I’ve come across many business owners who know that extra funding will help their business get to the next level and provide certainty, but are in the dark about the right way to going about doing this.
In a survey I did with 2,500 business owners, I learnt that there were two fundamental areas where most business owners struggled:
- not knowing where to start in the first place
- not knowing how to deal with the financials
But the fact of the matter is that funding for businesses is in a healthy state right now. Even though banks haven’t opened up as strongly as pre-2008, businesses are getting funding. Venture capital and private equity are also keen to deploy capital to make up for a period where they were keeping their powder dry. And you only need to add to this the fact that numerous government initiatives for grant funding, and the explosion of crowdfunding, to understand that the issue is not with the supply side.
Consequently, businesses are missing out on funding.
To help businesses redress this balance, I have created a free training series to deal with some of the concerns that surfaced from my survey.
Visit The Smart Business Plan Academy to get access to the free training series.
Video 1 gives you my free financial model template that I use with clients. In the video, I also go through a worked example explaining how to use this model for your business.
Business plans are an essential part of the fundraising process. Funders, (debt and equity) require a business plan in order to assess your business so they can decide on whether or not they write you a cheque.
But many entrepreneurs struggle with writing business plans. You may well be in the same boat. Fears and frustrations entrepreneurs typically have include:
- not knowing how or where to start
- not knowing what you need to include
- not knowing how to construct a financials section
- having a fear about if your business plan makes sense
- trying to build the business plan and run your business at the same time; how do you put your time to best use?
Despite these very understandable fears, creating a business plan should actually be a very straightforward process for business owners. You see the problem many entrepreneurs have is they get caught up in following a defined structure that is taught and written about in business literature. However, to create a powerful business plan, that demonstrates your authority, and which you can create in a reasonable period of time, you need to put a framework around your plan, and ask the most relevant questions of your business to build the business plan.
This is exactly the system I have been using with my business clients over the years with great success. In the process, I’ve helped raise millions in funding from banks and investors to help the businesses grow and succeed.
In fact, this is what one business had to say:
If you would like to take advantage of this system (that includes insights on the right way to pitch), then please sign up below to start receiving free, actionable material straight away.
On sign up you will receive a free cheat sheet that tells you the 7 steps to building a powerful 20 page business plan in 30 days.
The cheat sheet will help you create a business plan that gets noticed, and help you build your business.
Throughout all my roles as a business consultant, mergers and acquisitions specialist, and an investor I have come across hundreds upon hundreds of business plans. One thing that I constantly get asked about is how to develop a quality business plan that is relevant. Clearly, the relevance of the business plan depends to a large extent on its purpose and audience. However, there are typically a number of recurring questions I often get asked.
Example questions around building a business plan include:
- How do I know what’s required for a business plan?
- How can I build a business plan quickly?
- How can I keep it up to date and relevant?
- How can I start implementing elements of my plan?
- How can I adapt one business plan for a different purpose?
- How can I overcome the technical and financial elements of a business plan if I have no business background?
These questions are important to address to help business owners overcome their concern and fear around business plans. However, as an entrepreneur your job is to focus on building the company, not fretting over crunching numbers and talking like an MBA.
But worry not. I am developing an online course to help you build a business plan that allows your business to succeed and I want to know what you would like to know more about building and using your business plan. Click on the button below to take the ONE question survey (or leave a comment below) so that I can build a course that reflects your needs. You will be added to the VIP list for the course.
Take The Survey
“In the same way that I tend to make up my mind about people within thirty seconds of meeting them, I also make up my mind about whether a business proposal excites me within about thirty seconds of looking at it. I rely far more on gut instinct than researching huge amounts of statistics.”
Such quotes will be familiar to you about the importance of first impressions in both your personal and professional life. The fact that people decide almost irrationally on ‘gut instinct’ what they think about a person or proposal offers risks and opportunities. Risks in that your initial encounter with people should not be an understated or limp affair, but opportunities in that you have a chance to blow people away with the right preparation and planning for that initial, brief interaction.
There is nowhere this is better emphasised than when you are trying to court investors to invest in your startup. There are things you can do to identify the right type of investor, and strategies you can employ to engage with investors if you don’t have relationships in the first place. However, do not underestimate that the stakes are high. The right investors can make or break the fortunes of your company that you will already, no doubt, have spent significant time and money on developing. They provide the platform with not only their money but also their significant expertise to help your business achieve the success you had dreamed of. So why would you approach them ill prepared or underwhelm them, especially when competition for their attention is so high? Even though some of you may consider engaging an advisor to write a business plan for you, I have developed a template that lets you do this for yourself. You may then decide to get an advisor to review. Continue reading