the options available to you include SBA loans from the government, invoice financing, business equipment financing loans, etc. If you are just a startup and none of those options seem viable to you, there is online fundraising. Online fundraising has become quite a popular method of getting investments for your startup from individuals who trust in your idea and concept of the business using websites like Funded.com.

The Right People Can Make the Difference

Delegating responsibilities to the right people is an art and skill that not many business owners have. Oftentimes, small business owners rely too much on their own skills and are scared to trust any other person to do things for them. This can be a grave mistake because you cannot be the jack and master of all the trades at the same time. For example, you might be great at crunching numbers and making accurate projections for the business but not very great at sales and pitching ideas. If you have to pitch your business idea, its marketability and scope to the investors, choose the person who can best present it. Despite your great business plan, you will fail to obtain a loan because of your nervousness and lack of confidence when it comes to acting like a clever salesperson.

You have to bear in mind that investors are not investing only in your business, they are also investing in you. It is very important for them to like your personality to invest in your project. Appearing unprepared or nervous in front of them will send an impression that you are not fit to lead the project, your decision making is faulty and that you cannot create strong teams.

A Well-prepared Presentation Can Win Hearts

It does not matter who is giving the presentation when the content is boring and does not address the points that investors are most curious to know. First, get your numbers straight and bring them into the presentation at the right points. Be the investor in your mind and think of the questions you would ask if someone presented the same product/service to you. Have your accountant, advisor and business lawyer by your side when preparing the presentation. You don’t want to give wrong figures during the presentation and fall for a bad deal at the end of it. The most important thing is to explain your business idea as clearly as possible. Many times the presentations are so all-over-the-place that investors can’t make heads and tails of it. If they don’t understand your business, they will never invest.

So, bear in mind that obtaining a loan is not that big of a challenge. Most of the times, it is just some small mistakes in the areas mentioned above that become the cause of lost opportunities to get the right loans for your business. Create a solid business plan, choose the right people to represent your business and use all the options that are available to you at the right time to grow your business at the pace you want.

Access our network of Investors, get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

Unique Ways to Funding Your Small Business

funding

If you’re a startup, there is nothing surprising in facing teething troubles.  But none of these challenges or troubles is as big or critical as funding your business. That means finding investment to get your business off the ground is, without a doubt a daunting task.  From production space, buying goods to renting office, and hiring staff, turning a simple idea into a business practically requires funds and money.

Unless you are wealthy enough to finance your business or your benevolent relative has left you a lot of money, you probably have to find ways to fund your business.  Luckily, there are some smart ways you can resolve this problem. Here are some of those unique ways to help you fund your business.

How Can You Fund Your Small Business?

1.     Crowdfunding

One of the easiest way to find your business enough funds is crowdfunding- which is a practice of raising funds from different forums or people.  It is an alternative finance and a kind of crowd sourcing.   Luckily, there are plenty of crowdfunding options available for you right on the internet.

When asking for investment funds for your businesses from a variety of investors, it is highly recommended to come up with an impressive pitch. The success of your crowdfunding campaign depends more on how you pitch the idea than it does on the idea itself. Of course, you need a team with you to plan out your crowdfunding campaign.

A common reason why startups choose this method of funding is because of the flexibility of options. Venture capitals are known for being strict with their investments. They will demand more equity in your business than you will ever have to offer through a crowdfunding model. They usually focus more on their returns than the success of the startup. The situation is quite the opposite when you go with the crowdfunding option.

2.     Angel Investors

Angel Investors is no doubt one of the unique funding options among all as they are always looking for innovative ideas to invest in the business. Originally business giants like Yahoo and Google were also used this funding option. It is worth noting that taking funds from Angel Investors requires entrepreneurs to give them some equity share in the company.

3.     Small Business Loans (SBA)

This funding option is a result of the U.S government’s interest in rampant growth of the small business industry.  The s Small Business Administration, in this regard, offers a wide range of loan types and business investments to help business owners get started.  Exploring the SBA loan options is a great way to kick start your business, if intend to run an educational institute or non-profits set-up.   For easy funding, you might want to request for SBA grants.

