How to Make a Startup Funding Request?

A funding request is a critical element that increases your chance of getting approved for funding.

Are you thinking about starting your own business? If so, you’ll need the funds to turn your vision of a profitable venture into a reality. While some entrepreneurs have personal cash and assets to fund their businesses, most require assistance from outside sources. You need to make a funding request to raise funding for a startup. Here’s how to write your funding request and get the cash to run your business.

What is Startup Funding?

Funding refers to the money required to start and run a business. It is a financial investment in a company for product development, manufacturing, expansion, sales and marketing, office spaces, and inventory. Many startups choose not to raise funding from third parties and are funded by their founders only (to prevent debts and equity dilution). However, most startups raise funding, especially as they grow and scale their operations.

Why Do Startups Require Funding?

A startup might require funding for one, a few, or all of the following purposes. An entrepreneur must be clear about why they are raising funds. Founders should have a detailed financial and business plan before they approach investors.

1. Prototype Creation

2. Product Development

3. Team Hiring

4. Working Capital

5. Legal and Consulting Services

6. Raw Materials and Equipment

7. Licenses and Certifications

8. Marketing and Sales

9. Office Space

10. Admin Expenses

What is a Funding Request?

A funding request is exactly what it sounds like: a written request to obtain funding from a lender or investor for your business. It’s typically included as part of the overall business plan, specifically focusing on the business’s funding needs. You should create a funding request whether you’re seeking capital from a traditional bank, private investor, angel investor, or any external source. It’s a critical element that increases your chance of getting approved for funding.

How to Make a Funding Request?

Below are the key points that you should include in your funding request.

1. Business Summary

A business summary is only required in cases when you create a funding request as a standalone document. The name and nature of the company, location, brief description of the owners, product or service offered, target audiences, etc., must be included in the summary. In cases of established companies, you can also highlight past achievements.

However, the business summary may be skipped if the reader (potential lender) happens to have the entire document to hand.

2. Spell Out What You Need

When it comes to the funding section of your business plan, there’s no point beating around the bush because the reader will know what you’re there for and may not have the time to play games trying to figure out your ask. So, in this section, you need to give a ballpark figure of the total funding required at the moment and whether the company plans to raise capital again sometime soon. You must also specify if the company is looking for a short-term loan or an investment in exchange for an equity stake or board membership.

3. An Outline of How You Will Use The Funds

If you know how much money you need, it’s safe to say that you’ll have an idea about how you will use the funds.

However, only provide an outline of your plans. If you’re going to be using it for several different reasons, perhaps dividing it into several areas of your business, take the time to outline each use and explain how much will go towards it.

Give lenders or investors details on how you will use the funds to grow your business and repay the loan or make good on the investment.

4. Financial Information

The financial information section is only required in cases when you create a funding request as a standalone document. In case a business plan is being prepared, all information will be covered under the financial information section of the plan.

This section includes data such as income statements, debt repayment history, and forecasts about future needs. Any activities that may negatively or positively impact the company’s ability to repay loans or deliver results promised, such as relocation, expansion, or mergers and acquisitions, need to be included here.

5. Terms and Conditions

The terms section covers how the company expects to repay a loan or produce deliverables for investors. You must provide lenders with a potential exit plan from the company, which may include cash outs or Initial Public Offering (IPO) plans. The process is of utmost importance from the investor’s perspective, as it provides them with a chance to minimize risk and maximize their profit.

 Pro Tip: Be Professional

Being professional should go without saying, but it’s of the utmost importance when communicating with lenders or investors. Being professional is not just about appearance or word choice. It can also include small details, like tone or grammar.

If you plan to mail your funding request, make sure you complete everything digitally instead of by hand. Typed forms are more professional and generally more legible for others to review. Do you have any letterhead for your business? If so, use it for any cover letters you submit with the request.

Review the funding request for any errors before submitting it. Consider using word or grammar correction software to help catch any potential mistakes.

Conclusion

Getting money to fund your business may very well be the point of creating your entire business plan and funding request, so take the time to carefully prepare your funding request. Make sure you include all the information a decision-maker will need.

Five Steps to a Successful Product Launch

A well-planned product launch strategy can also help improve the company’s reputation.

