I am often asked by entrepreneurs how I have continued to allow funds to flow allowing me to support families. I believe getting the basics right will help. Here are 5 top tips for leader and for those businesses who want to develop a charity arm to support their community. Make smart choices.
- Get the right people on your Board
Funders like to see you have a good board which should consist of good expertise in your area of finance and business. It is important that they understand your vision and are willing to support it as a critical friend during the process. Funders need to see how often you meet and how much thought has gone into various development streams of your business. Funders often want to know about individuals on the board such as what they do for a living and how they can move the business forward. Funders like to see competence and character on your board
- Pick the right funder for your vision
Over 60% of funding applications fail because of you applied to the wrong funder in the first place. There is no point in choosing a funder who only deals with charities if you are a Community Interest Company or sole trader. Only seek funders relevant for your industry, then you will be more likely to obtain successful funds.
- How well are you networking to fund your business?
Funders speak to other funders and more importantly they want to know who they will be funding. The want to know they can trust you and that you will deliver what you said you would. Networking is vital and going to events will be beneficial to you and your funders; Go to events where funders are to understand their needs as well as yours. Be prepared to do an elevator pitch at any time to show how much you need to be funded. Your pitch can get you through the door and your character will keep your business going.
- Build on your small business successes to bring in more funds.
Do a small project like a pilot which shows funders how profitable your idea is. Funders will invest in good projects but its your job to convince them. Short term wins will give you long term investments.
- Fill out the funding application correctly.
It’s a known fact that 64% of funding bids are unsuccessful because the proposal was not financially viable. State clearly what you need and avoid being greedy. Funders know when your trying to pull the wool over their eyes.
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