4.      Venture Capitalists

Much like angel investors, the funding option invest money in up-and-coming- businesses that have high potential to not only grow but also monetary returns.  In addition to that, Venture Capitalist looks for equity share in the business it invests money in. The investors are also interested in getting a right in company’s directorial decisions.  In short, VCs make money through their investments and consider having some control or authority in the business is the best way to do that.  It is always better to investigate this funding option thoroughly before opting it.

5.     Microloans

 Reserved specifically for small non-profit businesses, finance institutions grant microloans to entrepreneurs who don’t qualify for a bank loans. Microloan organizations, instead of giving donations to the non-profit companies allow entrepreneurs to invest in various economic opportunities.  Microloans are also a popular financing option in developing nations.

6.     Personal Financing

There is no denying that investing in a startup entails a lot of risks and these risks are what prevent traditional lenders from giving loans to business owners. This becomes even more skeptical if business owner doesn’t invest his/her own money in the startup.

7.     Purchase Order Financing         

 There is an array of factors that affect the cash flows of any business. These factors may include supply and demand and seasonality.  For examples, sometimes a company is unable to complete the orders due to fewer funds to buys inventory and material to make the products.

In situations like these, purchase order financing can be the panacea to the problems. It helps companies extend advance to purchase material they need to make products. Purchase order financing collect back money when products are sold.  If your business deals in manufactured goods, it stands a chance to makes 20% more on its sales by opting purchase order financing.

8.     Vendor Financing

If your bill payment record is contingent on your product selling record, you may take the benefits by negotiating longer payment terms with the vendors.  Vendors, typically require payments on invoices within thirty days before imposing penalties and late fees.  Negotiating longer payment terms will allow you work with more cash in the interim.

This is even more important if your business has a longer sales cycle than thirty days. That means if sales cycle takes  forty to forty-five days from  purchasing to selling goods, you will not be able to make invoices payment within a  month.  In that case, you need negotiations to avail vendor financing to benefit your sales cycle.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, investments and business funding are of paramount importance no matter what industry you want to get into. If you lack sufficient finances, it is important to weigh all options you can choose to give a kick start your business.  Given that, the mentioned funding options are great to consider if they suit your requirements.

Access our network of Investors, get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

7 Tech Trends To Add To Your Small Business Startup To Attract An Angel Investor

Angel Investor

Angel investment is on the rise,and your small business startup needs to capitalize on all the opportunities at hand. Venture capitalists are on the hunt for business startups to invest in that are currently at the cutting edge of technology and taking risks with these advancements trends. You find that investors are eager to sink their investment dollars in these technologies so that they can reap the future returns. While the payoff might be big for an angel investor, these tech trends will also help your business startup to attract those funding dollars.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is not new to the scene,but for 2018, it is making a significant headway. By allowing companies to do more with less, AI will turn out to be a fundamental change in the way a company does business today and tomorrow. Startups that integrate AI into the fold will experience a shift in how they are able to perform routine tasks, freeing them up to focus on their customers. Angel investors see this as a win-win as they are able to invest in an advancing technology as well as a startup that is leading the way with its use. Your business startup will do well by having AI as a part of your repertoire and see more funding interest come your way in 2018.

Social Media

The uses of social media to enhance your consumer game is a boon for investors looking to find business startups that are succeeding in their customer engagement. While social media isn’t a newcomer technology, those that have a strong endgame will win big in terms of revenue sales. Social media is proving to be the technology platform that links us all together and gives business startups the recognition they need early on. Venture capitalists are enamored with its use by business startup as they see the power it offers and the benefits a business startup can take advantage of. Using social media to boost your business in 2018 will be key to gaining funding from an investor as they recognize the strengths it offers to your consumers.