So you have aced the task of identifying and developing a product you believe in. So, what’s next? Do you want to launch it to market? Well, launching a new product is no easy feat!

Countless new product and service ideas are conceived every year. But most ideas fail to succeed because they’re not brought to the market properly.

If you think having a recognizable brand name guarantees the success of a product, you’re most certainly mistaken. Many highly recognized companies failed the product launch step, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and Amazon Fire Phone.

On the contrary, other well-known brands have been a raving success with product launches, including Apple, Google, and Under Armour. Then there are brands we had never heard of before but suddenly became household names due to successful product launches. These include Magnum Icecream and FiberOne.

Planned Product launch strategy can also help improve the company’s reputation
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How to Conduct a Market Survey?

Whether you are starting a new product and want to estimate demand or changing an existing product and want to find out acceptance in the market for this product, a market survey is the best way forward.

You may have a great idea for a product or service, but before you go any further, first make sure there’s a market for it.

Quite simply, you must conduct a market survey.

Market surveys collect data about a target market such as pricing trends, customer requirements, competitor analysis, and other details.

Most marketing managers depend on market surveys to collect information that would catalyze the market research process. Also, the feedback received from these surveys can be contributory to product marketing and feature enhancement.

In this article, we explore the concept of a market survey and enlist the steps you need to take to conduct a market survey for your product/business.

Whether you are starting a new product and want to estimate demand or changing an existing product and want to find out acceptance in the market for this product, a market survey is the best way forward.
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Conducting Market Research: A Guide

Today, we live in a consumer-driven world, and businesses face cut-throat competition to survive and succeed in the market.

A company cannot succeed without understanding the consumer’s needs and behavior, so it relies on intensive backend market research. Market research not only tells a company what to produce, but it also tells how to present the product to the consumer. Work doesn’t end here. Once the product is out in the market, market research is conducted to gather information about customer feedback so that the company can make necessary changes to increase its reach.

If you’re new to market research, this guide will provide a blueprint for conducting a thorough study of your market, target audience, competition, and more.

A company cannot succeed without understanding the consumer’s needs and behavior, so it relies on intensive backend market research
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Steps to take an idea to market

While a good business idea will have an impact on all phases of a company’s development, other entrepreneurial efforts also play a role in shaping the future.

Everything begins as an idea. Whether you’re in business, school, jail, or debt, that’s how it all gets rolling. But what is the true significance of an idea? An idea is a thought or collection of thoughts generated in the mind. Ideas often form during brainstorming sessions or through discussions.

All world-changing events and great success stories can be traced back to a single idea. But don’t fall into the belief that having a great idea is all you need. If you have a great idea, then you’ve completed the first step of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Now you need to work on turning that idea into a reality by taking it to market and letting your business change the world.

A business idea is a starting point for any current or future entrepreneur. It is necessary because it marks the start of a new life – the life of a business and an entrepreneur.

While a good business idea will have an impact on all phases of a company’s development, other entrepreneurial efforts also play a role in shaping the future.

This post covers all the necessary steps for an entrepreneur to take an idea to the market.

A business idea impacts the overall development of the company.
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How to Know if a Product is Marketable?

You might think your product or service will sweep the market away, but without having a foundation of information about your customer’s wants and needs, you can’t know if your product will do well.

Thousands of new products launch every month. Yet only a fraction of those gets enough traction to be considered successful.

Knowing whether or not your product will sell is one of the biggest questions in marketing. You might think your product or service will sweep the market away, but without having a foundation of information about your customer’s wants and needs, you can’t know if your product will do well.

In this article, we explore the concept of product marketability and ways to know whether your product is marketable.

What Is Product Marketability?

Marketability is essentially a measure of whether a product will appeal to buyers and sell at a set price range to generate a profit.

Marketing techniques include public relations, advertising, trade shows, collateral production, and other functions such as product quality assurance and documentation.

Product developers should complete a marketability evaluation before attempting to market products. Doing so helps marketing managers and other executives determine whether the product is marketable in the current and future market.

4 Ways to Know if Your Product is Marketable

When starting a business one of the big questions you’ll want the answer to is, “How can I know if my product will sell?”

