Raising Money

How to get your customers to fund your business start-up

While “entrepreneur” may occasionally be a euphemism for “out of work”, there are more and more individuals working in earnest to start a business of their own. Indeed, statistics show no fewer than 400 million such individuals globally, with over 2 million in the UK and 20 million in the US.

Sadly, many of these ventures will never get off the ground at all. Of those that do, the majority will fail. Of those who submit business plans to venture capital investors, less than one percent will get the funding they seek.

Those elite few who do raise finance have to give away large portions of their company and control in return. Worse still, many business founders who do receive venture capital money get fired within a year of the investment.

Despite the challenge of raising money, and the serious potential downsides, there is a widespread notion that if you are an entrepreneur looking to build a successful, growing business, you need to write a business plan and raise a few million pounds. But this vision is essentially wrong.
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Raising finance for your business

To raise money to grow your business, you have to convince likely lenders that your idea is profitable, or at least has the potential to be.

Here, we take a look at two the two key elements that should drive your search for funding;

  1. The different types of finance available
  2. What lenders and investors look for in businesses

This guide helps you to understand more about the main types of business finance available, and also highlights what investors and lenders look for in a business before they lend it money.

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How to get your business ready to sell – 10 things to do before you put up the for sale sign

So you want to sell your business? The place where you’ve spent more time than with your family; invested money which you’ve sometimes had to borrow in order to expand or buy new equipment; given your heart and torn out your guts; worked anywhere from 60 – 80 hours a week, maybe more; tackled a recession and seen a chink of light at the other end.

Now think of decorating a room. Any professional will tell you it’s 80% preparation and 20% finish. I wouldn’t go quite that far, but the planning is all important when it comes to selling. (more…)

5 things you should know if you want to attract business angels

Angel investors can be a lifesaver for a small enterprise – not only can they supply capital investment, but they often have years of valuable experience to offer a fledgling business.

As viewers of Dragons’ Den will know, securing angel investment is no easy task. Although much of the BBC show is put on for our entertainment, many of the business owners who appear on the show make the same fundamental mistakes.

Here are five things you must consider if you are seeking investment from a business angel; (more…)

£100 million business funding scheme now open to all high growth potential companies

The Angel CoFund, which provides investment capital for businesses with the potential for rapid growth, can now be tapped by companies from all over the UK.

Previously, only high-growth businesses in specific geographical areas of the UK were eligible for funding through the CoFund. However, a £50 million finance boost from the government’s Business Bank initiative sees the fund being opened to businesses from all parts of the UK.
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What are business angels and how they can help your business?

Although it may not reflect ‘real life’, the BBC’s Dragons’ Den programme has done a good job in highlighting the role that angel investors play in the business world.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the ongoing economic downturn has actually resulted in an increase in business angel activity. As the returns from more traditional means of investing dwindles, some investors are more prepared to invest in riskier propositions rather than watching their capital increase by 2% per annum elsewhere. (more…)

Top 10 business finance tips for start-ups

When you are starting a new business you have a million and one things to think about. As a new business owner, many of the issues you will need to tackle, will be completely unfamiliar to you.

With so much to do, you will need to learn quickly. If the financial side of the business isn’t your strong point, here are 10 tips from ByteStart to help you stay on top of your business finance.
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Top tips on how to impress business angels

At ByteStart, we have come across hundreds of would-be entrepreneurs over the past decade. We have also had the pleasure of meeting plenty of angel investors and industry insiders.

If you have a fledgling business, or an idea that you think you can turn in to a viable business, you might want a business angel to help fund it. But before you charge ahead, here are 9 tips on what you need to do to impress business angels and potential investors.
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What are Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs)?

Launched in 1995, shortly after the introduction of the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), Venture Capital Trusts allow individuals to invest in a range of small unquoted companies and spread their risk. Income tax and capital gains tax (CGT) reliefs are available to investors in VCTs.
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Overview of the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)

Created in 1994, the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) provides investors with a series of attractive reliefs in return for investing in unquoted companies which may carry a higher degree of risk. How do companies and potential investors qualify to take part in the Scheme?
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Valuing a small business – issues for you to consider when selling your company

Stock market quoted companies are valued according to widely accepted formulas, however there are no ‘standard’ ways to value small or micro businesses. This can cause real difficulties when it comes to buying and selling a small business, as the buyer and seller often have very different opinions on what the business is worth.

With this in mind, we look at some of the valuation issues that may arise if you are planning to sell your business, and how you can overcome them.
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How to fund your business – Overview

One of the least exciting things about starting your own business is getting the finances sorted out (unless you’re an accountant of course).

But it is one of the most important tasks. It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do – if the money runs out, your business is dead.
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Top tips for business grants

The best business idea is no good if you don’t have the finance to make it a reality. And if you need to get that money from elsewhere, business grants can be a great option.

However, you’ll need to convince the provider that you’re worth the investment – so here are ten top tips for business grants;
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An introduction to business grants

With about 850 business grants available in the UK, either from national organisations or via the European Union’s various forms of business support, and a further 3,000 or more local authority grants, enterprise funding sources, economic development providers and other regional bodies, companies have plenty of choice when it comes to seeking business grants.
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Buying a business – the pros and cons

When most people talk about starting a business, they mean setting up a company from scratch.

In many respects, that’s one of the hardest ways to get going in business, as you have to do everything for the first time and make some pretty hard decisions along the way.
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