Blockchain

Blockchain is another technology on the fringe waiting to bust on to the scene in a fury in 2018. It’s ability to provide a real-time ledger of transactions can give your business startup the transparency it needs to garner the nod of a venture capitalist waiting in the wings. Your business startup will benefit from Blockchain’s ability provide stable and error-free operations while angel investors gain by investing in a technology that has proven its worth. You’ll see funding offers from a series of investors if your business startup utilizes Blockchain to its full advantage within your organization.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is advancing at a steady clip for the New Year,and you’ll see IoT virtually everywhere you look. With consumers becoming more connected than ever, IoT offers an opportunity for new products and services that enhance IoT’s capabilities in the home, business,and community. Angel investors are savvy to the draw of IoT and how it is changing the way consumers interact and live their lives. They want to get in with business startups that are using this technology to move their business forward, engage with consumers, and improve their business operations. Count on IoT as a way to entice venture capitalists and secure funding in 2018.

Big Data

Data is everywhere these days,and it will only get bigger this coming year. Business startups such as yours will be able to use big data to understand every aspect, detail,and nuance of your customers, so you can create products and services they desire. With big data changing the way that business startups engage with their clients and provide unique customer experiences, it means plenty of evolution is on the horizon. Angel investors are keen on the possibilities all this available data can provide and know that companies that take advantage of the information can lead their industry in leaps and bounds. Use big data to enhance your business startup operations and stay tuned for venture capitalists to come calling with much interest and fanfare about your company this year.

Cyber-Security

While 2017 was a year that many will remember for its security breaches, this year provides a turn of events as business startup integrate or offer cybersecurity services to better protect their customer data. This cybersecurity will change how companies in all sectors operate and provide the level of security that is needed to protect that confidential information from getting into the wrong hands. Business startups that use cyber-security to protect their company or create products and services for others that help them secure their information will do well in the following year. Angel investors will show interest in these endeavors as the need for secure data protocol is growing without hesitation.

VirtualReality

Also, on the fringe in 2018 is VR. This technology gives you the ability to engage with your customers in a new and exciting way. Through a more desirable customer experience, VR can help your business startupto increase its customer numbers as well as its revenue as VR improves workflow and access to customers all over your niche. Angel investors want in on AR as an investment opportunity, and your business startup will attract their attention now and into future with this technology at your helm.

Integrating any of these technologies in your business startup shows a strong sense of understanding and initiative to increase your customer base and profits this year and the coming year. Angel investors want to be able to get their hands wet with these new technologies so that they can be where the growth is with these trends. Think about how these technologies can help your business startup succeed in 2018 and secure the funding you need to get off the ground. You’ll be surprised at how much attention you receive by taking the first step with any of these technology trends and reap the rewards of investment into your company by an investor.

Access our network of Investors, get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

How Marketing Mix Can Help Small Businesses Grow

4P of marketing

If you are doing all you can to grow your small business but nothing is working, you might want to take a step back and reconsider your marketing mix. Doing the right type of marketing at the right place and at the right time requires some brainstorming, research and analytical approach. Take a look at what marketing mix is and how you can use this concept to grow your small business.

Understanding Marketing Mix

In simple words, marketing mix involves the techniques, tactics and strategies you implement to promote your product, service or brand. The marketing mix consists of four Ps: Promotion, Product, Place and Price. If you research the idea a bit more you will find that people are adding more Ps to the mix but their understanding is not as important as the understanding of these four factors. In the new definition of marketing mix, they have also included other Ps like: people, positioning, packaging and politics. Here is a basic understanding of the four essential Ps of the mix.

Product: It could also be a service—anything that you are selling

Price: The value that you want to obtain when you sell the item.

Place: The exact location where you sell the product.

Promotion: The mixture of activities and campaigns that you put in to spread awareness of your product and increase its sales and additional funds to your business.

To expand your business you have to achieve perfection in your marketing mix. You have to attain a balance in all the areas of the mix for a successful strategy. Working on attaining the right balance right from the beginning will help you lay the foundation of a business that faces least amount of struggle when it comes to expansion and growth.

Using Marketing Mix for Small Business’ Growth

To create the right marketing mix, you have to understand your product at its core. When it comes to the product, you have to have a full understanding of it. What is your product? What problem does it solve? Even if your product solves a problem, have you designed to in a way that a potential customer would look at it and know what it is supposed to do? Once you know your product well, you can get to the other Ps of the marketing mix. Here is a little understanding of how marketing mix works.