There are several ways to know if your product will sell before creating it. These methods don’t guarantee success but will dramatically increase your odds.

Conduct Market Research

Researching to determine if there is a market for your business is key to successfully selling your product.

We recommend you do some market research before devoting too much time and money to the business. Conducting market research can help you learn how many consumers or businesses could use the product. Once you’ve determined the demand for your product, ensure that it can be made and supplied at a low enough cost that your retail pricing is affordable. It can also help you assess your competitors, which will exist regardless of how unique you believe your innovation is.

Listen to the Market

If you are in the business world, you need to accept that customers in the market determine the fate of your company’s success. Customers have the final word when determining whether an item is purchased or not. Getting to know the market before you begin selling your product can give a clearer outline of what you will experience.

Once you have a better understanding of the market you are about to dive into, you can make better business decisions on how to approach the market.

Your target customer should serve the base upon which all other concepts are built. After all, your consumer determines your product’s success.

Test Your Product

Some of the biggest companies test their products before introducing the product to an entire market. You can create a prototype and begin with small testing either online or in select stores. It will help you answer questions to a degree that research may not. Getting customer feedback can help you tweak your product or idea before mass producing something that might fail.

If your target customer enjoys your service and offers good feedback, you know you’ve got a marketable product.

Find the Right Price

One of the most impactful product marketing tactics is pricing. Product price gives your product a status (affordable or high-quality), an audience (based on disposable income), and competitors. Use your product, audience, and competitor research to identify the perfect price point for your product, considering product costs and profit margins. Keeping up with market trends will help you determine if you should raise your lower your prices.

The key to determining your price is that it needs to sustain your business. If you price your products at a loss or an unsustainable profit margin, you will find it challenging to grow and scale.

There are other important factors that your pricing needs to account for, like how you’re priced in relation to your competitors, and what your pricing strategy means for your business and your customers’ expectations. But before you can worry about anything like that, you need to make sure you’ve found a sustainable base price.

The Product Manager Roles

The product manager is in charge of determining a product’s marketability and is ultimately responsible for its success in the market. In terms of determining the marketability of a product, the product manager’s responsibilities include product conception (product market and market research), product development, product launch, product sustaining, and product discontinuance.

Wrapping Up

People often laud entrepreneurial risk-taking. Indeed, starting a business requires a leap of faith. However, it is important to remember that people who took a risk and lost it all tend to keep their failures to themselves, and thus we only hear about those who have succeeded.

We recommend that you start your own business only when you’ve done your research and are confident you will succeed instead of underestimating the risk involved in starting a new business.

How To Take an Idea from Concept to Market?

To take your idea from concept to market, you must prepare to invest time and money and factor in some determination to turn your vision into reality.

If you’ve moved past the ideation and conceptualization stage of business, you have moved on to the business development stage. You’re ready to start manufacturing, marketing, and selling your product or offering your service.

While many people believe that coming up with an exciting idea that you believe in is 90% of the work done, reality often deceives expectations. The hard reality is that coming up with an app idea is easy, and figuring out what to do next is the hardest part.

However, the magic is in the execution.

To take your idea from concept to market, you must prepare to invest time and money and factor in some determination to turn your vision into reality. But if you’re struggling with where to start, this article will help you get going. So read along!

Innovation, creative or new idea concept are the first step before reaching the market.

Steps to move your product concept out of the ideas shed and launch into the marketplace:

1. Conduct Market Research

The importance of this step cannot be overstated. Without conducting market research, the chances of your business failing at the first point of contact with your customer increase greatly.

Conducting market research can help you learn how many consumers or businesses could use the product. It can also help you assess your competitors, which will exist regardless of how unique you believe your innovation is. We recommend going offline and conducting real-world market research to nail this first step.

2. Connect with customers

Knowing your customer in a wholesome manner is prominent to having a strong customer base. As an entrepreneur, you must know what your customers want, their preferences and desires, what they are looking for, and their purchasing behavior.

Maintaining an enhanced customer base will build confidence and loyalty in them for the brand and give the company free marketing in terms of word of mouth.

