Business and Start-Up Funding

Business

How to Get Angel Investors Interested: The idea is to have a sound business model that can be demonstrated by a business plan to have merit with goals of actions on how the model will get to point A to B with the funds provided by the angel investor or venture capital.

1: Have a concept, service, or style of doing business that is new or disruptive to the industry. This can be a service product or even an existing one, creating a unique advantage over the competition. If it is something more standard like investing in a flipping house, you can find how you may be unique to other house flippers. If you want an investor for a franchise, you can give work experience or know how to set you on top with location and research invested into the franchise, so it shows it can be a success from the start.

2: Invest in a Business Plan and Pitch Deck. Investors and banks like to see you have some plan to get from point A to B and an exit strategy for the investors’ money. Business Plans can organize your startup or exist by including major elements like Mission Statements, Distribution Channels, Corporate Structure, Marketing Research, and Financial Proformas. Pitch Decks are the visual aid that can paint a picture and a concept flow in a digital format.

3: Don’t price yourself out of the deal, but don’t give in too much. Any Angel Investors know it has to be a win-win. So, spend time wisely getting some model company financial comparisons and values on how the new capital will create a new deal on the business once everything is in place and moving.

4: Chose your platform for getting your pitch out there: You can go with crowdfunding, which can be very effective in some ways. You can raise many investors but also risk not meeting your capital requirements. You can choose a platform with only accredited investors and reach out with a posting and support. This can effectively see profiles available of investors in the industry and reach out directly or through the platform, depending on the forum. This can effectively raise capital from only one source and help provide valuable synergy and even external promotion of your new business.

Planning and patience are essential when pitching an Investor or Venture Capital. Even down markets and economies can be the best time to launch. You may get more interest and less competition as investors are looking to make equity stakes in the following future successes!

Who we are:  Funded.com is a platform that is A+ BBB rated over 10+ years. Access our network of Investors, get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

Think Like an Investor and Consider What Leads to Business Failure

Investor

To successfully land funding, you need to think like investor when reviewing the business plan. If you were considering lending money to a business what would be one of your first concerns? Naturally it would be the chances of the business failing. An investor lends money with the intent on getting a return on that investment. So it makes sense that the business plan should be evaluated from the same perspective by the business owner.

Small businesses have a high rate of failure according to the Small Business Administration. There have been many studies done to determine why this is so. These studies have identified common errors that businesses make, so you want to consider these problems before they ever become an issue. Realistically, potential investors will have them in mind before agreeing to lend money so being prepared to respond is important.

Typical reasons for small business failure include over-expanding to prove growth to investors, underestimating expenses or overspending, assuming too much debt based on revenues and cash flow and underestimating the competition. Also included on the list are choosing a poor location and lack of capital. The likelihood of these factors occurring in your business will be considered by investors evaluating a business plan.

If you have already thought through the reasons for failure, investors will recognize that fact. For example, location is high on the list of reasons for small business failures. Presentations to investors, therefore, should address the choice of business location and explain the competition and accessibility by customers. Making sure you address the reasons why your business could fail is an important step towards ensuring it doesn’t.

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

Ready to Compete Globally? Time to Find Investors!

Globally

More and more businesses are looking for investors to fund a global expansion. More and more investors are looking for businesses ready to go globally. The business landscape is changing rapidly, and small businesses are expanding internationally right along with the big corporations. The internet can probably be named as the primary motivator for this trend because it made it so easy to communicate with people around the world. Orders can be placed with a click of the mouse. Governments recognized the opportunities this created and have created laws and regulations that promote global business.

Naturally, investors want a piece of the action. They are looking for companies that can successfully expand through globalization because the opportunities are unlimited. Of course, participating in international trade can be expensive so it’s not a decision made lightly. Yet there are so many advantages to expanding internationally that it makes sense.

What are those advantages? For one thing, a business can increase sales and thus profits which makes the company more attractive to investors. Other reasons include gaining greater market share, spreading risk by expanding market access, stabilizing seasonal sales cycles and establishing a foundation for unlimited growth. All of these reasons are exactly what can make a business attractive to investors.

