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How To Start A Business Post-Covid-19

Posted 30 days ago

How To Start A Business Post-Covid-19
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As part of its mission to help entrepreneurs get the funding they deserve, CEO of Nextfin, Sacha Bright, hosted a special webinar discussing how to start a business post-Covid, with particular focus on securing funding. 

With particular emphasis placed on those who are thinking of starting a business, the webinar focused on key areas, such as: what to think about when starting a business, writing a business plan, the importance of cash flow, sources of funds, as well as pitching your plan. 

To accompany the webinar, Nextfin has compiled all the advice given during the session into this handy guide to give you a clear understanding of everything you’ll need to start and fund your business. 

  1. Where do you start?

Before you even think about setting up a business, you need to focus on yourself. We recommend the following process: 

  • Write your initial ideas down;
  • Think of a company name;
  • Focus on your genius;
  • Develop your vision and mission;
  • Decide what type of business you want;
  • Research the different liabilities and tax benefits for your type of business;
  • Speak to accountants and seek advice on the above;
  • Think of a unique name for your business;
  • Conduct a trademark search;
  • Carry out a domain name search, as well as social media names;
  • A visibility study to assess the state of the market and how you can fit in;

What is your ‘vision’ and’ mission’?

A clear vision and mission is the most important part of developing your business. Without it, your suppliers, your investors, your customers and your staff have no clear sense of direction. The vision can be viewed as the destination, namely, where you want you and your business to end up. Your mission facilitates this by providing the tools to help you decide on how you are going to get there. For example, Nextfin’s vision is to create the alternative finance marketplace. Its mission is to help businesses get the funding they deserve and help investors make more of their investment. 

What is your ‘genius’?

Part of your genius is understanding what you love and to nurture that within your business. Inside every one of us is a masterpiece. This could be a physical, creative, or analytical talent. 

Most of us never discover it. But an indication is quite simply waking up every day and loving what you do so much that you will push through adversity with determination and vigour. 

For more on discovering your genius look up Erkan Ali found of course Discover your genius.

  1. Now look at your business plan

Once you are fully aware of how your business idea may work in reality, it's time to look at your business plan. A business plan, which should comprise 70-80 pages is one of the least read documents, and should really only be the benefit of the business owner. 

It is beneficial to look at your business plan in reverse. Focus on the customer first and begin at the end, by evaluating the size of the market, the product and your competition so that you are aware of what you are working with before developing your business. 

Your business plan should include the following:

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • Market Analysis
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Description of Management and Organisation
  • Breakdown of Your Products and Services
  • Marketing Plan
  • Sales Strategy
  • Request for Funding
  • Financial Projections
  1. Cash flow forecast

As part of your business plan, you will have created a cash-flow forecast. When writing this, you should list everything down. Look at upfront and monthly costs and roll over a year. Look at the sales figures. How much of that marketplace do you think you will achieve? Remember, many businesses fail because they don’t have enough funds. Realistically, a business should always have at least 6 months of overheads in the bank at all times. Detail how you will future fund your business if its equity displays an equity map with future valuations and dilutions. 

Once you’ve answered these key questions, you will have an idea of how much money you need. You then need to decide how you are going to raise funds: conventional or investors/pitch for money?

  1. Where will your funds come from?

So, how are you going to fund your business? At Nextfin, we specialise in alternative finance: equity crowdfunding, peer-to-peer loans and angel investment. We have produced a number of guides that explain in detail the following funding methods. You can view these here. 

  1. Creating your 10-page pitch deck

The pitch deck is essentially a shortened version of your business plan, condensed into 10 slides. The deck however is centred more around the investment. Investors are looking for the key information that is pertinent to them when considering making an investment. Here, they will hope to find answers to questions such as: What is it? What is unique about you and the business? How does it make money? What's the size of the opportunity and What's in it for the investor? 

Try breaking your pitch deck down into the following:

  1. Introduction
  2. Vision and mission
  3. The problems you are solving
  4. The solutions to every problem
  5. The product or service
  6. Your management team
  7. How you make money
  8. The size of the market
  9. Financials
  10. The investment opportunity

For further information on equity crowdfunding, and how to produce the perfect pitch deck, you can visit our dedicated guides section.

Author: Sacha Bright & Oliver Murphy

Disclaimer

To the best of our knowledge, the information we have provided is correct at the time of publishing. Sacha Bright is not a solicitor or accountant and we recommend that you seek professional advice on any topic discussed. Nextfin is not liable for any damages arising from the use of or inability to use this site or any material contained in it, or from any action taken as a result of using the site.  



Tagged: sme raising funds equity crowdfunding alternative finance entrepreneur p2p angel investor



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