Raising Capital: your 2 minute primer on business plans

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Business plans to raise capital

Does your SME have a business plan? If you’re looking to fundraise for your business, then you will need one. This document should be prepared to raise capital for the company or project in question.

Whilst it describes the existing business (or plans for one), a large part of the document will be dedicated to the funding opportunity, answering questions such as:

  • Why is the business raising capital?
  • How much funding is required?
  • What new products / services are being developed?
  • How does / how will the company make money (i.e. what is the business model)?
  • What will the capital raised be spent on?
  • When / over what time frame are the funds being spent?
  • When will the business start making a profit?

A Business Plan is therefore principally forward looking, with particular emphasis on the company’s growth and how it will be achieved.

The financial section will focus in detail on future revenue streams, costs and future profitability of the business. The figures in the document will normally be underpinned by financial forecasts.

The management team’s credentials, track record and experience will be emphasized to give the potential funders confidence their funds invested are in experienced (hopefully “safe”) hands.

The “Market Overview” section in a Business Plan is likely to be quite detailed to convince the reader of the market opportunity.

There will also be a section covering potential exit routes for the investors, as they will want to know how (and when) they can make their required returns.

The document’s structure will vary, however a typical business plan would include the following sections:

Executive Summary / Investment Highlights

  1. History and Background
  2. Management Team
  3. Market Overview
  4. Existing Products / Services
  5. Planned Product / Services
  6. Financials
  7. Exit Routes
  8. Appendices.

The potential funder is initially sent a short summary of the investment opportunity, called a Teaser.

If the potential funder requires further information, then you should issue a Non-Disclosure Agreement for signing, after which the Business Plan can be released.

Get in touch if you’d like to discuss your plans to raise capital.

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