Dear Aunty B,
I am considering an entrepreneurial leap into my own business. I will be starting small but am dreaming big, however my issue is where to start with funding such an endeavour. My business idea is in the realms of the health industry/ health promotion/food industry (I am a nutritionist), and I am lost in the minefield of looking at what grants may apply to us. Do you have any suggestions on how best to decipher the type of grant we could apply or if there are any other SMART ways to raise capital?
A good place to start is right here on SmartCompany. Try this articles on grants available for small businesses. There are also specialist firms which focus on identifying the right type of grants for your business. The downside is they do take a cut.
As for other smart ways to raise capital. There is the classic entrepreneurial way of asking family and friends to assist. This does put the pressure on though!
Another option is to look to advisers and investment bankers who specialise on raising capital in your industry. If you have a mentor they may have some suggestions of advisers or investment bankers to use.
You can also call your accountant and ask for contacts because they may even have a client who is looking to invest.
Your two big questions are which adviser to choose and the agreement you put in place with that adviser. Do you pay them a retainer and a commission or merely a commission on the funds they raise – that sort of thing.
Once those questions are put to bed and the agreement with the adviser is signed, then he or she will walk you through the process, telling you what is expected at each point.
Your Aunty B