How to Win
You have the opportunity to step in front of a potential investor with your product or idea. As an entrepreneur competing against the thousands of others out there, you have to stand out. These tips will help you!
CLEARLY DEFINE AND
COMMUNICATE YOUR VISION
TEST YOUR PITCH AND ANSWER QUESTIONS
This is critical. In your head, your vision could be rock solid but if you cannot clearly define and show it to your investor, it's lost. Create a prototype whenever possible. Write a description that is short and very clear. Tell someone else about your product to see if they grasp your vision. Repeat.
Next, create and then test your pitch among people who are not necessarily your close friends or family, but who will provide you with constructive feedback. Listen to their concerns. Then, address those and be ready to answer questions later.
HAVE A CLEAR BUSINESS PLAN
DEVELOPE AN INVESTMENT OFFER AND EXIT STRADEGY
A business plan is essential. It allows the investor to see you've done your homework in areas such as the management of the company, the product research, the market analysis, what your customers will buy and why they will buy from you. A business plan is a blueprint for success and takes time to develop. It also is required by most lenders. Get started on it now.
You wish people would just give you the funding and a low interest rate, but many investors want ownership in your company. Define what your limits are and pitch slightly under those limits. Be sure this includes an exit strategy.
KNOW YOUR NUMBERS AND FINANCIALS
ASK FOR FEEDBACK
As a key part of your business plan, you should work out the very details of your numbers and financial health. Talk about profit margins, investments, assets, as well as projected sales goals, for the next 3 years. Investors want to know the numbers. Create a visual to display this information clearly.
When you give your pitch, whether you use high-end graphics and computer displays or a simple speech, ask your investors for feedback. What information would have been more valuable? Where do they see the areas of concern? With this information you can then tailor your next pitch to address those aspects.
Pitching isn't easy because you have a lot on the line and so does the investor.
They want you to prove to them their money is being well spent.
Do that and you'll secure the funding you need.
A business plan is an essential aspect of any new business. Your plan should account for all aspects of your business including its operating budget, products or services, marketing campaign, physical location, and website. Having a plan increases your chances of success.
Like your business plan, your budget is there to provide a framework for you to operate and make wise fiscal decisions. Be prepared to adjust your budget as needed doing its initial phase. You may wish to speak with an accountant to help you create a flexible working budget for your launch.
Plan to have plenty of cash and assets on hand before you launch your new endeavor. Launching a business on a shoestring budget is never a good idea. No matter what type of business you are running, a new launch is bound to require unexpected costs. Prepare for these costs and keep your new business running smoothly.
Even if you think you have a revolutionary product, be sure to research the market to ensure that you are investing in a genuinely smart scheme. Take care to quantify your research so you don't leap into the market blindly.
When planning your marketing strategy, be sure to include social media. With most people and businesses online today, it'd be a mistake to ignore this important marketing channel.
Hiring the right people to help you run your business is another vital aspect of any startup. If you're concerned about budgeting for salaries, consider offering your new employees some extras like days to work from home in lieu of top-notch salaries. Many employees are looking for these types of benefits.
CREATE A BUSINESS PLAN
HIRE YOUR TEAM
GUESS. DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
IGNORE SOCIAL MEDIA
Keep these dos and don'ts in mind so you can achieve a successful business launch.
By considering these business essentials and planning accordingly, you'll find that your business will get the good start it deserves.
If you're on the verge of launching a startup, you should take time to consider some dos and don'ts that could impact the initial stages of your operation. Becoming an entrepreneur is an exciting time, but don't forget to nail down some essentials as you forge ahead with your business venture.
The answer from most business experts is a resounding yes. As a new small business you may not have heard of displacement, but it is at the heart of small enterprises. Essentially whatever you are doing is displacing something else you need to do. A business plan, lays out the way forward, keeping you and your staff on the right track without focusing too much time on non-core activities. It also sheds light on every aspect of your business, many you may not have thought about.
Of course this depends on your expected cash flow and the amount of work that will be needed in the first few months before cash flow is stabilized. As a small business owner, the first six months will require 70-100 hour weeks from you. In order to fill any gaps look to contract or part time workers until you can afford to hire staff full time.
Of course this can be a very expensive proposition and the answer varies. Yet at the very least you should connect with a business lawyer and start the relationship. If you get in over your head in any area, at least you already have an established relationship. Items for the business like contracts and binding legal agreements may be well worth the money.
Thousands, no. But you do need to have a website and social media presence. There are template websites and online hosting that you can often have a website up and running including hosting for less than $50 a month, with no up-front costs. Do your own social media in the beginning.
FAQs About Startups
The beginning of a business startup requires entrepreneurship and effective business planning in the following areas. With these key building blocks in place a business has a healthy foundation to build upon.
DO I NEED A BUSINESS PLAN?
SHOULD I HIRE STAFF RIGHT AWAY?
SHOULD I SPEND MONEY ON A LAWYER
DO I NEED TO SPEND THOUSANDS ON A WEB PRESENCE?
HOW DO I RAISE CAPITAL FOR THE BUSINESS?
This is why a solid business plan is so important. If you have done your pro forma documents and laid out a smart business plan, investors will be more apt to invest in you. In order to raise capital and raise funds, you are a going to need to become your own best sales person. Most investors look at the person behind the business first, and its fundamentals second.
Entrepreneurs excited about starting their business often focus on the product or service, the customer satisfaction, and launching. However, there's an important additional component to the process that requires careful management as well. Financing your startup - from getting your seed money together to completing daily accounting - is essential both to your business plan and to your long-term growth and success. A good place to start is with establishing good, basic accounting concepts for your startup.
Every startup needs to properly plan for inventory needs as well as manage the flow of product into an out of the business. You need to adequately inventory what you are selling versus what is coming in your company.
If you have even one employee, you need to properly management payroll. This includes paying your employee, meeting tax and benefit obligations, and automatically managing the tax reporting.
Your business needs to know who it owes money to, how much is owed, when it is owed, and what the funds go to pay for. A simple system to track what you are spending is essential.
For those companies shipping orders, an accurate accounting of order processing is valuable.
Who is paying you? Who owes you money? You also need to keep track of credit card receivables and other forms of credit you provide to your customers.
The right accounting tools can help you to streamline every one of these components. That includes invoicing your customers, collecting payments, paying each of your vendors and other expenses, and managing inventory.
You should also have software that provides basic accounting tools to allow you to see your profits and losses, expense reports, and payroll costs all clearly. The more information you have from this information, the more accurate your business plan and the more efficiently you can run your company.
Breaking Down Startup Accounting and Financial Management
What goes into a solid business plan? Details, details, and more details! For your startup to function properly, you need to have access to information. In terms of accounting, focus on these areas: