Thanks to the rise of digital marketplaces, crowdsourcing and a global network of startups, today, there are various ways to finance a business, regardless of what stage of development it is in. But while size doesn't matter, the industry does, which is why it’s vital a business focuses on exactly what type of funding works best for its business model.
While financing a business is a big step for any company, it’s also a major learning process. Acquiring funding successfully doesn't come without its challenges, and takes a combination of perseverance, dedication and careful planning.
Here are four ways that you can pinpoint what needs to be done in order to properly finance your clients’ business.
1. Market analysis
Conducting market analysis is essential for carving out a business plan that will both attract investors and also mark potential changes in the market that may affect your client’s industry. Preparing for fluctuations in the market can help them prepare for unexpected losses, ensuring that they are just a bump in the road, rather than a serious setback. Conversely, anticipating a period of positive growth can help you make smarter decisions with your money, making potential investments less risky.
Businesses today can choose from a wealth of online market research tools, such as Google Analytics and SEMRush. These are great resources that small business and entrepreneurs can use to identify market trends and competitor activity, helping them to improve their overall marketing strategies to increase customer engagement and revenue.
2. Fundraising experts
Businesses, especially ones that are new to the funding world, can greatly benefit from an expert opinion when it comes to finding the best funding process that works for them. It’s not difficult to find an expert in fundraising, thanks to an increase in freelance platforms that take on carefully vetted professionals from a variety of backgrounds.
Collaborating with an expert in funding provides important insight into what investors expect from a business plan, which in turn can help you improve your client’s financial modeling. Managing current expenses is a key part of ensuring long-term success, as it teaches how to properly allocate funds. Knowing when to tighten your grip in difficult times and how to identify lucrative opportunities is essential for making financially savvy decisions, especially when your client’s company begins to grow and expand.
3. Business loans
There are various business loans that businesses can use to get their foot on the ground. As is with any loan, you will want to make sure your client has has set herself up to pay it back, which means choosing the right plan based on her industry and level of development. Platforms like Virgin Startup are a great example of funding which caters to specific types of businesses models — in this case, startups. With a focus on entrepreneurship and meaningful output, Virgin is in tune with the needs of contemporary startups, and not only provides funding but also valuable support.
There are other avenues you can take when looking for a small business loan, from municipal funding to private companies. But before your client signs any paperwork, make sure they do their research, such as comparing quotes and reviewing customer feedback, to ensure they’ve picked the right lending plan for their business.
4. Sustainable projections
In addition to understanding the target market and being prepared for potential setbacks and surprise variables in the market, your client needs to have an outline of how she is going to maintain and grow her business once it’s financed. This is where financial projections come in, and they should be included in every pitch your client gives to investors. Before they sign a check, any investor, whether they’re a venture capitalist, peer-to-peer, or bank, needs to be sure the business is prepared to judiciously allocate additional funds to become both profitable and self-sustainable.
While funding improves immediate revenue, making sure your client knows how to manage their finances during periods of growth is a key part of any successful business story. Carefully researching funding options, and creating a business plan that considers current trends, market research and measurements for progress are all essential steps that need to be taken if your client wants to create a financially sustainable and profitable business model.