Tag Archives: funding

Our Smart start-up courses

30 Jul

Having just finished our latest free SMART Start up Business programme we are excited to start another this week, meeting new people wanting to start up their business and become self-employed. We have had a range of businesses from land management, jewellery makers to property services.

The course aims to give people the skills and confidence to start up their business, how to overcome some of the challenges of starting up and how to ensure that you have a successful business.

“It is a relaxed atmosphere where you are not bombarded with info but come out feeling very motivated”

The attendees really benefited from the support of others and felt happy to ask questions and share concerns as the learning is done in a relaxed friendly atmosphere.

Breaking the information down into 4, 3 hour sessions that build on each other makes the information clear and easy to understand and retain. The sessions cover Idea Development, Market Research, Finance and Funding and Marketing and Sales.

“I am due to meet my NEA Mentor next week. Really can’t wait to get things up and running now. Once again, thank you so much to you both for all your help, I found the course so helpful.”

The attendees came on to the course with a business idea and in some cases feeling a bit overwhelmed by how much they didn’t know and how much they needed to do.

One of the areas of concern for all was finance, with tax and registering with HMRC being the top worries. By the end of the session all felt much more confident and were surprised how simple everything can be.   By the end they all had a clear plan of their next steps.

“The finance side was my biggest concern but after today I feel more positive about things”

We really enjoy watching our lovely attendees start moving their dream to a reality, filed with motivation and enthusiasm.

There are courses running in Newton Abbot and Exeter and our ‘Get inspired’ Intensive start up programme is running in Torquay and Paignton and is just for women.  For more information, call Opportunity Plus on 0800 043 2440 or email info@opsw.co.uk

Crowdfunding

3 Jul

Crowdfunding may seem like an unknown and scary way to help fund your business but the concept is really very straightforward and is a successful industry with hundreds of platforms. Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture via the internet with contributions from a number of people. The projects seen on the sites can range from a newcrowdfunding business idea to a creative project or a charity raising money for a good cause.  Websites act as a platform for people to advertise their project or business and people can invest funding if they think it’s worthy, often receiving a reward or thank-you in return. Crowd Funding as a concept has been around for years, including when work stalled on the Statue of Liberty, individuals came together and pledged small amounts of money to see the project finished.

Not only is it a great way to get the money and investment you need but it is also an amazing marketing and advertising opportunity, getting your business or project out to lots of people.

So how does it work? Well this can depend upon what you want funded. There are different platforms that will be best suited to ‘host’ your idea or business request, most will take a percentage of around 5% of the funds raised.

Some are based on ‘All or Nothing Funding’ where projects must get 100% of their funding request or they get nothing. They usually involve substantially larger goals and are much more likely to be successful at achieving their goals as they provide more detailed information on the campaign. Others are ‘Flexi Funding’ where you keep whatever you raise whether you hit target or not. Both are open to ‘Over Funding’ where you have hit your target and the money keeps on coming in- Great!

Rewards Crowdfunding: Businesses/entrepreneurs pre-sell a product or service to launch a business concept without incurring debt or sacrificing equity/shares. This has worked well for musicians or producers who can offer previews or products to investors who have funded their project.

Equity Funding: The backer receives shares of a company, usually in its early stages, in exchange for the money pledged. The company’s success is determined by how successfully it can demonstrate its viability. A business plan will need to be provided with at least a 3 years’ worth of financial projections.

Charitable/Social enterprise: Charities looking for donations for projects to be funded with little or no reward other than supporting a worthwhile cause.

So, if you are interested in Crowdfunding for your business or project here are some ‘Top Tips’.

  • Choose the right platform
  • Start by sharing with friends/family/current contacts
  • Get your supporters behind you, motivate them and they can spread the word
  • It is important to get off the zero mark early
  • Tell your story- sell your passion- clearly
  • Use videos and pictures
  • Rewards can lead to higher funding
  • Line up a few backers before you start

Good luck!

If you are looking for help with starting a business and want to see how we can help you then please get in touch on 0800 043 2440 or info@opsw.co.uk

 

 

Get Started Project

26 Apr

Opportunity Plus South West are getting involved in yet another fantastic project to support young entrepreneurs.  The Get Started project supports young entrepreneurs with accessing funding and mentoring to get their business off the ground, and to support those who have been running for less than a year, but need a helping hand.  If you are aged 18-30 and are a UK resident living in England, you could be eligible for a loan of around £2500 (dependant on your needs).  You can be employed or unemployed, and will need to be able to demonstrate that you can repay the loan (over a period of around 3-5 years)

Opportunity Plus South West will support you in creating a business plan and 12 month cashflow forecast for your application.  Please call us on 0800 043 2440 or email info@opsw.co.uk for more information.

SFEDI Get Started Loans

How do I fund my business?

5 Nov

The easiest and cheapest way to fund your business is to provide the money yourself from savings.  You may need to start out offering limited services to make some money without too much expenditure, and then put your profits back into the business to buy more stock or equipment.  Try to get a couple of jobs before you do any real marketing so that you can get a bit of money coming in, as well as some feedback!  You don’t want to market too early and have to turn people down because you don’t have the right equipment.

Many people do employment alongside self employment when they’re getting started.  This is a great way to have some regular income to support the more unreliable income of a new business.

Speak to your Job Centre Plus advisor to find out if there is any funding available for your business.  Ask for a benefits calculation, or do one yourself using the Benefits Adviser Service to see if you will qualify for any Tax Credits when you are self employed.

You can also look into getting a bank loan, but this can be expensive, so it’s worth trying to avoid this if possible.  It might be that you start out very small, and look into bank loans when you are confident your business will be a success and you need funding to grow and expand your business.