Business owners, especially start-ups ❤ need $ (money) to open or grow a business. There are many ways to get money to open or grow your business. It may NOT BE EASY ❤ but there are many options.
It depends on many factors if your business gets access to money: depends upon your stage, what your product or service is, and how hard you want it (passion, endless nights and days of work and maybe no vacations) and a variety of many other factors including your management team and what you have to put in the game (ie money or sales).
According to a Canadian Venture Capital (many investors pool their money in a pot) company in Montreal, Canada (they have been really nice and helpful thumbs up to Bo) that I work with it’s really important you can identify your Unique Value Proposition clearly!
What’s your unique value proposition(UVP)?
Your unique value proposition is a very clear statement – it communicates how unique your company’s contributions (your products or services) are in line with your market’s challenges and desires (the problem you fix or solve) and reveals how your company provides products and services to your market different than your competitors.
Here are two examples of unique value propositions:
John Reese: Master of online traffic generation Google: Find What You Want Quicker
Amazon: Low price, wide selection with added convenience any time, anywhere
Both of these examples demonstrate that they created product or services around their UVP. (not the other way around) And there’s Facebook – they rock!
Halifax Finance Inc.: Large portfolio of international investors and funders, we work with you to save you time, so you can work on your business. (sorry had to plug my own business)
It’s no accident that Google became the world’s leading search engine. The founders of these examples discovered wide gaps in their markets and communicated that clearly with a business with clear value.
Your UVP may allow you to be the leader in your market for a period of time, but to stay on the top, you must continually improve and change your UVP.
Without a strong UVP your business case may mean NADA (nothing).
For start-ups, if you do not have your own money, try your friends and family, then banks. If you have no luck there are always Angel investors (wealthy individuals).
Angels can be a little finicky and may chose to work with you and invest just because they like you. There are different types of angels- active and non active. Make sure you have the right angel! Active angels can really help your business. They may become your best ally. They usually know the ropes and are very connected with more money as you grow. Silent angels invest for many reasons – usually to make $$$$$$$$$$$$
They want to know you. They want to know your business, how you will make money, or if you have sales. They want to know your UVP. They want to know you have the passion and drive to grow your business (that you will work until it nearly finishes you – surprise entrepreneurs must work really long hours – it’s not a walk in the park). Some have not had vacations for over five years.
They want to know your competitors, your marketplace potential, your skills and what or who you may need in your management team. They are usually very financial savy and know how to make money. Usually, Angels, have been very successful in their own businesses.
What if you are not ready for Angel investing and can not find the money you need to open or grow your business? There are many alternative ways to access money.
There are government investment plans where investors get huge tax breaks. There are immigration programs geared towards investing and bringing in a partner. There are government agencies with many diverse loan and investment programs specific to your area.
There are alternative lenders that will fund your business if you have cash crunches, sales and so on. There’s commercial loans for buildings. There are mortgages (private loans) you may be able to take out on your home. There are many ways to access the money you need to open or grow your business.
Getting access to angels and/or alternative financing can be time consuming so while you’re at it – make some sales! And don’t forget your friends and family cause if they believe in you they may invest.