You’ll likely have many questions in your first few days, months, and even years in your journey of entrepreneurship. Luckily, you’ve found a talented pool of mentors and a thriving community at MicroMentor, where guidance is readily available to move your business concept forward and access the financial backing you need to make those dreams a reality.
While MicroMentor is here to help you strategize your business, we do not fund your business-- this part is up to you. Figuring out the funding process is a common struggle that many entrepreneurs face on the path to their dream business.
Although materializing those lofty financial aspirations can seem daunting, do not be afraid. There are many steps you can take to find the business funding you need.
You’ll need resources to help you actualize your business plan. It is essential to consider how you will encounter and handle financial difficulties you may encounter in your journey into business. You are determined, and you have gotten this far; arm yourself with the strategy that will help you thrive.
Remember, just a few key elements can unlock the door to untapped financial potential. These doors can begin to open through the power of mentorship and the resources your mentor can help you find. All you will need is a sense of drive and determination and the willingness to ask questions and listen to your mentor’s advice.
Financial planning for entrepreneurs can be simple if you follow a few key concepts.
Your first steps in becoming organized and driven? Figure out how to finance your business strategy. Develop a budget.
Read everything you can find to learn more about financial planning for small or start-up businesses.
There is a never-ending ocean of resources available online. Consider academic databases or university websites to explore your ideas about your business’s financial security.
These are trusted sources of information and can offer you a lot of information you may not have known previously about the specifics of financial programs. Make sure you select your sources carefully; you’ll want to look into the writers who have crafted this advice. Make sure what you are reading is worthy of your time and investment.
Use what you learn here so these guidelines can educate you about the details of your finances. In addition, look into grant or funding opportunities enacted by your local or federal government. The less you have to pay back in your operations costs, the better.
Think about who could be a potential investor, get their contact information, and schedule a meeting.
Many monetary resources are not highly advertised or commonly known. Therefore, it will benefit you to do your research and see what available avenues you may be able to take advantage of to help your business head in the right direction.
In this case, it would be very helpful for you to consider your cost of operations, materials, and other business-related expenses. Then, make a budget so you will be able to present detailed financial information to potential investors.
The more prepared you are to discuss the financial details and possibly sensitive information about your business, the more serious you will seem to those possible partners and investors.
Plan Accordingly Where You Can
Ultimately, there will be some aspects of your business plan that will be difficult to predict. So often, in the beginning phases, entrepreneurs feel like they are thrown “wildcards.”
A wildcard in this context simply means that there can be many different variables that are difficult to predict or control in starting a business. The solution is to be prepared. Expect wildcards. If you anticipate and plan for a failed marketing plan or an investor not following through, for example, you can recover much faster.
The adage of expecting the unexpected can ring true, especially in the early stages of entrepreneurship. However, you can combat the unexpected by making sure you are speaking to the correct customer base. Think about the audience for your product or service early on the planning stages of your business. If you can address them adequately, you will position your business in a way that is the most effective in reaching your financial goals and growing your company.
Customers purchase goods and services because they see value in them. Therefore, the first step toward a successful strategy is to define how and for whom you intend to produce value. This entails determining who your customers are.
You should ask yourself: Who are my products or services working for? How am I positioning my business to best target this audience?
Your clients can be classified by various factors, including age, region, interests, and the specific product they are interested in. Do not underestimate the power of addressing and harnessing the audience that is interested in what you have to offer.
Now is the Time to Think about Loans and Investors
The logistical side of financial planning for entrepreneurs is about getting the money you need for all your startup expenses and still managing to, at least, break even. Depending on the nature of your business needs, this could vary in a few different ways.
According to Harvard Business School, Another option for obtaining sufficient startup funding is to apply for a small business loan. Prepare a business plan, value proposition, expense report, and financial projections for the next five years before applying to banks and credit unions.
When assessing your application, most banks and credit unions will need a combination of these documents.
Make sure to analyze the benefits and drawbacks of any offer you receive. For example, which option provides you with the best interest rate? What are the terms and conditions of the agreement?
Suppose you have difficulty managing your finances and maintaining consistent routines or need help deciphering in-depth financial rates and services. Schedule a meeting with your mentor. Make it a point to discuss your audience or who the product or service is intended to serve. Many mentors have experience in this very area and will be excited to help guide you.
As a part of the MicroMentor entrepreneur community, you have a system of support behind you to help you identify where your business is now, where you want to head, and how you can access the financing to help you achieve your goals.