If you are a retailer with no online presence, consider setting up a web store as another way to capture sales and connect to the clients. Consider engaging with your clients through emails and social media campaigns.

3. Profile your customers

When designing a product, it is easy to get caught up in your passion for the idea and become disconnected from those who will ultimately buy the product. Understanding your customer will help clarify your design parameters, what features add value, and which are just adding costs.

Anything that helps you get closer to understanding your customer is useful. It’s great to think out of the box as well. Your ultimate goal must be to make an abstract concept of your customer into a real person with wants and needs.

4. Leverage social media

Social media is one of the strongest tools in the business development strategy. Numerous social media platforms allow sellers to reach their potential customers and the masses.

By implementing a comprehensive social media strategy, you can ensure social media works as a driver of new business that positively promotes your service offerings. However, to best leverage social media, it is important to understand your customers and identify the channels through which they prefer to communicate. Instead of using social media to sell your product, use it to give away your knowledge, industry trends, and insights on the preferred platforms, and focus on building a relationship with your followers.

Legal due diligence can refer to intellectual property (IP) rights as well as product compliance and safety testing. It is possible to carry out a certain amount of due diligence yourself, but at some point, you will need to spend some money to make sure your product does not infringe any law, is itself protected, and can be legally sold in your target market.

Most third-party testing houses will give you free advice and a list of legal testing requirements that you will need to pass to launch your product.

Draft a business plan and execute it with a business coach.

6. Market Your Product

Marketing is the process of getting the right goods or services or ideas to the right people at the right place, time, and price, using the right promotion techniques and utilizing the appropriate people to provide the customer service associated with those goods and services or ideas.

You must prepare and execute your business plan.

A business plan forces you to clarify the strategic plan for business growth.

It consists of the answers to some key questions – how to get your product or service into the hands of customers who are your target market. Will you do it yourself, or will you outsource manufacturing? Who is going to physically transport your product to customers? What are the methods of distribution: retail, online, and/or catalog purchases? Who will sell it: you, in-house sales staff, independent reps, telemarketers?

7. Launch the product and research future market opportunities

Launching the original product is the most exciting part of the process, but the work doesn’t end here. Apart from marketing, an entrepreneur should look for other opportunities in the market. Is there a way the product may be useful for another audience? Are there improvements or expansions that should be considered for the line? This method of continuous innovation is what turns a single creation into a global product line.

How to Take an App Idea to Market?

You can have the best app idea in the world, but it means nothing if it only stays in your head.

“I have an idea for an app, what do I do next?”

If you’re looking for an answer to this question, you’ve landed on the right page. While many people believe that coming up with an exciting idea that you believe in is 90% of the work done, reality often deceives such expectations. The hard reality is that coming up with an app idea is easy, and figuring out what to do next is the hardest part. Millions of people have an idea for the App, but unfortunately, only a few people know how to turn an idea into an app. Remember, only the best ideas can earn you success.

This article explores how you can transform your app idea into a great app. Let’s begin!

Millions of people have an idea for the App, but unfortunately, only a few people know how to turn an idea into an app.

The Future of The Mobile App Industry

The mobile app development business is rising day by day! With a surge in mobile phone usage, there are big opportunities for mobile apps to be the most disruptive business platform.

And why not? Digitization is the need of the hour, and by building a mobile app for your business, you are keeping up with the trend. Mobile apps are easy to deal with and provide professionals with the ability to manage their businesses with ease.

Almost everyone uses mobile apps for something: whether it’s playing games, ordering food, getting weather updates, or social networking. Companies can use mobile apps to reach their customers, and increase their sales and revenue. The global mobile application market was valued at $106.27 billion in 2018 and projected to reach $407.31 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 18.4% from 2019 to 2026.

Continue reading “How to Take an App Idea to Market?”

How do you take a business idea to market?

The process of conceiving an idea to seeing your product on the shelf can be very long and most inventions take years to come to fruition.

Introduction:

Everything begins as an idea. However, when it comes to turning a business idea into a marketable service or product, many entrepreneurs struggle with where to start. Maybe you’re struggling with how to sell your product or service, or you’re afraid someone will steal your idea. Wherever your challenge lies, the magic is in the execution. You must be prepared to invest time and money and factor in some determination to turn your vision into reality.

