1.9A FINANCING YOUR BUSINESS

As an ametuer sports person looking to transition to a professional, you would need to have some money behind you to get started, and to take your sporting persona, brand and capabilities to the next level. You may need to support your passion with part time work, and eventually with sponsorship. You’ll need a variety of resources throughout your sporting career to be able to invest in yourself. It’s important that the right level of investment is introduced at the right time, in order to positively impact and fuel the quality of your game. 

The same idea applies to business. While many people want to start a business, it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly. Many issues will come into play as you begin this journey. A successful business needs a committed owner, a strong business concept, a solidified strategy and, most importantly, money to fuel the concept!

Now that you’ve completed the previous modules and you’ve done the groundwork, it’s time to explore your options for extra funding. So, how do we obtain the funds to get your business off the ground?

All businesses need money to operate and grow. Most businesses generate this money themselves by using their own money to get started. After selling items, they collect a profit and then invest that money back into the business. However, sometimes this isn’t enough. To grow faster or to make bigger investments, you may need to source funds from elsewhere. This could mean reaching out to:

  • Friends and family.
  • Banks.
  • Crowdfunding.
  • Angel Investors.
  • Venture Capitalists.
  • Government grants.
  • Joint venture partners.

1.9B CHECK YOUR GAUGES

1.9C INTERNAL FUEL

If you aren’t willing to risk your money, why should anyone else risk theirs? 

1.9D EXTERNAL FUEL

Friends or Family.  

Treat friends and family with respect as you would any other formal lender.

Crowdfunding.

There are many crowdfunding platforms available to you; Kickstarter, GoFundMe, Crowd Supply, Chuffed, Indiegogo, Pozible and Experiment to name a few.

 

Banks. 

Have your written business plan ready.

 

Government Grants.

There are many online sites offering to facilitate business grants.

 

Joint Ventures.

Be sure to consult with your professional advisors on this one!

Angel Investors. 

Angel investors generally take a higher risk than venture capitalists because they usually invest in start-ups who have no evidence of profit.

Venture Capitalists. 

A venture capitalist (VC) is an investor who provides capital to firms exhibiting high growth potential in exchange for equity.

1.9E PITCH PERFECT

Once you decide to reach out to external resources, you may be required to have a pitch ready in order to capture the attention of potential investors. Regardless of whether you are outsourcing fuel, this is a good step to action, as it can clarify and embed your vision within yourself. 

 Write your pitch and practice it out loud!
  • Tailor your pitch to suit your audience. Your voice (your choice of wording that makes your writing unique) should not only define your individuality, but resonate with your target audience. Research your potential investor thoroughly to understand their investment history, their industry interests and their personal quirks.
  • Go in with a bang. The first minute needs to be compelling so that your audience is sitting up and listening. Start with the problem you are trying to solve.
  • Don’t overcomplicate it. Prioritise important information and leave the waffling at home.
  • Tell a story. Be emotionally-engaging, shocking, exciting, wave-making, opinionated, or heart-warming. Be anything but boring.
  • Be real. Inject as much of yourself into this so your passion shines through. This is the part where you share your WHY.
  • Be prepared. Know every piece of important data off the top of your head. If you don’t know the answer to a question, they might lose interest. Your numbers are crucial.
  • Practice! A minimum of 20 times in front of the mirror should cover it. The best speakers appear seamless but you can bet they’ve spent hours practicing. This pitch needs to be embedded in your soul like the lyrics of a good 80s commercial.
  • Be confident, but more importantly, be humble and grateful.
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  • Do the sums first – Cash Flow Forecast and Profit and Loss Statement.
  • Be prepared to spend your own money first.
  • Make sure you include some contingency in your start-up budget.
  • Practice your pitch.
  • Investigate all avenues for funding.
  • Keep looking for fuel and don’t give up!