If you’re looking to start a business or expand your current business, investment capital can be of paramount importance. Strategic planning is necessary to ensure that you get the funding you need. What should this planning consist of? Here are a few tips to make the process easier.
First, it can be helpful to hire a business consultant. While you don’t technically have to have a business consultant, working with a professional can streamline the process and enhance the chances of getting the investors you need. Second, make sure that your consultant conducts a full strategic analysis, with a focus on your bookkeeping. You’ll need to make sure that your financial records and statements are all in order. It is also important that your bookkeeping is current to allow for easy readability for your consultant. Your consultant can also help develop a formal pitch for investors, which will further boost your chances of landing the capital necessary to achieve your goals, and may even have a network with investors that will consider your idea.
Finally, you’ll need a solid business plan. Whether you come up with your own business plan or your consultant documents it during the strategic analysis, having that documented business plan for investors to see and evaluate is vital. Whether you’re considering a traditional lender (banks, typically) or seeking angel investors, a full business plan in motion is one of the most important items to have.
Before hiring any business consultant, do a bit of research on their reputation and length of time in the industry. You must ensure that the consultant you choose has a reputation for conducting an in-depth strategic analysis and creating a robust business plan tailored to your specific business which includes developing a plan for your bookkeeping procedures, process mapping, and other business related operations. Researching a consultant’s history and reputation is easiest when you speak with previous clients, as this gives you the opportunity to get real feedback from business owners who have actually worked with the consultant in the past. If a consultant lacks experience or references, consider choosing another – this is not an area in which you can afford to take chances.
Barb is the CEO of Fisher Bookkeeping, an outsourced bookkeeping consultancy that provides small businesses with a full-service financial department. Her favorite aspect of work is to break down the accounting to meaningful bits, so entrepreneurs can make a powerful difference in their own business. She's also a power lifter (squat: 215, DL: 270).