The best way will depend on where you are doing the business and seeking investors. There are many complications with that. If you're seeking investors in Africa they likely have their own ways of doing things; then do that. I wouldn't even pretend to know whether a serious US investor could or would back an overseas startup, but if they did it would probably require demonstration of a proven market, I.e. you'd have to sell some first. Despite TV shows, serious money no longer goes for ideas that are still just ideas.
ik would love to support you and please take a look at blog for a basic template to inspire your potential business partner.
Stay always up to date via Facebook.com/1nspiring
Please let me know if it was useful to you?!
with entrepreneurial regards, Bart Jenezon
Every time you ask for money, you need to consider what is in it for them (WIIFT), and how would your proposal help them. Of course you are asking for money from a potential investor, so they have to be interested in how much return will they get, and how would you be able to pay them back. There should be no difference for a business loan if you're asking a family member, a childhood friend, or a bank. If you need the money for a business it should be treated as a business. I have one quick article with some other tips that you can read here http://wp.me/p3vX7l-2Y
The first thing you need to do is develop a business plan to insure that you have addressed all the possible questions an investor will need to know. Second, once you have your business plan done then you must work on a clear, concise, and simple presentation of your value proposition i.e. what is better, faster, cheaper, about your new mobile technology. You may also want to get: Guidebook to Planning - A Common Sense Approach, available on Amazon.
Real Estate has location, location, location. Investing has ROI, ROI, ROI. There is no other line beyond the bottom line if you aren't saving the planet.
The top three reasons Angel's invest in a business are
1. A need to have fun
2. A desire to give something back
Make sure you can articulate what your business is about and that an investor will have a great time if they choose to get involved.
You should use business plan on Line , like business in Box .com , or live business Plan
Jambo Violet, First of all I would like to wish you good luck on every step of this process. Trust me you need it. I have gone through the answers and everything that you need to write on piece of paper is there. However I would like to share my experience with you when I was doing the same not so long ago.
The Exit Strategy: I met approximately 50+ investors and all of them had one common question, "What is your Exit Strategy?". When you go for an outside investment, the investor will make money only when you sell the business. Investors are not interested in the dividends. They want to get 5 times the money they gave you in 3-5 years (unless your business has the potential to become Google or Microsoft).
Choice of Investor: This is really important. I recommend do not follow every investor because they love to invest in the sector that they know the best. This is common sense. Also this will save your time as well.
VC/Investor vs Crowd Funding Platforms: Now a days we can raise money from a group of small investors through crowd funding platforms. I recommend this should be your last option if you tech product is for B2B. In my opinion you always need someone to guide you and help you in growing the company. When you go to VCs and sole investors usually they are in a better position to help you or they can get you in touch with some relevant person through their personal network.
Assuming that you want to capture the Kenyan/East African market, I think you have good potential there. I have worked with Safaricom in Nairobi and I know they are always keen to offer new services to their customers.
Please be ready for a tiring and length process. Writing a business plan is an iterative process. I would recommend that you produce the first version asap and discuss it with some investor. Incorporate their feedback in the plan and show it to the next investor and so on. You will feel that with every run you will also become clearer about your own business! And please do not feel dejected when investors say no to you. In UK/London market, investors are investing in 1 out of 1500 business ideas that they come across. Good luck!
Hello. The key is to have a business plan that lays out what you want to do. It should start with a one line description of what you want to do. It should have a financial model that includes expected expenses, revenue and profit. It should also include why you are uniquely qualified for this business - what makes you better than anyone else. There is a lot more to it, but those are the basics.
Your presentation should include a product overview as well as the problem that it solves. You will also want copies of patents and/or patent pending; information as to target demographic, product market, and competition; cost to make the product vs.retail; sales figures since inception; how you plan to market the product; and how you plan to pay back the money.
This may sound silly, but you may want to watch Shark Tank. You will have the opportunity to observe the way business owners deliver presentations to investors as well as the types of questions investors will ask you during your presentation.
A good business proposal will include the following
Current Company Profile
Goals, Mission, Line & Staff, Success Factors, Key Financial Information (projections 2, 3,4 years), Strengths, weakness, Strategic Advantages
Customer description, needs & wants, how you will be meeting the customer needs and wants:
Product or service attributes
Product or service differentiation
Competitor identification, market share, Market segmentation, Product / Service Quality & price, Strengths & Weaknesses, Key objectives, Contingency plans
Violet...My experience is to keep it simple at first...A plan for an investor is similar to your business plan...but with the added focus on how the investor is going to benefit.They are investing in you AND the business idea...if you don't have a lot of legitimacy to stand behind you, then they'll establish your quality from the quality of the business idea and your ability to communicate the value to them.
I tend to agree with Cates high level view regarding headings, one thing I would add that a lot of investers and interested parties will be looking for is that you know your market, that being said spend a good amount of time putting a section together in your proposal explaining your position in the market, target consumers or businesses and how that is going to translate in to market sectors and market share control. If it is a consumer product it is always good to include some of your generated statistics and market research. Good luck
Hi Violet, Have a Fact sheet at the very outset which is a summary and gives all the critical and important details. The proposal in itself must address a Need, A Demand and existence of such a Need into the near future ( atleast 2-3 years). Once that is done then you need to match that need with your product as to how the two align; Need satisfaction, Willingness of the customer to pay for that product etc. at some point there should be a statistical projection based on your research ( tangible research where you have hard copies!) to forecast approximate market size, price points, entry points, exit strategy and Risk Mitigation- i.e. whats your Plan B if Plan A fails.
Hi Violet, I believe that everyone that responded to your question has provided you with some great business advice. But you must also remember that a loan process really comes down to answer three basic questions, which would probably be asked by the investor or a lender. These questions are as followed: 1. How much money do you need? 2. What do you need the money for? How and when will you pay it back? And lastly, investors would likely want to see the same financial documents as a lender, which may include: Income statement, cash flow, balance sheet, business tax returns, accounts receivable and accounts payable information. I hope this information is able to help you with your investment decision making process.
I will just make a few comments and hopefully they will help.
1. Proposal depends on who and kind of investor you are seeking.
2. Most Investors regards of 1., want to see a product cost/profit, planned operations including marketing, and sales projections of which they would like to see real numbers if possible to so evaluations can be made. Investor focus is ROI (return of investment) primarily in short time and growth afterwards.
3. I think you product sounds like mobile accessories which have flooded the market by smartphone manufacturers and people like yourself. If you have a real niche in this area, keep it under wraps, patent it if you need too and do small marketing studies after that and maybe some sales. Investors like tat.
4. In a nutshell:
- who is the target audience and why are they willing to buy your product
- cost of you product versus sale price and all operating costs versus current plus projected sales
- strategic (short term) plans and longer term plans in selling your products
There are more, but I think this is core to what you need.
Check out Dragon's Den on TV too.
Prepare the Prospectus, that's what we do for our clients, after writing for them the business plans
I would advise you to clearly state your value proposition, intended market sectors, current and potential number of users of the products, estimated return on investment for x amount. Leave your marketing strategy detail for more in-depth discussion with qualified potentials.
I woud ask myself, "What would a potential investor for a new business be looking for?
What would they want to see that would impel them to want to invest in your venture?
Placing yourself in the investors shoes and writing a proposal from that prospective may give some insights.
Another action one can do is to ask potential investors how THEY would write a proposal for the product in question. Tell them all about the product and let THEM write the proposal essentially. You might be surprised how many would actually sell themselves the idea then, as they would then be looking for reasons to invest rather than reasons not to invest.
Buy a book. There are books on starting your own business. You need more help than can be answered here. www.sba.gov www.score.org