Of course, expanding globally takes money. There are import and export fees, expanded production costs, higher shipping costs and the expenses associated with new promotions like marketing and travel. Investors will balance the higher costs to the expected increase in revenues and profits before making a decision. Investors will also weigh the risks associated with the global expansion. This balancing act though is one that the business should have already mastered in the business plan.

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

10 Need To Know Things Before Starting A Business

Starting

Establishing a starting business – especially for those who do not have experience – is a very complicated and difficult task. More than once, the business owner’s lack of experience would often lead to regrettable, if not disastrous, outcomes. If you are planning to start a new business, here are ten things that you must know if you want to avoid startup failures:

1. Put everything on paper. Some people might tell you that you should avoid contracts as much as possible. Unfortunately, they are wrong. Before starting any deal – whether with a supplier or investor – work first on the terms of the agreement and put in on paper. This will assure you that you have a written documentation that might help you in case issues about the arrangement that was earlier agreed upon arise.

2. Formulate an effective business system. Businesses to tend to rely on efficient systems that ensure optimized operations. As the owner, it is your task to create, evaluate, and re-evaluate this kind of system that will guarantee quality and profitable results not just from your employees but from everyone and everything involved in the company.

3. Know your finances. Businesses rely heavily on your capital and profits. Even if you hire a professional accountant to handle your finances, it is important that you have more than just an inkling of knowledge about this aspect of your company. Know your financial limits. Likewise, have an idea on when will you receive payments. You would not want to wake up realizing that you don’t have the money to pay this month’s electricity bill.

4. Have an attorney. It might appear over the top, but having a person who will be there to offer legal assistance may be one of the best decisions that you will ever make. Keep in mind that attorneys are not just about legal suits and court trials – they can also assist in contracts and other agreements. In the end, you will realize that their worth is more than what you have paid them.

5. Decide on whether to hire an employee or get an independent contractor. The decision is up to you, really. It basically depends on the job that is needed to be done. You have to consider the risks of hiring one over the other. Employees, for instance, are good for long term tasks while contractors are the best choice if you are looking for someone who can work on specific assignments.

6. Be ready with your legal agreements. This is basically a combination of this list’s first and the fourth items. Like what was stated, contracts should be signed before the implementation of any deal. And that includes arrangements with your employees and contractors. Familiarize yourself – with the help of your attorney – with non-disclosure, intellectual property, and other forms of agreements that might come in handy.

7. Be careful with joint ventures. Teaming up with another business – especially with established ones – are very enticing for startup owners. And while this is an indication that your business in on the right track, be wary of these partnerships. Ask the question, what will you get if you sign that agreement?

8. Do not muddle up your personal and professional lives. Sure, you own the starting business. But that should not encourage you to put your personal money and your startup’s capital in a single bank account. Keep everything separated, especially with accounting. Businesses flourish if you professionally – and not personally – handle the finances.

9. Be ready for additional tax types. Taxes are part of our everyday lives. And don’t be surprised if it becomes a part of your every hour’s life once you establish your startup. Businesses tend to pay a lot of taxes, and you shouldn’t lose your mind because of this. There are tools available in the market that might help you. Or better, hire an accountant.

10. Look for the right tools. There are many services that can help you operate your business. Browse through a number of software, applications, and programs that can be downloaded from the Internet.

Establishing a starting business requires passion. But more than that, would-be entrepreneurs are also encouraged to have some knowledge on what they are about to do. It might sound difficult, but it sure is fun.

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

Convincing Investors Your Business Idea is Really Worth the Risk

business idea

How do you convince investors your business idea is worth the risk of investing money? You may have the most innovative and creative idea ever put forth, but that doesn’t mean anyone is going to invest in it. Even a good idea can flop if it’s not implemented correctly. Of course, the most well known example in business history is the 1958 Edsel. The car had a poor name, a poor pricing strategy and was manufactured during a recession. It remains to be seen if the modern day Chevy volt will be classified as the “new” Edsel for similar reasons.

