Neil Lewis - Innovative Entrepreneur

Solving problems by growing profitable businesses @neil_lewis

Is your business ready for funding and / or growth? – Find out for free…

It might seem a curious thing to ask whether a business is poised for either fast growth and/or funding – but actually, these two questions are very closely connected.

You see, if your business is not poised for fast growth, no one will fund it.

Hence, the first step in getting ‘investment ready’ is to line up your business for fast growth.

Equally, once you have positioned your business to grow quickly, you may find that the cash generation is sufficient to grow the business without investment. Hence, a business that is growing revenues by itself may not require funding after all.

That is why it is important to ask both these questions together – are you poised for funding AND / OR fast growth?

Typically, VCs and business angels have favoured those businesses which are further up the sales cycle – that is, already making sales or (better still) already making profit.

However, there is a balance. A business which is making strong profits has the cashflow strength to fund its own growth and therefore either doesn’t need funding, or can agree terms favourable to the entrepreneur.

The converse is also true, if you don’t have cashflow and no proven sales pipeline, then you will either fail to get investment altogether or have to give up a very large equity stake.

Therefore, the first and foremost task of the entrepreneur is to make his or her enterprise ‘Growth Ready’ and then – and only then – go for investment – if, indeed it still makes sense.

A good example of when investment make sense in this example is when you wish to take your business from regional sales to national or international sales – into new markets – or to purchase equipment which will reduce costs and raise profit margins.

However, it all begins with getting as far down the sales cycle as possible before engaging the investment community. Of course, each business is different but here are 3 key things that you can do right now,

1. Remember, the VC and investment community are looking for low risk ‘lean cost’ businesses to invest in – and engaging with freelance talent is one of the most effective ways to demonstrate your ability to run a lean and highly productive enterprise.

2. Create a ‘cut-down’ version of your product quickly and take it to market to prove that customers want it and will pay for it. If you are concerned about damaging your ‘big hitter product’ then put this under a seperate ‘low cost’ brand – but use the market and marketing knowledge you gain to make the ‘big hitter’ even better

3. Run extreme marketing and sales projects to not only make sales but also prove price points and to learn how your clients will respond. These projects cost from just a few thousand pounds and can deeply enrich your knowledge of how the market will behave and the future profitability of your products and services.

If you do all three of these, then, the investment community is far more likely to take you seriously – not least, because your product and services will be significantly improved by the effort.

========== Offer ==========

Find out – for free – if your business ready for funding and / or growth…

Any Entrepreneur signing up for a ticket to either Liverpool or Cheshire/ Daresbury Enterprise Freelance Fair can benefit from a free ‘Growth and / or Funding Readiness’ review for free.

We promise not only to review your current position but to provide you with at least 3 or more tangible and pratical actions that you can take to improve your growth strategy and / or funding proposition.

In addition, at the next Enterprise Freelance Fairs in Liverpool and Daresbury, we can introduce you to the North West fund managers who could potentially invest in your strengthened business proposition.

Not only that, but our workshops will help you review ways to grow faster, with less cost and reduced funding requirements, by leveraging talented freelancers. And, at the same time, we’ll introduce you to a range of appropriate skill and talent that you could potentially hire and engage to build your freelance teams and grow your business.

Please click here to check out the ‘Investment and / or Growth Ready‘ survey and book your tickets for either Liverpool or Cheshire to get the £99+vat review for free.

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Written by Editor on March 7, 2011 and filed in Entrepreneurs, Featured, Innovative Entrepreneur, Opinion


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