21 Jun 2019 | 09.58 am
Get Your Business Investor Ready With InterTradeIreland
It all starts with a well-structured business plan
21 Jun 2019 | 09.58 am
It’s vital to be fully prepared if you want to successfully attract investors to your business. Understanding what they look for is a key first step and InterTradeIreland can help you with it, writes Shane O’Hanlon (pictured)
Some 70% of entrepreneurs and investors polled at our recent all-island conference said access to finance has improved in the last five years. However, investor readiness remains a significant challenge. When asked about the main barriers to raising investment support as a startup, 46% said investor readiness was a key challenge, while 38% cited a lack of access to suitable investors or funds as a hurdle.
Investor readiness is the process of getting your business to the point that equity investors are willing to invest in your business.
Attracting equity investors requires an accurate understanding of what the investor is looking for and how the venture will be perceived along those dimensions. This is where the business plan is crucial.
At InterTradeIreland, we have been supporting startups and early-stage businesses for nearly 20 years, and have adopted the business cube methodology to business planning for the last 12 years.
The business cube is a simple and intuitive tool that outlines the key information components that investors look for when evaluating investment opportunities. Therefore, it is a useful guide for startups to address those key issues in which potential investors will have greatest interest.
Components of the Cube
The business plan should be structured as follows:
- Executive Summary
- Business Overview
- Market Opportunity
- Industry & Competition
- Product or Service Proposition
- Marketing Plan
- Management Team
- Key Risks
- Financial Plan
- Exit Strategy
To download your free copy of the Business Cube click HERE (you will find the document in the downloads section towards the bottom of the page). This document will provide you with simple recommendations regarding the specific content for each of the sections outlined above and how to determine how much weighting should be afforded to each.
Hints and Tips
- A considerable amount of information is required in a business plan.
- Pay particular attention to presentation – first impressions are important. Approximately 95% of business plans are rejected often because their presentation lets them down.
- Be frank – if you misrepresent something, the astute reader will see through it and will not be impressed.
- Make every effort to sustain the reader’s attention from start to finish.
- Ensure the logic, proposals and assumptions are consistent throughout your business plan.
- Do not underestimate the time taken between presenting the business plan and receiving the required finance. Depending on the type of finance required, the delay could be anything from a few weeks to several months.
Enter the 2019 Seedcorn Competition
InterTradeIreland’s Seedcorn competition mirrors the real-life investment process, and can greatly improve your ability to attract investment for your business by helping you and your business become investor ready.
The competition is aimed at early and new start companies that have a new equity funding requirement, and has a total cash prize fund of €280,000. The closing date for applications is 31 May 2019. Find out more at www.intertradeireland.com/Seedcorn
+ Shane O’Hanlon is Funding for Growth Manager at InterTradeIreland