  • Tying Product with Price

It can be one of the toughest things for most business owners to do. While it is a job for the marketing department, you don’t always have a dedicated marketing department when you are still a startup. When you are about to price your product, you have to consider a lot of factors. First, what type of audience does your product appeal to? What materials have you created the product with? How much competition you have in the market? What is the buying power of the market for which you have designed the product? It is only after taking all of these factors into consideration can you price your product appropriately. Keep in mind that when you are a new business, you cannot charge your customers for your value because there is no value for customers in buying your product at this stage.

  • Tying Price with Place

You cannot be thinking of one individual component of the marketing mix at one time. You might have created the right product but the question is “are you selling it to the right people?” What if your product is more appealing for teenagers but you are targeting people over the age of 35? What if you know your target audience but are placing the product in the wrong places? Maybe your item is more sellable online but you are putting it on retail store shelves. Now that you know the “place” where you need to sell the product, you have price the item aptly too. For example, a product that you have designed for teenagers should be affordable within their pocket money.

Moreover, your product might be appealing for a niche market but you might have priced it too low. As a result, too few people would buy it and your revenue will not cover your expenses. You have to be sure that you cover your costs within the limited number of purchases that occur.

  • Tying Place with Promotion

When looking at place and promotion as a combination, you have to be sure that you are promoting your product in the right place. Is your product more appealing for women than it is for men? If yes then you should consider promoting it on social networking platforms where women are more active e.g. Pinterest. Moreover, your promotional activities should match the place. For example, if you are promoting in an area where there are Oakland Athletics fans, you don’t want to be wearing San Francisco Giants’ t-shirts and gear.

  • Combining All the Ps

Once you have created the right product, priced it perfectly and strategized your promotional campaigns, you have to bring the product in the right place so all the Ps work successfully. Creating the right product, pricing it right and promoting it with passion but in the wrong place will result in disappointing response. Just because you are good with one of the Ps does not mean you will be successful in others as well.

Now that you have a good idea of tying the Ps together, you should have a complete road plan of how you are going to sell your product. It will require a lot of working at initial stages. You cannot know your market unless you do some surveys and spend time collecting data about the market. At the same time, you have to perform a thorough research of the market to know how you will price your product. When it comes to promotion, you will have to come out of the conventional methods and think more digital. You might as well set up a dedicated team for social media marketing and website analytics.

Access our network of Investors, get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

What Are the Necessary Means to Improve Your Business

ImproveEntrepreneurs are not born; they learn things by experiencing ups and downs in a business. To make consistent improvement to improve your business status is critical to maintaining sustainability. Successful entrepreneurs perpetually monitor their business process in order to identify loopholes.  Monitoring your business cash flow and identifying your strengths and weaknesses is a key process that helps you improve your business.

Apart from this, there are several things you can do to keep the risk minimum while enjoying a double-digit growth every year.

Here we have included an overview of some necessary means you can use to improve your business growth

Ways to Improve your Business

1.     Assess Your Business Situation

As mentioned earlier, monitoring the progress of your business is a key to bring improvement.  This is where you identify the areas that need change. However, before you make the changes, it is ideal to ensure that you are aware of the factors that are affecting the success of your business.

These factors may include emerging market trends, your current business strategies, weak market strategies or even lack of competent staff. Fortunately, there are a number of tools you can use to assess your business status. Following tools can help you:

SWOT Analysis:

It is an effective tool that is designed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business. Not only does it help you assess the strong areas of your business operations, but also threats and opportunities. You can work out all internal as well as external factors that keep your business from growing.

SWOT is one of the widely used analytical tools to help you in the decision-making process.

SWOT

  • Builds on strengths
  • Minimizes weaknesses
  • Seizes opportunities
  • Counteracts threats

Market research

It is another important tool to investigate the business market to help entrepreneurs identify emerging trends, new technologies, and customer demands

Trend   Analysis

The tool uses your business data for the last five years to identify and assess consistent trends.

Benchmarking

It is a smart tool that is used to measure business performances with the same size of business being operated in the industry.

2.     Business Goals

Whether it is business or your life, without goals it is completely directionless. Business goals keep you focused and energetic, which makes your business successful. You can use these objectives as a part of your ongoing business plan to make sure you keep moving forward.

