Make the most of the amazing resources on the internet to help you write your business plan and funding pitch and to get your presentation looking slick, but remember this is a great start, not a replacement for knowledge and expertise that you don’t (yet) have.
If you are skilled in many things, but accounting and business financial management is not one of them, own up to it and then point out to potential funders what you are doing to compensate for it. Have an impartial person such as a consultant or advisor review your ideas and complete a financial model, budget and risk assessment. Remember a good advisor will be able to communicate with you in terms you can understand and will want you to be successful and be able to ‘talk to the numbers’, for your benefit as much as any funder.
Be prepared to let potential funders know:
- Who on your team does have the financial skills? This could be a business partner or advisor
- That you have a financial model of your business that demonstrates that your idea is viable
- That you have a detailed start up budget as well as a 3-5 year financial plan and cash flow forecast
- That you have done a risk analysis to assess what could stop you achieving your goals and demonstrate what strategies you will put in place to minimise the impact of them
There is such a buzz with start-ups and funding pitches at the moment, added to by the government’s innovation initiative; what a great time to give it a go. Just remember that confidence is important, but not at the expense of credibility, “she’ll be right mate” is not going to get you over the line. Your credibility is being assessed just as much as your business idea is, so make sure your pitch counts (pun intended).