6 months of trying to kill your idea hasn’t worked has it? It’s just wedged itself in your brain and you’ve made it better. You’ve found something that’s got legs and that little voice inside your head has got louder, telling you, no demanding that you DO MORE to bring it to life.
But you need capital to get it off the ground. Where do you start?
Well hopefully here. The aim of this is to give you links to funding, offer some advice and get you looking for phone numbers or email addresses right after reading. Why wait, after all ‘it has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime, what better place than here, what better time than now’ (RATM, Guerila Radio, 1999). Nothing quite like a quick read and a kick up the bum eh?
MAKE YOUR IDEA PRESENTABLE
The first step is to get your idea presentable – demonstrate your vision, who want’s to buy into something they don’t understand? Make it clear what it is you are doing.
Open a new browser window right now and type ‘business plan template’ into the search engine, then come back. You can have a look at the listed examples later and they will help to refine your idea into something a little more presentable.
Once you have your business plan down, you need to define the type of business it is. For example are you going to be a sole trader or a limited company. Social enterprises are very cool, reinvesting a percentage of profit into positive social change. There are over 70,000 social enterprises throughout the UK that contribute approximately £24 billion into the economy. Who are social enterprises likely to buy from? Yeah, other social enterprises, it feels good. Something to think about..
Ok, so now you’ve done a little bit more research and you know what type of business you are, what next?
LOCAL COUNCIL SUPPORT
Why not get on your local council’s website to see what resources they have. It’s not a crazy idea, why wouldn’t they want growing businesses within their community? It pays them to support growing business, literally. They are also probably the best networkers in your area, all businesses have to interact with them in some capacity so you will usually find that they are a wealth of wisdom – able to point you to opportunistic directions. What’s more, they also have budget to support businesses, maybe even directly. Does yours add value to them? Can it?
Take a look at crowd funding websites the top ones in the UK are: Crowdfunder, Kickstarter, Crowdcube & Seedrs. Crowd funding backers want cool things before anyone else. It is a community driven budget raising platform, therefore you are already essentially marketing your company. If your idea is super cool (or is presented that way), it has a good chance of succeeding getting the required budget. There is a wealth of information on these websites and via a Google search in how to create a good pitch to give it a good chance. Click this link to start your research.
Angel Investors are usually a group of individuals who meet up every so often to hear pitches. A sort of Dragons Den but without all the silly bits. Quite rightly, they demand that you have a good business plan for your good idea. However, it is also a great forum to get feedback and potentially support to further refine what your business is or could be. Finally, the coaching you can get from Angel Investors is great. It’s in their best interest for it to succeed after all.
You might want to go it alone, it’s understandable, it is your idea after all and you don’t want any unscrupulous so and so taking it. However if you are feeling out of your depth in terms of starting out you may find a like minded business or director who is looking to increase their offering. What if your idea completely complements an existing business? What if their customers are likely to buy into your idea? A pre-existing engaged audience is better than an audience of zero! So can a deal be struck? Worth exploring maybe..
There is a wealth of opportunity for the start-up business in the UK. 2016 was a record year of over 650,000 new business startups, you are definitely not alone and unsupported. If you can present your idea in a way that is easily understood and a couple of the options listed above are relevant, then you are already on your way. That voice in your head getting louder?? Do it, then DO MORE.