However, there are certain criteria that need to be considered while setting these goals. Your goals have to be SMART- specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. That means they have to be practical to be achieved within a set timeline. It would be better to prioritize your business goals or to write them down on paper.

You can plan short or long -term strategies to accomplish them. It will help you determine the time, finances and resources.

3.     Develop a Strategic Plan

There is no doubt that businesses whether small or big, take time to progress. That is why it is important to create a smart strategic plan that has an outlook of at least 3 to 4 years. The plan should be made keeping the business goals ahead.

Make sure each year defines your business goals plus how your team will achieve those goals over the estimated time. Besides this, it is important to prepare a financial plan to meet the growing needs of your business.

That means the business strategy will not only define how your business will make profits, but also where and how much you will invest.

According to expert entrepreneurs, it is always beneficial to review your business strategic plans. It helps you match the set goals with the profit your business has produced.

4.      Be Passionate About Meeting the Goals

This might seem a no-brainer or something trivial, but it can make a huge difference when it comes to accomplishing your business goals. When you are passionate about your work, your colleagues and employees can feel this energy as well.

In other words, showing enthusiasm and excitement cannot be underestimated as it plays a critical role to make your team more hardworking, and focused toward their work productivity. The passion and enthusiasm translate to a better outcome.

Unhappy workers, on the other hand, pass through negative energy and make work more challenging.

5.     Implement Strategies

You cannot achieve business goals unless you implement the changes. Once you have made the strategic plan and estimated finances, it is the time to implement strategies. The implementation process includes several tasks and actions.

It is always a good idea to device an action plan, divides the workload, and tasks accordingly.  Following are some of the important points to help you implement the changes for business improvement.

  • Time Frame: Determine how long a specific task will take to complete. Set tentative dates for the task.
  • Actions: Divide the tasks among those employees that you think are the most appropriate to accomplish them. State actions to be taken precisely.
  • Responsibilities: Assign responsibilities; make sure your teams get the work done in time
  • Resources: Compile a list of supplies, budget, and other finances
  • Outcomes: State your desired outcomes and how the results will be evaluated

6.     Evaluate Success

You need to establish some measures to evaluate whether you have achieved your business goal or not.   These assessment measures depend on the type of tasks you are working on. If your business goals are significant, the measurement process will be more complex, such as measuring profits by a set percentage.

Along with these measures, you can set percentages for each task. It will help you evaluate the success statistically.  Plus, you need to consider how frequently you wish to measure your business achievements. It is very helpful when it is about setting new goals.

Final Thoughts

Your business does not only need your time, but also smart strategies and an effective action plan to improve revenues and profits. The above-mentioned tips are necessary means all entrepreneurs must adopt to sustain a prosperous business.

Access our network of Investors, get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

4 Ways to Impress an Angel Investor with Your Business Startup?

angel

Gaining the attention of an angel investor takes plenty of wit and charisma, but getting them to sign the dotted line to fund your business takes a little more effort and preparedness. Knowing what will garner their focus and impress them to the fullest can make securing the funding you need to start your business easier and, of course, less stressful. Start with the following to get the nod of that angle investor you are looking to partner with.

Impressive Revenue Stats

Knowing the numbers is imperative to swaying an angel investor your way. You need to come to the table prepared to win them over not only with your knowledge but also with your impressive financials. You should have a revenue stream ready to go and know your overhead costs as well as your product costs and markup.

Industry Knowledge and Experience

Being a newbie to a market can be a challenge in itself, but if you have a strong background that shows you know what you are doing in this arena, you may have a leg up. Angel investors will take notice of your potential and see that your expertise is valuable to the market you are looking to serve and be more willing to fund your business startup as a result.

Sound Business Plan

It goes without saying that you should have a business plan for your startup ready to go. Angel investors want to know how you plan to operate once you open your doors and a business plan can help provide the details to many of their questions. Give your business plan some time and effort as it can be the defining factor for an angel investor saying ‘yes’ to funding your business start-up.

Niche Products and Services

If your product serves a niche in the market that is not currently being serviced, the interest of your angel investor will certainly be peaked by what you have to offer. Finding where your business fits into the marketplace can help separate you from the pack and make your product stand out from other “me too” offerings. Angel investors want in on these opportunities, and you are sure to impress them with you savvy and entrepreneurial spirit.