This article explores the concept of a business idea and streamlines the process of turning an idea into reality.

Proven methods and easy to start business ideas to make a successful business.

What is an Idea?

An idea is a thought or collection of thoughts generated in the mind. Ideas often form during brainstorming sessions or through discussions. Although all world-changing events and great success stories can be traced back to a single idea, don’t fall into the belief that having a great idea is all you need. If you have a great idea, you’ve only completed the first step of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Now you need to work on turning that idea into a reality by taking it to market and letting your business change the world.

Continue reading “How do you take a business idea to market?”

How to take a business idea to the next level ?

Whether you own a small, medium, or large company, there is always room to be more innovative and make improvements aimed at growing your business and taking it to the next level.

Isn’t it every entrepreneur’s ultimate goal to take a business from zero to hero?

Taking your business to the next level is key to ensuring that you’re ready to meet the market’s changing demands and that you’re always leading the charge in your industry. It allows your company to survive in difficult times and grow when opportunities arise.

Whether you own a small, medium, or large company in any phase of the business life cycle, there is always room to be more innovative in the way you deliver your product or service and make improvements aimed at growing your business.

However, for most business ventures, growth doesn’t happen overnight. Typically, there will be trial and error as you wade through what will make your business successful.

To assist you in the process, ahead are a few business strategies for taking a business idea to the next level.

Every business has to be very innovative to take the business to the next level.

Connect with customers

Knowing your customer in a wholesome manner is prominent to have a strong customer base. As an entrepreneur, you must know what your customers want, their preferences and desires, what they are looking for, and their purchasing behavior.

Maintaining an enhanced customer base will build confidence and loyalty in them for the brand and give the company free marketing in terms of word of mouth.

If you are a retailer with no online presence, consider setting up a web store as another way to capture sales and connect to the clients. Consider engaging with your clients through emails and social media campaigns.

Leverage social media

Social media is one of the strongest tools in the business development strategy. Numerous social media platforms allow sellers to reach their potential customers and the masses.

By implementing a comprehensive social media strategy, you can ensure social media works as a driver of new business that positively promotes your service offerings. However, to best leverage social media, it is important to understand your customers and identify the channels through which they prefer to communicate. Instead of using social media to sell your product, use it to give away your knowledge, your industry trends, your insights on the preferred platforms, and focus on building a relationship with your followers.

Stay abreast of technological developments

Keeping abreast of technological developments is paramount to flourishing in the industry. Knowing and learning new technologies can help businesses make sound decisions that can further help them to save time, money, and other resources. Updated technologies can help enhance business activities leading to holistic development and a profound market stand. Further, you must consider information security not so much as protection against a threat, but as an investment to grow in a digital economy.

Network and ask for help

As an entrepreneur, you have to dedicate effort to networking as often as possible. Networking will give you a tremendous learning opportunity, knowledge, and new connections to lead your company to the next level, with the support and advice of others.

All small businesses face challenges, particularly in the early operational stage. This is why asking for help from your peers/mentor who may be more experienced than you is critical. Tapping into the mind of someone with more experience and a broader knowledge base will ensure you learn and acquire the skills needed to make a success of your business.

Think outside the box

Taking your company to the next level requires thinking creatively. Make sure your company wins the innovation game. Introduce fresh products, ideas, services, and new ways of doing — not for the sake of just coming up with something “new,” but to anticipate what else you can do to help your customers achieve a greater result.

Think outside the box, venture into uncharted territory, and expand your intellectual scope. For example, the drive-through concept commonly found in fast food was an idea borrowed from bankers.

Own the Right Skills To Take Your Business To The Next Level

There are several skills and attributes you may find helpful to possess and develop to form a successful business, including:

  • Perseverance
  • Organization
  • Commitment
  • Negotiation
  • Sales
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving
  • Attention to detail

Conclusion

If you have been struggling to figure out how to take your business to the next level, you must check out the i2MF program. This program is for aspiring entrepreneurs who have already taken the first step of entrepreneurship – the thinking up of an idea – and are now looking to turn it into a sellable product. It will help you know your target market, target customers, and competitors better, and thus build your business model.