How do I get funded?

I would like to know the steps to take to start a business. I have a few ideas for some good businesses but I lack the knowledge on how to get funded for those ideas.

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Arron, you can start by building what is referred to as an investment deck – or a platform from which you can solicit funds from private individuals or non-establishment investors. A deck consists of a detailed business plan, which clearly states the goals and objectives of the business, defines the market in terms of product/service, price, place and promotion, analyzes the competitive landscape, defines the uniqueness, benefits, and features of the new business, describes the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and places this all in a financial context.

If you truly feel passionate about your project and have done your homework on competitive offerings, market acceptance, a preliminary survey of consumers and potential customers it becomes a matter of persuading those with money to get involved. At this stage of development, the established avenues of funding such as banks and other financial institutions cannot be targeted because they are not risk takers and need existential proof of success in the short and long term. Many budding entrepreneurs are prevented from going further, as the money obstacle seems insurmountable to them.

Fortunately, banks are not the sole source of initial funding for a business, and many of the world renown companies started as basement or garage operations that were launched through the help of ordinary individuals or organizations that provide platforms to raise funds.

Friends and relatives – These people know you and hopefully trust you. You will want to minimize the risks to any one person by soliciting money from many individuals in this group.

The Indie approach – In this case, the reference is to the very successful online crowdfunding platforms of which Indiegogo is one of the most prominent players. They have helped raise over a billion dollars in funding for startups in various business categories around the world.

Angel investors – are individuals who have set a personal mission for themselves to aid and incubate new business ideas and concepts. They have a more sophisticated approach to choosing where and how they place their money on risky ventures.

Investment clubs – In most locations, there will be some sort of formal or informal investment club, where people seek peer advice and group market analysis to make investments in stocks and bonds. Members of these clubs are usually less risk-averse and therefore are more likely to welcome a presentation by a local entrepreneur with a good idea and plan.

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