Finding the right angel investor doesn’t have to be a challenge as Funded.com provides a bevy of resources and helpful advice right at your fingertips. Visit Funded.com to access our network of angel investors or for assistance with the development of your business plan.

Access our network of Investors, get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

How To Make The Perfect Pitch To An Angel Investor?

The time has come for you to make your pitch to your angel investor. Everything you have invested into your business start-up rides on this moment, and it is up to you to make the best impression possible. While it can be easy to get bogged down in the details of your presentation, you need to consider what is needed to pique the interest of your seed investor and not bore them into submission.

Think about what makes you stand out as a business startup and use your assets to your advantage. Sure, the numbers are important in your pitch, but they should be used judicially. Your private investor is investing in you as much as your business plan, and your performance will set the stage for that all-important funding.

Keep these tips in mind when you are developing the perfect pitch for your angel investor and be sure to keep it light, entertaining, and above all interesting. You only have a few minutes to garner their nod, and you want to make the most of this opportunity.

Be Relatable

Because an angel investor is buying into you as much as the products and services you are looking to market, you need to sell yourself first. Allow them to see inside your world with antidotes that they can relate to. A good story can connect you to your angel investor and allow you to be a reliable source that they wouldn’t mind working with.

Keep It Simple

You may be immersed in the industry and the lingo that it uses, but your seed investor will feel alienated by your use of jargon if they don’t understand. Simplify the message and teach them along the way. Don’t use acronyms and be sure to avoid technical specs if they aren’t necessary.

Incorporate Images

The images that you choose to showcase to your business startup are crucial to helping your private investor see your vision. Most people are visual and need the help of visual aids to get the message across. Keep your images simple and make sure they properly represent your products and services. A typical power point presentation uses 12 slides, nothing more, nothing less.

Invite the Team

You have no doubt selected the best people in the business to work with you. Your angel investor needs to see the whole team to know how valuable they are to your business startup and how they, along with you, can propel the company forward. Invite them to the pitch and introduce them and their strengths.

Show Them How It Works

Let your angel investor see your products up close and personal. Be sure to show them how it works. Provide them customized samples that are geared toward their likes. It’s even better if your product can solve a problem they have right now. They’ll be able to see the merits immediately and invite you into the fold. If it’s a service that you offer, let your angel investor try it out. Make this part of your pitches hands-on and personal as possible, so you stand out.

Tell Them About The Money

Money talks and you need to show your current revenue stream and the impact the new funding will make on your business. If new start up, show the capital disbursements in how the Angel Investors funds will be used. Be ready to provide details on your sales revenue year-to-year as well as all your costs. You should have these numbers memorized, so you look prepared. Also, don’t forget to announce any large orders you have secured that will be coming in the next month or year. The more you can show your private investor that you have the goods to make this work, the more opportunity you have to secure that funding for your business start-up.

Use A Realistic Valuation

When it comes time to provide your valuation, it is key that you are as realistic as possible. A valuation that is too high can show your inexperience while one that is too low can predict your demise. This is the most common error that business startups make, turning off investors before they have even seen the product.

Let Your Passion Shine

You certainly should show your passionate side when it comes to expressing why you need funding from your angel investor. If they see the motivation and excitement you have, they will be more willing to fund you as they know you will give it your all to succeed.

Propose An Exit Strategy

During your pitch, you need to show your investor how they will recoup the funding that they are offering up. Remember they don’t want to be a lifetime partner. They want to earn as much as they can and get out. Propose a payback strategy as well as an estimated timeline. This will allow them to see the ROI of funding your startup business and the potential for their investment.

Don’t Forget The Follow-Up

Once you have privately pitched an investor. You still need to seal the deal and ask for the sale. Follow up with persistence to get your funding as your investor may move quickly to a new startup opportunity. You’ll also have to hammer out the details through negotiations that could be tedious to agree on. Get the process going immediately so your startup business can move forward too.

 

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com. If you need to access our network of angel investors or a business plan for start-up funding visit  Funded.com