Gaining sufficient funding to run a small business is never an easy feat.
Despite the numerous grants and government help available, it’s rare that this will be enough to cover the costs a start-up requires. In fact, earlier this year it was reported that fewer than one in 10 firms who receive seed funding will also receive stage fourth round investment.
With such little funding being dished out to not just start-ups, but small businesses as they continue to grow, you need to do everything you can to make a good impression to give yourself the best chance possible.
Research your options
The first port of call when attempting to secure funding is to do your research. This includes researching any potential investors, funding your business is entitled to and most importantly, researching your own market.
There’s no harm in finding out how the competition are funded when you’re exploring all your options.
From crowdfunding to government funding to private investors – how you fund your business will depend entirely on your industry and how you want it to work for you.
Manage your brand
Before you begin approaching anyone about funding, you need to manage your brand effectively.
This doesn’t mean investing in a marketing team (it’s investment you need, after all!) but it does mean at least having the ideas that can demonstrate where you want to head with the business.
This is particularly important if you’re planning on crowdfunding your business. When you’re reliant on the masses to bring your project to life, you need to make it appeal to them first and foremost.
Approach the right person
Once you’ve chosen how you want to be funded and once you’ve managed your brand, the next step is finding out the best way to go about it.
If you’re eager to get started it can be all too easy to jump in, find any old number and give them a call with your idea.
Unfortunately, this won’t always give off the best impression and often there are more routine ways of going about finding funding. Find out who you’ll need to approach and the best way to do this to let them know you’re serious about your business idea.
Know your figures
Once you’ve got in touch and set up a meeting the next step is to prepare, which means knowing exactly what it is you’re talking about.
One episode of Dragon’s Den could tell you that there’s one sure-fire way to make a dragon say those dreaded words, and that’s by not knowing your figures.
Get to know your sales inside and out before you start pitching ideas left, right and centre. This way you’ll be prepared for any off-the-cuff questions that may come your way.
Plan to impress
Whether you plan to wow with a demonstration of your product or arrive super prepared with every piece on info on your company, have a clear and outlined plan so you can keep a clear head to help you impress your potential investors.