How to Make a Funding Proposal?

Startup funding proposals help startup founders share an overview of their business and make a case for why they should receive funding.

Whether you are a startup founder, business owner, or corporate entrepreneur, your funding proposal is very important. After all, it captures your rationale for why people should invest in your idea and give you a lot of money.

In this guide, we explore what a startup funding proposal is and how you can leverage it to build momentum in your fundraising.

Startup funding proposals help startup founders share an overview of their business and make a case for why they should receive funding.

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. This page shall be your virtual guide to Startup funding.

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 Startup Funding Proposal?

Startup funding proposals help startup founders share an overview of their business and make a case for why they should receive funding.

Simply put, it is a text document, PDF, or slideshow presentation which gives a complete overview of the company and its goals. Through the proposal, investors can understand the what, why, and how of the company and get a better idea of why you are looking to raise a certain amount of money. It also helps investors who like to remain actively involved understand whether the company is worth their effort or not.

Startup funding proposals help startup founders share an overview of their business and make a case for why they should receive funding.

How To Make a Funding Proposal?

There is a basic structure to every business proposal. Here are the four parts, in order:

  1. Introduce yourself
  2. Show that you understand your customers/clients and their needs
  3. Describe how your goods and services meet those needs and present your expected expenses and profits
  4. Persuade the bank or committee that you have the integrity to be trusted with the money.

You don’t need to start with blank pages, either. You can speed up the proposal writing process using pre-designed templates and samples.

Here is a short list of all the different points an investment proposal should touch upon:

1. Summary of your project:

Start the document with an abstract of your project and its purpose. It is the part that most investors will use to determine if they wish to continue reading. In it, make sure you discuss the key points that offer clarity to investors. You can include details of what your company does and how is it different from existing solutions to pressing problems. You may also emphasize the importance of your product in your industry and how it improves the industry.

2. Current performance of your company:

Here, you give a more in-depth overview of your company. Point out what you are doing, how you are doing it, and what you are building. List your current assets and liabilities to help investors understand your startup’s strengths and weaknesses. If your company is still at its ideation stage, pair the proposal with an MVP presentation. If you are at a later funding stage, it is also important to add a paragraph where investors can find out more about your financial reports.

3. Details of existing investors, partners, and team:

Briefly introduce existing business partners (including investors), their background, and the amount you have managed to raise from them. If applicable, enter the number of funding rounds your company has already been through and the amount raised. At this stage, you should also briefly introduce the existing team members, their background and skill set, and a link for those who wish to see their complete CV and LinkedIn profile.

4. Information related to the product market:

Mention the market size, obtainable market share, product adoption rate, historical and forecasted market growth rates, and macroeconomic drivers of the market you plan to target in the funding proposal. Briefly describe the results of your market potential analysis and showcase the potential to scale shortly, along with a sustainable and stable business plan. If your business is already generating income, make sure you indicate and break down your revenue numbers.

5. Operational feasibility:

Create an overview of the projected operating costs by splitting them into different categories of expenditures. Describe the assumed operational costs of your biggest competitors and how these translate into their growth (if applicable). Further, describe the challenges and limitations related to the technical aspects of your company and the team’s skillset.

6. Company’s current valuation, investment requirements, and expected returns:

Start by pointing out the current valuation of your company and list the sources that derive this conclusion. Make sure to get your company’s valuation done by a trusted third party. Based on the company valuation, describe the amount and type of funding you are looking to acquire and the amount of equity you are willing to give up. Now, give an overview of how the funds will be utilized by creating a generic overview of the next steps. Spend a lot of time on this one as it is the most important subchapter for investors.

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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Product Development Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

The six stages outlined above will get your team through all steps of the process, from initial idea screening to the development phase.

Bringing your vision for an original new product to life is frequently one of the biggest hurdles for aspiring entrepreneurs.

However, it has become crucial for businesses to keep updating their products to conform to current trends. The business environment is dynamic and competitive, and new product development is one of the best ways to withstand competition.

What Is the Product Development Process?

Product development encompasses all steps to take a product from concept to market availability. It is the overall process of strategy, organization, concept generation, product and marketing plan creation and evaluation, and commercialization of a new product.

Product development requires the work and input of many teams across a business, including Development, Design, Marketing, Sales, Finance, and Testing. Product managers act as the strategic directors of the development process and oversee the progress.

Bringing your vision for an original new product to life is frequently one of the biggest hurdles for aspiring entrepreneurs.
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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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Determining the Market Size of a Product

The two quickest and most common ways entrepreneurs use to determine the market size are the top-down and the bottom-up approaches.

One of the most important things to know before you even think about turning an idea into a product is the size of the market you’re going to be targeting.

You might have a great product, a cutting edge website, a well-trained and enthusiastic team, and customers who love your product, but your company might still run at a loss if there aren’t enough customers in the market to support the business

To avoid such a situation, professional entrepreneurs and investors conduct market sizing exercises before investing in a new business.

Don’t find customers for your product, find product for your customers- Seth Godin
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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 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.

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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.

How to take an invention idea to market?

Without a viable plan to develop your innovative ideas into marketable items, you will never be able to profit from them.

It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. – Scott Belsky, Behance Co-founder

You might have a wonderful concept in your mind for a new invention that you believe many people would be eager to buy. However, without a viable plan to develop your innovative ideas into marketable items, you will never be able to profit from them.

An idea is an unverified thought that originates from your imagination; it’s a lightning moment that helps you solve a persistent problem that’s been bothering you for a long time. Innovation is an expansion of a matured concept. To become an innovation, an idea must take the route of least resistance. You must do market research, product development, and cost estimates, and if all goes well, obtain a patent.

Timing is everything in the field of invention. If you wait too long, someone else will seize on a similar concept and take your market share. On the other hand, if your invention is the first of its type, the market may not be ready, and you will have an uphill battle to carve out a niche for your product. Another significant problem is making the general public aware of your product. Your concept may be fantastic, but without a marketing strategy, no one will ever learn about it. While problems are many, a successful entrepreneur focuses on solutions.

In this article, we will discuss how to take an invention idea to market.

Step 1: Document it

The first stage in commercializing your innovative ideas is to obtain ownership rights. You will not earn from your idea merely by imagining it; you must have evidence proving that you were the first to think of a possible product.

As a result, record all you can regarding the concept, design, and marketability of the product in an inventor’s journal. A court-worthy inventor’s journal can be any bound notebook with consecutively numbered pages that cannot be removed or reinserted.

Step 2: Check for patent

Before putting too much effort and money into a new product, make sure it doesn’t already exist. A quick check of the United States Patent and Trademark Office will reveal what has already been patented.

You should also complete a non-patent “prior art” search. If you find any sort of artwork or design related to your idea, you cannot patent it — regardless of whether a prior patent has been filed.

Step 3: Conduct research to ascertain whether the idea has a market

Do some initial market research before devoting too much time and money to patenting your innovation. Conducting market research can help you learn how many consumers or businesses could use the product. The market research should answer one key question – Is this something people will buy? 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. These prices can be determined by making a comparison to those of similar items presently on the market. It can also help you assess your competitors, which will exist regardless of how unique you believe your innovation is.

Step 4: Make a prototype

A prototype is a representation of your invention that puts what you wrote in your inventor’s journal into action. When you exhibit your idea to potential financiers and licensees, this will illustrate the design.

Do not file a patent without first creating a prototype. You’ll usually always find a mistake in your initial design or come up with a new function to include. If you patent your idea before ironing out the wrinkles, it will be too late to incorporate them in the patent, and you risk losing your new design’s patent rights to someone else.

Here are some rules to keep in mind when prototyping your invention:

  • Sketch- To begin prototyping, sketch down your innovation concepts in your inventor’s notebook.
  • Mockup- Using any materials, create a 3-D model of your design.
  • Model- Make a fully functional model of your product.

Step 5: Consider filing a patent

Patents are classified into two types: utility patents (for new processes or machines) and design patents (for manufacturing new, non-obvious ornamental designs). While you may start the patent application yourself, you should submit it with the aid of a patent lawyer who has the necessary technical knowledge.

Others will ultimately infringe on your patent if your idea is valuable. Hiring a qualified patent attorney ensures that your patent is completely protected and that you avoid costly court fights.

You could opt to sell your product without a patent. However, business experts recommend obtaining a patent for several reasons, such as:

  • Protecting your intellectual property
  • Higher profits
  • Selling power
The value of an idea lies in the using of it. – Thomas Edison, General Electric Co-founder

Step 6: Get investors to back your invention idea

Investors have money. You need money. Now, convince them to invest their money in your product idea. If your product idea is brilliant and you have a prototype to back it up, more than half your work is done! Even better, if you already have an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), then your investors can see for themselves how much traction (paying customers who are interested in your product) your product gets!

Prepare an investor pitch comprising all the relevant details such as your mission, company vision, product idea, team, market opportunities, and financial projections.

Step 7: Product development

Armed with the required funding, extensive market research, and a can-do attitude, it’s time to kick your product development into full gear!

You will need a product development strategy with rigid but attainable targets and goals. Develop the product after careful consideration of its quality, quantity, and demand.

Step 8: Market your invention

Now that you have successfully converted your invention idea into a profitable product, it’s time to market your innovation and sell your product. Make a business strategy for your product concept, including whether you want to start your own company or sell the idea to an existing company. Working on your pitch and presentation to capture the interest of investors will be part of this process.