How do you start a successful company?
First things first: write a business plan. Writing a business plan allows you to organise and structure your ideas. It provides insight into opportunities, competitors, and potential customers. Your plan should describe all of these topics in detail. The next step is to test whether your plans are financially feasible. This part of your business plan is called the financial plan. The financial plan will tell you how much money you may need to borrow to start your business.
A good business plan contains lots of information and inspires you to get started. It answers questions like:
- Who are you as an entrepreneur?
- What are your strengths?
- Who is your target audience?
- Who are your competitors?
- How much money do you need?
Here is a checklist of the most important steps to take when starting your own business.
How can I prepare to raise finance for my new business?
Always look closely at your financial plan when preparing a finance application. This will give you a quick, targeted summary of your financing options. It will also give you the answer to questions like: what financial know-how do I need? How can I get money for my business? How should I pitch my financial plan to investors?
How can I finance my new business?
What options do you have to raise money for your new business? A few years ago, bank loans were the most common form of finance. In recent years, there has been a shift toward a mix of financing options, better known as stack finance. The most common forms of finance for new businesses are microfinance, crowdfunding, SME credit, flash credit, factoring, and leasing. You could have one-third of your business financed by family, friends, and yourself; one-third by microfinance; and one-third by crowdfunding or other outside finance, for example. If you were on financial support before starting your business, you can make use of the Bbz scheme. This scheme offers financial support for self-employed professionals. Bbz benefits consist of an interest-free supplemental benefit to cover living expenses for up to 3 years. You can also use the Bbz benefit as a loan, allowing you to invest in machinery, inventory, or stock. In this case, you do have to pay interest. Does your business aim to tackle social issues and increase prosperity and well-being with innovative products and ideas? In that case, you qualify for Proof-of-concept funding (VFF).
What do money lenders look for?
When you apply for credit, money lenders will look at both hard and soft criteria. Hard criteria relate to your business and how well you justify your plans. Soft criteria relate to you and your entrepreneurial skills. Make sure to put together a good presentation that shows you understand what the financier wants to know.
Where can I go for help?
Financing a business can be complicated. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to one of the KVK Financing Desk advisers. The advisers will help you take stock of your situation and advise you what to do next. Where necessary, they may refer you to other organisations that can provide assistance.
- Bring in an independent adviser.
- Invest your own money if possible.
- Reserve funds for interest and loan repayments.
- Create a mix of finance forms.
- Prepare a good elevator pitch.