Investors are willing to accept risk, but they will do everything in their power to ensure they understand how much risk is involved. Investors are not the same as business speculators in most cases because they want a value proposition that includes a very good probability of earning positive returns. There are many different factors investors will consider to determine risk, and you should assess them first.

Risk is a function of management competencies, available collateral, market acceptance of the business idea and time. To convince investors your business idea is worth the risk of funding, you will have to first prove that the people implementing the plan are fully competent and capable of running a business.  Investors will also want reliable collateral. You need to show that the product or services can be efficiently brought to a willing market. Finally, the investor will want to assurances that the payback agreement in terms of time will be met. Payback in terms of money is taken care of by the other factors of competency, market success and collateral.

You can convince investors to fund your projects by developing a sophisticated business plan that clearly and carefully shows the level of risk the investor is assuming. The good news is that the time spent developing a business plan in the first place reduces risk right away.

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

Branding a Business to Imprint Angel Investors

Branding

Branding is one element addressed in the marketing section of the business plan. It’s also the image presented to angel investors when searching for business funding. Contrary to popular belief though, branding is not just about a trendy logo or elaborate advertising. It’s the element that represents you as the business owner, the quality of your products, and the level of customer service. Brand is composed of your individuality and your company’s value.

Branding is a complex concept which is one reason why it’s often reduced down in people’s minds as being mostly about advertising. The assumption is that if the target market is aware of your logo then branding efforts have been successful. However, it  goes much deeper than advertising, which is why your business plan must present more than an advertising plan to potential angel investors.

Business brands is about the quality and value that underpins the entire business. It’s the projected image, but more importantly it’s the tie-in for everything the company does or will do. business brand is a broad brush that covers marketing, pricing, the level of customer service and the business culture. Branding pervades the business plan and is not simply one element in the marketing plan.

A common question angel investors ask always concerns brand. What do you want your brand to project to the market place? Is it quality, innovation, creativity, problem solving or all of the above? Branding is important to startup companies as well as established companies. In fact, branding for startups can perform an important job for startups on limited budgets by making advertising efforts more effective. Clear and distinct branding differentiates the company in the minds of customers, thus giving the company more value for marketing dollars spent.

Before preparing a business plan to present to angel investors, make sure the brand is well defined. Branding is not just advertising. It’s the element that ties your entire business together.

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

How To Keep Cash Flow Positive As A Business Startup

cash flow

One of the biggest challenges for any business startup is the ability to have positive cash flow at all times throughout the year. When times get lean,and profits go down, you can feel a pinch in your working capital and need a way to build these monetary reserves back up to their peak. The reverse holds true when profits are soaring and you are making bank – you feel the beneficial weight of some added funds sitting in your cash flow reserves ready to be spent. But, you need to even out this cyclical trend with a positive cash flow all year-round. Here are some ways you can keep your working capital positive throughout your sales cycle.

Prevent Overspending

One of the easiest ways to get your cash flow in check is to stop overspending when the need is really not there. It can be tempting to buy the latest and greatest of everything for your business,but if tomorrow’s sales take a dip, you will find your reserves a little slimmer than normal. Spend cautiously on what you need for your business startup to survive each day. This can help you have the cash you need when an issue arises without having to struggle to come up with the funding.

Stay On Top Of Invoicing

Getting paid for the work you have completed is an arduous task for any startup. It is no fun chasing down late payments, but it is your responsibility as a business startup owner to make sure your invoicing goes out on time and gets paid. Getting your invoicing in order can make sure you have a steady flow of income coming in and can make sure money is left over for positive cash flow at the end of each and every month.

Track Daily-To-Day Costs

Keeping a good record of your costs all throughout the year can help you better identify where you are overspending. You may need to reign in your expenses, but without tracking them, you have no way of knowing where your cash flow is going each day. Keep a record of all the expenses you make every single day and review them to see where you can cut back. You may be making unnecessary purchases that are costing are adding up and affecting your working capital.

