Most important concern cornering the entrepreneurs & top management at small & large enterprises, is undeniably the procurement of cheap capital resources (“Fundraising”) to help them with their core build-growth-sustain business objective. So what does it take to be skillful fundraising exercises be it for a small boutique owner, a professional service provider, a restaurateur, a jewellery retail chain, a trading firm or a manufacturing concern !
Let me try to resolve this dilemma & help you in your endeavors, howsoever big or small your concern maybe. Follow these 5 steps:
1. KYC literally: Know your customers, target market, numbers well to know your exact fund requirements. Break up of this figure is of utmost importance for bank finance, investors alike
2. Engage your team: Engage your associates, senior management well in advance to brainstorm on funding strategies. Ensure an update- to-date financial data set for an honest review of operational performance. This will help when you reach out to bankers, institutional lenders, investors and even your financial consultants.
3. Network: Much spoken yet grossly under practiced action word in business & funding parlance is ‘networking’. Network with investing professionals, reach out to your existing bankers, or even your top customers. This pays well in more ways than one. And networking is not just limited to one off exercise – develop it as a habit & follow it as a practice.
4. Follow-up: You may feel ill at ease to reach out to potential investors who didn’t revert back in first instance, but don’t stop at that. It is said that following up is an art and should be done at least thrice before you may decide to cold freeze the contact. But, still don’t write them off ever.
5. What-if: Prepare an alternative plan for business operations continuity in the event your funding proposal get stuck with bankers, investors. All lenders & investors keenly look at your preparedness on this front.
Incase deliberated well and brought to action in spirit, the above stages aims to equip an entrepreneur with the requisite Business Plan presentation, executive summary, crisp elevator pitches that is critical to raise venture funding from that an angel investor, an incubation cell or a potential strategic partner.