I developed a business idea which I know is a strong, feasible proposition but, with only having normal jobs, no mummy or daddy to hand me large amounts of cash and no major savings in the bank, I knew that I would need external funds to realise the plan.
Back in March I decided to learn how to be “investment ready” so that my business could grow with the support of some external investment from a bank, Business Angel, private investor or venture capitalist. I went to some excellent courses run by Connect Midlands to understand the process of writing a good, solid business plan and understand the business from an investor’s perspective.
It took me a good eight months to write that business plan with a convincing proposition and a solid set of numbers to show investors. It seems like a long time, but I needed to:
- prove my market
- write realistic figures, but keep them ambitious to make it interesting
- learn the jargon
I went to the bank. Here are the lessons I learned:
- raising funds is a tricky business, even with a solid proposition and plenty of passion to make things happen.
- it’s close to impossible to borrow money from the bank if you are not prepared to secure the investment from assets, such as your own house.
I know everyone is talking about banks not lending but I must admit I was sceptical to believe this, as I fiercely believe that entrepreneurship is vital for the recovery of the economy and it should be supported by the banks.
As a consequence, entrepreneurs have the option of turning to investors/business angels. These investors receive many plans to review. I have now sent my plan to the Growth Investment Network (East Midlands) who have a range of investors in their network. I sent the plan as soon as I felt it was ready and I have to be open to feedback even if it’s hard to take. Fingers crossed.
I have to keep trying, and persevering, believing and visualising that I will be successful in raising the funds I need.
You can find out more about Marcela on the new interactive business website www.inafishbowl.com