Keep A Cushion

If you know your business startup struggles from time-to-time with its working capital, you can plan for these times by setting aside a cushion of funds that you can rely on when you need it. This can make your slower months easier to bear and provide you a solid reserve that you can count on when an emergency arises. It can give you some added security that you have the funds when profits dip and keep you in the black all throughout the year.

Estimate Future Earning Conservatively

When you look ahead, it can be easy to overestimate what your earning will be the following year. You may anticipate sales that don’t come to fruition or unexpected circumstances could take hold. To keep your cash flow positive, be realistic in your future earnings and plan for the unexpected, so you don’t wind up in a situation where your working capital vanishes without warning.

Increase Sales

While it goes without saying that increasing your sales can help grow your cash flow, but this is one area that business startups can lag in. Think about the ways that you can add value to your offerings and entice customers to buy more than ever before. Bundles and add-ons are simple ways to get a customer to spend more with you and help increase your sales in any given month. You need to consider all the ways that you can get each transaction to its maximum value so you can have that extra working capital after your receivables, payroll, and expenses have been paid.

Secure A Short-Term Investor

Short-term angel investors are a sure-fire way to jump start your business startup and get the funding you need to help with your cash flow problems. They can help provide funding when times are tough and allow you to breathe a little easier with their financial support. A short-term angel investor can provide you money to grow your business while still maintain the day-to-day flow. Paid back over a shorter amount of time, these seed investors help to give you more flexibility and provide an alternative means of securing funding for your business startup.

Create Loyal Customers

Turning your customers into to loyal fans that frequent your business on a regular basis can help you grow sales and increase your profits all throughout the year. These repeat customers can give you business start up the boost it needs while also helping your working capital to balloon with each purchase. When you can count on a customer to return to your business, not only does it ensure another sale but it makes it easier to project future sales and keep your cash flow from dipping into the red.

Keep Inventory Lean

Making sure that you don’t overstock your inventory can also prevent a negative cash flow for your startup business. Practice being lean and only have the inventory you need at any given time. This can make a difference in your business’ bottom line and improve your cash flow situation. Having product and materials on hand may be nice,but it can affect your ability to have the cash reserves when you need it most. Keeping inventory to a minimum takes a special knack, but you will find that your operations are just as efficient and you are not waiting months to sell your backlog, affecting your monthly working capital.

Taking stock of your cash flow on a daily basis can make sure it is positively flowing each and every month. These simple tips can help you stay in the black and make your working capital less of a worry for your business startup. Planning  ahead, staying lean, and growing your sales will ensure you have the cash reserves you need to keep your business startup afloat year-round.

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

How to Build a Successful Online Business in 2021

Online

Have you decided to ditch your 9 to 5 job in favor of an online business, such as an e-commerce website or a blogging business? Or have you decided to take up an online business as a side hustle to complement your 9-5 job, and rake in extra cash? Whichever way, these are great intentions.

The Internet and smartphones have changed the way we do business, and in 2020 alone, E-commerce sales accounted for over 25% percent of all retail sales online, according to Statista.

A great number of people are taking a stab at starting their online businesses, so why shouldn’t you?

But, do you have a real understanding of what it takes to be successful in an online business? While it is good to dream big and have big goals of generating a million dollars, do you have a full grasp of what you need to get to that point and ensure that you don’t get lost in the tide?

According to several sources, including Forbes, over 90% of all online business start-ups fail. Fortunately, you are reading this guide, which contains tips that can place you in the 10% successful online businesses. Let’s do this!

With this in mind, here are few tested and trusted tips that you must follow to stand out and succeed with your online business goals:

Understand Your Niche

How do others perceive your brand? What do people know about what you stand for? People like to do business with brands that they know, like, and trust. In your chosen niche, you have to be authentic, doing what works for you and your target audience.

