Step one – Don’t panic, it’s not as bad as you think
While raising investor funding has many requirements, most of which are spelt out in jargon that only they understand, it is usually simple information which is required. If you are running a business, the information is probably easily available. However, if you are starting a new business, you may have to search out information or apply yourself to creating that information.
Step two – When in doubt, ask
The typical document that you will require to approach a funder is a business plan. There are numerous business plan guides available online and most of these guides cover similar topics. These will give you a general idea as to what the business plan entails.
But you will also need some specifics. So, in addition to following a business plan guide, we recommend that you give the prospective funder a call and ask them what they specifically require in the business plan. They will usually give you a list of things. This list may contain jargon, so read through it and clarify anything that you are unsure about. Time is of the essence, so the last thing you want to do is spend time preparing items that are not necessary to start the funding discussion.
Step three – Submit the application
Once your business plan is ready, submit it to your potential funder for screening. They will check if it meets their funding mandate and focus areas. You may also have to set up an introductory meeting to explain the proposal to the funder. Thereafter, typically, the funder would need a bit of time to work through the business plan before getting back to you with a reply. Expect that to take between one and two weeks.
Step four – What? They need more information!
You wrote a brilliant business plan that is crystal clear but the funder needs more information. Do not be frustrated, this is a good sign. The potential funder is looking into the details of the plan to understand if it really fits their mandate and if they should proceed. Hopefully, if you’ve followed step 2, there won’t be too much additional information required. Do your best to prepare the information and send it ASAP.
Step 5 – They said “yes, we’re interested” – now the real hard work begins
Great news, they are interested. You’ve gotten through the first hurdle. The next step is a due diligence process where your business is checked out from top to bottom.
- Keep the business plan to 20-pages or less. Why? Simply because 20-pages or less can be read within an hour. The person screening your business plan probably cannot spare more than that amount of time on one business plan. So, if the business plan is short, it has a good chance of being read thoroughly. If it’s long, it will be in the inbox for a while.
- From your point of view as a funding applicant, a page limit will help you to write a business plan that is concise and which gets to the heart of business. That will help get your business model across to the funder effectively.
How can we help you?
- Sometimes there are more opportunities than there is capital available.
- As professional investors and entrepreneurs, we understand this challenge. We can help you to analyze and prioritize investment opportunities and then raise the funds needed to actualize it.
- We can help you to access business networks and to raise capital directly from us or wider pool of investors.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation.