5 Keys to Raising Capital for Your New Business Idea

Learning how to raise capital for your business idea is often difficult for many otherwise very capable would be entrepreneurs. Raising finance, be it from a bank, a venture capital firm or a business angel, has a lot to do with being able to sell your business idea, and less about how good that idea actually is. The best business idea can get nowhere if you cannot convince your prospective investors of its potential as an investment and your ability as a business owner of making it a success. You should keep the following key points in mind when trying to raise capital for your new business idea.

Prepare a business plan

Writing a business plan is often a lot of work and distracts you from doing what you want to do, which is running your business. But you won’t get any funding without a solid written business plan. Telling an investor or your bank contact that they should give you money because you had a great idea is just not going to cut it. A business plan will explain exactly what you plan on doing with that money, why you need it and real numbers proving your business idea potential. Among other things, you’ll need to be able to prove that you know your audience and the size of the market you plan on targeting, your marketing plans, your expected cashflow for the first few years and how will you deal with risks such as another competitor entering the market. If you are unsure about how to write a good business plan you can also hire a consultant to help you prepare it, but make sure you know exactly what’s in it, since the consultant won’t be with you when talking to the potential investors.

Practice your pitch

Looking for investment is like selling your business idea to somebody who knows a lot about what makes a good, profitable business. While a good business plan is the basis for your pitch, you will still need to deliver it the right way. It’s worth investigating your potential investors, and adapting your pitch to that information. For example, a bank is often conservative and would be more interested in you showcasing how your business idea is a safe bet and has a solid base, without extravagant expenses or high risk taking. However, an investor with an existing portfolio of cutting edge technological business may be more interested in listening to how your business is highly innovative and will use the money to create the next big thing online. Do not go into any meeting with your investors without researching all you can about them and their style, since they will have no doubt researched you to see if you, as a person and a businessman, are likely to succeed.

Plan for threats and weaknesses

Remember when at job interviews people asked you to name your weak points? Your investors are going to do exactly the same about your business idea. While it’s clear that you wouldn’t be asking for investment if you didn’t believe your business idea has a high potential for success, you should also be aware of what things could make it fail, and be able to plan for it. Do not say “Nothing can go wrong, I have everything covered” because at best you’ll get a reality check from the investors about the many things you had not considered, before politely being shown the door. Being secure of yourself is great, but realism is highly appreciated in business.

Know your USP

What makes your business idea unique, and so makes people choose you over anybody else to buy from? Your unique selling point, or USP, will be key to your marketing strategy since it’s the reason why people will buy from you. A generic business with no unique selling point is not likely to make venture investors interested, because if anybody can do it, it’s probably not going to be very profitable. Investors want a high return on investment, and that means that your business should grow and not just be good enough for you to make a living. On the other hand, a bank may be less demanding with your uniqueness, as long as you are using a proven business model on a niche that has room for new players, but a bank knows that they’ll get their payment through your loan interest so they are satisfied with you just breaking even and paying your loan.

Show that you the right person to lead your business

This is another challenging issue when trying to get finance, and a question that few investors will ask you directly so you need to show it by your actions and your sales pitch. Some people are great at having ideas, but are very bad at making those ideas into a real business and managing the day to day of said business. As a business owner, you’ll need many skills that aren’t directly related to your business core idea. Even if you are technically the best developer in the world, and the person who can best implement your idea, you may not be the right person to actually manage it and many investors will notice that unfavourably. Make sure you come across as a savvy businessperson, and not just a great inventor or a proficient salesman.

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Small Business Ideas and Changing the World

Great small businesses are started by great small business ideas. Look into any business anywhere and you will find somewhere in the development there was an idea by someone, who did something about it, started a business, built the business, and benefitted others by it.

I am an “idea” guy. Why? Because ideas are the genesis of all things, and surely all things pertaining to business. If the idea is good enough, and the individual acting on the idea is good enough, the combination of idea and action will shake the world.

Perhaps one of the most rewarding things for me to do is to read stories about people who achieved business success. Every successful business came from a person, man or woman, with an idea that they would grow into a concept, and that concept was developed into a product or service, and that product or service created a business.

There are countless inspiring stories of how businesses were started and developed. Most of them are fascinating reads because they help to nurture in my mind the power of small business ideas, and how those ideas can effect the world.

One of my favorites is the story of Madam C J Walker. She was born in 1867 in the deep South, a time and place of extreme discrimination and disadvantage for African Americans and women. Both her parents were slaves, and of her five siblings, she was the first born free.

But her difficulties in life did not end there. Both of her parents died, and when she was only twenty years of age her husband also died, leaving her with a two year old daughter. She moved to another state to be with her brothers, and there began to develop an idea that had been spawned in her years before…

Madam C J Walker had married again, this time well into her thirties, when she began experimenting with a product to deal with hair loss and scalp issues common to women of the time. Eventually, fueled by her own passion and ideas, she developed several products of her own design and began travelling with her husband to sell them throughout the United States. Within a few years she had built a college to train hair culturists and even her own manufacturing facility to produce her products.

Madam C J Walker became the first self made woman millionaire, and this with multiple and substantial disadvantages. Her story is a testament not only to overcoming tremendous odds to achievement, but the power of an idea. Her small business ideas, bolstered by her own personal strength and ingenuity, blossomed into a massive benefit for millions of women of her time and beyond.

Most people have great ideas. Perhaps there is nothing more common than great ideas. The problem is not lack of ideas; it’s excuses people offer not to act on them.

The entire soft drink empire came from a single idea, formed into a recipe, and scratched onto a piece of paper and tucked away in someone’s pocket. And that idea would have remained a mere “idea” forever, had not someone took the chance and acted on it to see what would happen. They did, and the world is different for it.

To create a successful business, there must be an idea, but not just any idea. It has to be a unique, never thought-of or acted-on idea, one that fills a need or a desire of many people, and can be developed and produced and sold.

So how to approach small business ideas to bring them to fruition? Here are few questions that should be considered:

1. Is the idea new? If it already has been done, or is commonly known, it probably isn’t a novel idea worth pursuing, unless the idea is a completely new twist on an existing one, that would dramatically improve it.

2. Is the idea reasonable? Here goes the logical standard: an idea is only as good as it is reasonable or possible. Yes, it would be great to have a product that, say, makes the front lawn never grow higher than the desired length, while remaining green and healthy. But is this possible, or even practical? There are zillions of ideas out there and plenty of them get developed to a point but never see the light of day because they are not reasonable: the cost or hassle to produce them is far greater than the benefit.

3. Is the idea in my field of interest or knowledge? Most people are good at something and have a specific area of interest. To develop small business ideas effectively it stands to reason the developer should understand the product or at least have serious interest in it. A small business stemming from a person’s passion is the fastest and surest way to success.

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Fallacies About Profitable Business Ideas You Must Ignore

In the course of my study and practice in the field of online business, I have often discovered that folks head into the actualization of their assumed profitable business ideas online with several unrealistic assumptions.

Many have been told that all they need do to setup a profitable business with their ideas online is sign up for a few programs, build a website around them, add a bunch of banners and links onto their site, then sit back and watch the finance roll in without them having to lift a finger.

There is a misunderstanding that when you come online and set up your profitable business with your ideas you will be making large finance within a few days. This is absolute nonsense and even if it has worked for some folks it has not worked for me or for anyone I have come in contact with throughout my online business activities and interactions. The bitter truth is that more folks fail at their online business ideas than those folks who actually succeed.

Newcomers to the world of online venture are oftentimes unaware of the fact that they may actually have to work harder at their home based business than they did at their offline jobs. They are usually not aware of the many hours of selling time that they will need to put in in order to succeed in even the most profitable idea.

On the other hand most folks that are new to online marketing also make the deadly mistake of thinking that a single strategy will be enough for them to succeed in building a profitable business online. Of course, some avenues will produce improved results than others, but in my understanding, the best course of action is to adopt a broad based approach to your ideas for a business. This can be done by spreading your time and resources through several different methods and approaches.

If you are new to online business, it is a strong first step to take a course to find out what is required of you to be profitable with those particular online business ideas. There are so many top business ideas out there and it does not matter what type you are beginning, if it is online, it must be marketed online, and as may be needed from time to time, offline as well.

I am always amazes how often folks that commence business with some top business ideas actually believe that they can get rich by doing absolutely nothing, or at least with very little effort. It is true that the internet acts as a leverage for our efforts but thee is a limit and that limit has to be understood. Sometimes i wonder why folks would believe in this “something for nothing” theory. My conclusion is that they believe because they desire to believe. They believe because they see folks who advertise profitable business ideas everyday and everywhere on the internet and thus believe that it is possible. They not only desire to believe it, for their own reasons, but they need to believe it because the delusion makes them feel good.

From my experience i have observed that you need to give yourself at least a few months to make money from even the most profitable online business, get some hold and thus commence to generate some reasonable revenues from you ideas for a business. The proper mindset is for the beginner to think long term as opposed to crave instant gratification.

I am often appalled to see the number of folks who drop out of business even with top business ideas, after the first month or two and I ask myself, what do they expect, a truck load of finance slashed out behind the computer monitor? Most folks wouldn’t bail out of offline venture after a month yet they expect an online business to be any different.

In addition to the fallacy of instant riches without any effort, from your ideas for a business, the expectation of having a free ride is a frequent fallacious assumption of many that desire to commence business with their ideas. You must not be afraid, or unwilling, to invest a little finance to commence your own venture especially if it is a profitable business ideas which you must have competition. If you desire to make money online from any profitable business idea, you must also be willing to invest into it not only in terms of time but in cash. That is as plain and easy as it is.

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Ideation – Where Business Ideas Come From

Ideation is the creative process of generating, developing, and communicating new business ideas. When we plan to launch a new business, we either leverage an existing concept or we develop our own unique idea. The same applies to growing an existing business. I have always struggled with determining which is harder – finding the idea or executing on it.

Sometimes ideas are easy enough to conjure, and the hard part is deciding if it’s good enough as the basis for developing a profitable business. If you have what you believe is a “great idea”, the next challenge is to prove or test that it will translate into a successful venture.

Then there are times when a viable idea is the hardest thing to find. It may seem like all the good ideas are taken, and you are left on the sidelines with the resources and desire to start or grow a business but without a great idea. The ideation process can take a day or it can take years, and as with the creative process, it’s usually unproductive to rush it. Aside from the other typical barriers of resources (money and people), the lack of a “good idea” is often what keeps people from taking action on their dream of becoming their own boss.

Creating a new business starts with the idea. The process of developing that idea, and your business concept, may perhaps include some level of testing through prototyping and iteration. During these early phases your idea will undoubtedly evolve and may even morph into something entirely different. There are three basic categories for business ideas, and considering these categories can help with sparking that next great brainchild or validating your existing one:

New – a new invention or business idea. Examples may include the Segway, Virtual Reality and other product inventions. This is the most difficult category for new business ideas. There are very few truly and completely new ideas. By “new” I mean something that absolutely does not currently nor in the past exist in any way. It’s easy to confuse a new idea with what is really an improvement or disruption of an existing or traditional way of doing something. Truly new and unique ideas are hard to come by, so don’t get paralyzed by thinking this is the only source of viable new ideas.

Improvement – this is the proverbial better mouse trap. Examples include exterior-express car washes (where you stay in the car), Virgin Airlines, LED lighting, and Disney Land. Most small businesses probably fall into this category. You take an existing service or product and you make or deliver it in a better way, either directly or indirectly. You may make it of better quality raw materials, for example, or you may add value to the product or service by including additional services or add-ons.

Disruption – a new and revolutionary way of doing something. Examples include Uber, AirBnB, and Amazon. Our modern interconnected world – supported and made possible by the internet – now allows us to completely reinvent, transform and disrupt entire industries. The internet and other technologies are not the only way to execute on a disruptive business idea, but it has certainly accelerated our ability to do so.
Where do great ideas come from? Sources of ideas can include reading, podcasts, art, architecture, personal experiences, travel, conversations, hobbies, borrowing from others, crowd creativity, crowd sourcing, and attempting to solve existing problems in our world. For existing businesses, the best source of ideas is usually your customers. Yet it takes a bit more than just experiencing or reading something to spark your next great idea.

In the article “How to Generate Good Ideas” by Belle Cooper, Steve Jobs is quoted as sharing that creative people are able to “connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” In his observation, creative people consistently have “had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.”

Consciously and objectively experiencing new things will definitely influence and feed your creative abilities, and it’s one of the most productive ways we can continue to develop our ability to generate great ideas.

Does this mean that you have to be creative to generate good business ideas? I believe creativity is certainly one of the main ingredients required for ideation, along with ingenuity and vision. The challenge for many people, however, is that they either have little confidence in their inherent creative abilities or don’t have the courage to express and tap into it. The idea generation process is much like the creative process in that we are putting forth something personal to be judged by others. You must have the courage and confidence to submit ideas that others might think are frivolous or ridiculous. It’s appropriate to remember what George Bernard Shaw wrote: “all great truths begin as blasphemies.”

The ideal process is to identify one or more business ideas, test them, and then continue with developing the idea that has the best possibility for success. Of course, always remember that the true test of an idea’s business viability ultimately rests entirely with the customer. Also remember that if your concept was easy, it would probably have already been done by someone else.

Some questions to ask yourself to help qualify your business idea:

What need does my product or service fill? What problem does it solve
What are the features and benefits of my offering?
What is my competitive advantage? What makes this idea truly unique in my market?
How do my skills and experience fit with my idea?
How will I be able to test and demonstrate it?
What resources will I need to build this idea into a viable business?
Does my idea solve a billion-person problem, or the problem of just a few?
Can I envision myself executing on this concept for the next 5 to 10 years?

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Formulating Successful Home Based Business Ideas

Having drive and determination is only part of starting a business. You will also need some good home business ideas. Formulating successful home business ideas may seem like an easy task, but for many it is rather difficult. You may have too many ideas or you simply may not be able to decide exactly what you want to do. There are some great steps to take to help you in coming up with home business ideas that will get you started and on your way to opening a business.

Brainstorm

The single best way to come up with home business ideas is to get some ideas flowing. The best way to do that is through brainstorming. Simply write down any business idea that interests you or something you heard of. Write anything that comes to mind. Do not edit yourself at this point. You do not want to spend time thinking about the ideas right now. Just write down whatever comes into your head. When you are finished you should have a nice collection of ideas that you can consider for the basis for your new business.

Edit the Ideas

Now you can go through the list and start editing. You will find some of the home business ideas you wrote down just are not good or will not work or are something that you are not very interested in. You can cross all those off. You should try to limit down the list to things that only interest you and that you could really see yourself doing.

You will want to be a bit more logical. You will have to go over the ideas, even once you have narrowed it down some. You should cut out those that do not seem logical. For example, if you have written down the idea to start an amusement park, but you live in a small, rural area, then that just will not make sense. It may be something you are passionate about and that you really like, but unless you are willing to move somewhere else, it won’t work in your area.

Narrow It Down to One

The last critical step in formulating home business ideas is to narrow your ideas down to just one idea that you want to go for. You have to find the one idea that will work for you. In order for an idea to work for you it has to be something that you can financially handle, something that you enjoy and are passionate about and something that you can envision actually carrying out. When you can say those that an idea meets those three criteria then you have came across a wonderful business idea and it is time for you to take the next step and start developing your business plan.

Your business starts with home business ideas. You must have a strong idea in order to succeed. A business can only be successful if it is built upon a strong idea. Your idea must be well thought out and something that you will really love to do. After all, owning your own business is about being happy about your job and about loving what you do.

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The Benefits of Stainless Steel Roller Chains

Typically, roller chains can be found in a lot of mechanically powered systems. For instance, you can find them in a number of environments like automotive industries and agriculture systems. Examples of automotive industries they are used in are bicycles and motorcycles. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at some of the common benefits of roller chains made of stainless steel. Read on to find out more.

Rollers chains are also commonly used in conveyor belts and many other industrial assembly environments. Aside from this, you can find these systems in many other environments too.

Advantages of Stainless Steel Roller Chains

Although these products are made of other metals as well, stainless steel is the most common one. This is because this metal offers a lot of benefits. Some of them are listed below. Please note that this list doesn’t talk about all the benefits the unit offers.

Food Applications

Stainless steel roller chains are quite popular in the food industry for many reasons. One of the main reasons is that the steel offers immense strength unlike other metal types you can find and use.

Therefore, products made of this metal can withstand even extreme conditions. Another good thing is that it’s much easier to clean. For instance, in an environment where food packaging, processing and handling is done, you may need to clean the chain more frequently. This is what makes these roller chains a great choice.

Temperature Resistance

Another great thing about these roller chains is that they can work fine even if you place them in an environment where temperature exceeds 400 Celsius. In the same way, they won’t stop working even if you use them in a place where temperature drops below -20 Celsius. This is what makes it an ideal choice in environments that are not good for other metals.

Corrosion Resistance

They are also corrosion resistant even if used in acidic or alkaline environments. In many industries, these roller chains are used either in alkaline or acidic settings. This is why they are preferred in a lot of industries. Aside from this, it offers quite low magnetic permeability. Therefore, we suggest that you opt for them instead of other options out there.

Heat-Treated

Another good thing about these chains is that they are heat treated for a lot better temperature resistance. Plus, they are put under a lot of stress for testing purposes to reduce the chances of stretching issues or premature leakage. So, as far as safety is concerned, this is the best choice you can take. They can save you a lot of money due to their long lifespan.

Long story short, these are some of the most common reasons why these roller chains are quite popular these days. Although they can’t be the best option for all types of applications, they can work well in many environments. Therefore, if you want to opt for them, we suggest that you give them a go. You won’t regret your choice.

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