Your start-up needs financing. But where do you start? Here’s a few tips from diamond to help you get started...
Draw up a budget based on your business plan and your sales forecast.
diamondtip: don’t just look at your profit and loss. Do a cash flow summary too. Look at both worse case scenario and best case scenario. Be cautious about your sales forecast and look at making provision for stuff going wrong – because it does. Sense test it against what might happen if thing go really right – you may need to fund more acquisition of stock if you are more successful than you anticipate. Build in your payment terms form your clients too.
Decide how much finance you need.
diamondtip: add a contingency buffer. Things may not go to plan – and re-approaching a financier early in your start up can be challenging if you don’t make your numbers.
Finance options are plentiful. They include:
Traditional Bank lending
- Invoice finance
diamondtip: Bank funding tends (not always – its subject to your risk profile) to be cheaper than crowd funding in Kate's experience. There are some VERY good bank rates our there – as long as your proposal is tangible. Banks like to see skin in the game – our new network partners for example are expected to MATCH FUND what a bank will put up – so if you want to get £50k for your start up – start with £25k from your own resources for an easier loan application.
Crowdfunding is a way of raising finance by asking a large number of people each for a small amount of money, using the internet to talk to thousands of potential funders.
Challenger banks - Challenger banks are small, recently-created retail banks in the United Kingdom that compete directly with the longer-established banks in the country
From friends and family at seed round to a variety of series 1 and onwards funders there are lots to choose from. But choose carefully as it can be a demanding relationship.
Private Equity - Private equity is composed of funds and investors that directly invest in private companies
Venture capital - Venture capital (VC) is a type of private equity, a form of financing that is provided by firms or funds to small, early-stage, emerging firms that are deemed to have high growth potential, or which have demonstrated high growth (in terms of number of employees, annual revenue, or both)
Angel Investors - An angel investor is an affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. Angel investors usually give support to start-ups at the initial moments and when most investors are not prepared to back them.
Small business grants are awarded by government and other private organisations to UK small businesses who meet a particular criteria, like starting a business in a specific area to support the local economy or to aid young people in business.
Princes Trust Grants for 18-30 year olds
None of these links are recommendations by diamond unless we have specifically said they’ve been helpful – just a few sources of funding that we know of to help you on the way. Hope this helps your business to grow.