This is why doing market research about the needs and wants of your target audience is important even before you start.

Are there particular demographics you want to attract? What qualities will they look out for in your product/service, and how can you meet those? This will help you with positioning your brand and creating the best marketing strategy for communicating your business with your target consumers.

For instance, if you want to start a blogging business in the fitness niche, you have to identify what aspect of fitness you are well versed in. In this vein, let’s say you decide to focus on workout routines and nutrition, your next step should be to identify the people you want to reach, and how best you can add value to their lives through your blog.

So, you have a niche now, what next?

Know Your Competition

Competition refers to brands that sell or market the same products/services as you. Except you are going into a niche with no existing businesses, which is almost impossible, then you need to evaluate your competition.

Why should customers choose you over others? This is even more crucial in the online business world.

Your strategy for Content Marketing, SEO optimization, and your User experience/interface (website/ mobile app) should position you ahead of your competition. You should be aware of the social media platforms your competitors are using. This will also arm you with knowledge on where best to engage with your potentials.

For instance, doing your analysis of your competition, you might discover that they focus more on Instagram because the majority of target consumers spend their time there. Needless to say, any social media marketing strategy you craft should then center more on Instagram.

Optimize your Web Assets

Web assets are what constitute your online business. They include everything from your website, social media profiles to your hosting accounts.

You need to organize these relevant assets and ensure that they are fully optimized for your brand.

For instance, your webpages and social media should always be completely updated with the latest information about your company.

Your website should be responsive with quick load time to improve the time consumers spend on it. A lightning-fast load speed increases visitor engagement and sales, and instant web response results in higher conversion rates.

According to a recent Aberdeen Group Research, every 1 second delay in page load decreases customer satisfaction by 16 percent, page views by 11 percent, and conversion rates by 7 percent.

Over Deliver

After examining your competitors, set benchmarks for your brand’s products and services, and try always to surpass them. Endeavor to meet consumers’ expectations on the value you communicated and even exceeded them.

The importance of delivering more value, especially for your initial offerings, cannot be over stressed. First impressions usually last longer, and a great one could mean several loyal customers.

Just imagine the glee on your consumers’ faces when they discover that they have gotten way more value from your brand than they expected. Priceless! This will keep them coming back for more.

Such a consumer will go ahead to tell friends, who will, in turn, tell friends, and your customer base will keep increasing till you become a leader in that niche, gaining the trust and attention of consumers.

Be Conscious of and Protect the Online Reputation of your Brand

Reputation is at the core and center of any online business. Even the slightest mistake can put your brand in a negative light and taint your brand for a long time. One way to remain conscious about mentions of your brand is to set a Google Alerts notification.

Have social media guidelines and strict branding rules. If anyone is posting about your brand, then you understand what you expect from them.

But even beyond brand mentions, how do you deal with and respond to complaints from your customers. It is highly recommended that you develop a serving, not selling mindset. Be interested in solving customers’ problems, and meeting them at their point of need.

Recent statistics show that 73% of consumers love a brand because of helpful customer service, and 89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values.

Focus on Serving

When you focus on serving your customers to the best of your capacity and providing great value, sales and profit will come naturally.

Learn how to identify the concerns and problems of your consumers, and educate them on how to solve these issues as a freebie.

As an online fitness coach, for instance, if you notice that your customers are having issues with balancing their carbs intake, you can create a detailed blog post or YouTube video to address that.

People love free things. So, helping your customers with that issue for free will endear you to them. But even beyond that, it will also go a long way to show that you are very knowledgeable, and stand you out among other fitness coaches.

What’s more, research shows that brands which blog generate 67% more leads. So, serving customers will eventually lead to more gains.

Conclusion

If you want to enter the business world, you have to learn how to be persistent. If you continue to do all the right things we’ve discussed above, staying consistent, you can realize your goals.

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

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 Funded.com. it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept. If you need to access a network of angel investors or business plans for start-up funding visit  Funded.com

Business Plan Starts with a Mission to Succeed

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