You have an amazing new innovative idea that is going to solve all the world’s problems with a new tech product. You are going to be the next Uber or Snapchat and make billions. But there is one tiny problem. Your bank balance looks a bit more Oliver Twist than Bill Gates. So, what can you do?
Here are our top 5 tips for getting your business up and running as soon as possible.
Go and visit your friendly local bank manager. Bank lending figures continue to fall, thousands of entrepreneurs are looking for alternative sources of funding to get their businesses off the ground. But your traditional route to funding is not a lost cause. Putting together a business plan for a bank is a good exercise to do and will help you to work out your strategy, be clear about your market, and understand how much money you need and for what. So, don’t discount this as a first option.
Start Up Loan
If you are starting a new business you may be eligible for a government-backed Start Up Loan. These are unsecured personal loans of up to £25,000 that must be used for business purposes and a repayable at fixed 6% interest p.a.
To apply for a loan you must have, or plan to start, a business that hasn’t been trading for more than 2 years. Loans are available from 1 to 5 years; there’s no application fee and no early repayment fee. You’ll also get free support and guidance to help write your business plan, and 12 months of free mentoring.
Getting money off people you knew for a business used to be a small-scale affair using mainly friends and family. But now there is a whole industry around crowdfunding with several major platforms used for all manner of new business ideas.
One of the great strengths of crowdfunding is the buzz it can create. Just releasing your idea on a crowdfunding website can be a promotional tool and lead to press coverage, with repeated stories when you hit your targets.
Crowdfunding relies on lots of small investments from individual people who connect with your product; often as an inventor you will be front and centre of the campaign. All this is great publicity for you and your fledging business, allowing people to buy into the idea of being there from the start.
A crucial part of any crowdfunded campaign is offering something in return, possibly a version of the final product in return for the investment. Not only will you have a group of readymade customers but as early adopters they will be ready to show off their new gadget to anyone who will listen. The best kind of marketing there is!
Minimum viable product
The way businesses make money is by selling their products so the quicker you can get your business up and running the better.
Have a think about what you really need to start selling. You need a functioning product, but does it need a graphic designer to work on the packaging? Do you really need a fancy website, or can you make do with selling through Facebook to begin with?
Tech companies like Facebook are continually updating and improving their product and this constant change means they never have a “final” product.
What can you strip out of your product to test the market as quickly and as cheaply as possible? Having a minimum viable product means you should need less money for set-up, and once you get the money rolling in you should find it easier to attract further investment.
Call The Growth Hub
The best thing all businesses can do if they want to kick start their tech business is to call us here at The Growth Hub. We offer an independent and impartial review of your business which includes looking at the challenges, opportunities, and available options to help you to reach your goals. There may be specific grants or funding options for your business that you don’t have time to research – we will do the hard work for you. And because it is publicly funded it’s free and completely impartial. So get in touch, and let us help you to get your business off to a rocket start.