Top News

SOMERS: I think I’ve got a business plan … now what?

Jeff Somers offers tips for entrepreneurs with ideas for digital business ventures.
Jeff Somers offers tips for entrepreneurs with ideas for digital business ventures. - 123RF Stock Photo

You’re an entrepreneur with a great idea for a digital business venture and you’ve done your due diligence.

You’ve assessed: the total market size for your product today and its growth rate going forward; the market share you can expect to achieve; the reasons why consumers will buy your product instead of someone else’s; your competitive advantage and why others will not be able to copy it; the shape and size of your organization and its costs on start-up and as you roll out your product; your cash flow projections; and, most importantly, how much you will need in investment from other sources.

Where will your investment dollars come from? That is the first big question. The good news is that Canada is rated highly amongst G20 countries for providing digital businesses with access to financing including accessing risk capital, lending opportunities, government financing programs, and “angel” investors (perhaps including a crowdfunding campaign).

Once again, you do your due diligence and identify the funding sources you want to pursue. Now comes the second big question: What will give me my best shot at obtaining the level of funding I need for success?

Start by reviewing your business plan to be certain it contains all the essential information potential investors need to know, including:

  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Market analysis
  • Organization and management
  • Product line
  • Marketing and sales
  • Financial projections
  • Funding request

Make your business plan stand out by being clear about what you are really selling and what makes it unique. Distinctly define your niche, supported by market surveys and/or other research that proves the potential opportunities for your business.

Define your funding request: How much do you currently require? How much will you require over the start-up years and beyond? How do you intend to use the funds you acquire – for capital expenditures, working capital, debt retirement, or even acquisitions? What are your strategic financial plans for the future – a buyout, or perhaps being acquired?

Being a successful entrepreneur isn’t easy – and it’s all about the finances — those you need to get your start-up going and those that roll in as your product rolls out.  The same is true of every aspect of your financial life. When you have the right personal financial plan in place, you can confidently bring your business plan to lucrative and long-lasting life.

Your professional advisor can help make both your personal and business dreams come true.

Jeff Somers, BA, RRC, CFP works at Investors Group in Charlottetown. This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. and Investors Group Securities Inc. presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. Contact your own adviser for specific advice about your circumstances.

Recent Stories