The volume of applications received by organizations offering business funding in form of business grants or loans shows the extent to which young Nigerians are in need of funding to either implement their business ideas or expand their existing businesses.
The scarcity of jobs has made a number of Nigerian youths to steer towards Entrepreneurship. But the big barrier to entrepreneurial success has always been access to funding. As we know, ideas remain ideas except implemented can they turn into successful enterprises. Implementation of business ideas, no matter the scale, require some capital involvement and by extension, some funding.
Here now are 10 easy steps to follow in order to attract the required funding for your business.
Draw Up A Business Plan
Translating the idea you have into a plan of action is very critical to attracting funding for its execution. Even for existing businesses, having a business plan shows a prospective investor where the business is coming from, why it exists and where it is going to. This is more likely to attract their attention to consider the prospects of the business.
So, if you don’t have a business plan yet, please put up one. There are tons of information online that can guide you on how to write an engaging and comprehensive business plan. A number of business plan templates exist for this reason. You can learn more about how to write a business plan here.
Please note that in writing a business plan, endeavour to make brief and straight to the point. Think like the investor and focus more on how the business is going yield the expected returns. Make your business plan sleek and handy so that the investor can finish digesting it within a 45-minute fight. Anything between 10 to 20 pages is okay. Those bulky business plans in excess of 20 pages will be left in the office until when Oga has the time for very lengthy business plans (which his very busy schedule will never permit).
Package Your Business Properly
The competition for business funding is just too fierce that it is only the very best that get it. Consider the nearly 100,000 applications received for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme grant award which just has 1,000 slots. Your guess is as good as mine that only the very best 1000 businesses would be considered for the award.
In packaging your business, ensure that your idea is disruptively innovative and however possible incorporates ICT in its processes. By being innovative, the prospective investor is sure that the business will survive the competition. By incorporating ICT, any investor evaluating the business would believe that it is a business of the future which is believed to be digital.
Write An Executive Summary Of Your Business Idea
An executive summary is a brief rendition of the major aspects of your business. This is actually what investors go through when taking investment decisions about any business. They are obviously too busy for feature length business plans.
Therefore, writing an executive summary for your business and having it on a separate document that can easily be mailed to a prospective investor at a moment’s notice is very critical to quickly nailing a funding opportunity. The executive summary should be brief, typically one or two pages long. Remember, the Devil is in the detail!
Tell People About Your Business Idea
This might be very scary because you believe that people will steal your idea and make a business out of it. But the fact is that unless you allow someone other than yourself to know about the idea, it might remain an idea forever.
While you’re not to divulge everything about the business, tell people what will convince them of the bright prospects of the business. One of these people could turn out to be an investor or someone who knows or has links with an investor.