We’re very pleased to welcome a guest post from Keith Benson of Keith Benson Associates, with his top ten tips on Raising Finance, as a final part of our support programme for members
TOP TIPS FOR RAISING BUSINESS FINANCE
Based on our experience of working with many creative businesses over some forty years, we have set down below our top tips for raising business finance, as follows:
- Initially determine how much finance the business actually needs over the specific period, what the money will be spent on and when you need it.
- Evaluate the different types of finance available, so that you understand the pros/cons of each type and its relevance to your particular business.
- Obtain expert practical advice on how to raise finance – it is a minefield – and regard this advice as an investment and not a cost.
- Develop a viable Business Plan with detailed sales and financial forecasts, aimed specifically at raising finance.
- Ensure that all information contained in the Business Plan is honest, realistic and hence achievable.
- Understand the expectations of the different types of funders, i.e., banks, grant organisations, private investors, etc., and tailor the content of the Business Plan to specifically address these different needs.
- Before making an application, fully research all the appropriate sources of business finance, so that you are certain that the funding that you plan to apply for is still available and that the business does, in fact, qualify for the funding being sought.
- Learn and understand the basic elements of financial management and control – profit & loss, cash flow, credit control, etc. – so that you are confident in discussing these aspects of the business with prospective funders during the funding application process.
- When presenting your proposition for finance, demonstrate a total passion for and commitment to the business.
- Sell yourself to the prospective funder – they provide finance to people not to Business Plans! You need to convince the funder that you have the skills, experience and enthusiasm to develop and run a successful and profitable business.
Following the above tips should provide you with a better chance of obtaining the necessary finance for your business.