For the past few years I have developed a lot of business concepts and products which are now at various stages. I am in the process of combining all my activities in one business plan. However, I have ran out of cash. At this stage, I have not told a lot of people about my projects and I do not wish to ask a loan from friends and families.
What do you suggest me to do at this stage? Thanks
As far as peaking investors interests, you’ve raised some red flags. Saying, “For the past few years I have developed a lot of business concepts and products which are now at various stages”, sounds as if you not focused. Saying, “I am in the process of combining all my activities in one business plan”, sounds as if you’ve been working the last few years completely backwards. Business plans are supposed to be the instructions of how to properly move your business forward – not something that is written years later, after-the-fact. Saying, “For the past few years I have developed al lot of … products … [but] I have run out of cash”. sounds as if none of them are successful; nor should have it taken you years to realize it. Saying, “I have not told a lot of people about my projects”, sounds as if you’re not seeking the input from all possible users/ companies/ organizations which are critical to the development and implementation of successful projects. Saying, “I do not wish to ask a loan from friends and families”, sounds as if you’re not yet confident enough about your products that they have the ability to repay the loans.
However, since you’ve developed products of, “which everyone loves”, than that is your starting point to move forward. These people should then be willing to pay for these products. Push sales of the most successful products until you’ve collected quite a bit of cash. In the meantime, start writing a proper business plan seeking input from as many people as willing to talk to you. Your plan would detail the triggers of what to do next as each revenue goal is obtained. Stay focused on what you need to do that is preventing your target market from handing you cash for your product today. To your continued success.
You are in the idea stage, and it is unlikely that investors will be interested at this stage. Pick one, focus, research, build it, build your business model, test it, repeat, get some traction, and then try to talk to investors. Good luck.
Join an accelerator to get ready to present to investors
If you can do a friends and family round to launch your MVP, it will be much easier to raise capital. Difficult and dilutive to raise capital in the idea stage.
I would suggest taking a look at the StartUp accelerator to develop your MVP, get a pitch deck together, and then look for investors. Big value for any Start-Up or Growing Company. I was on a live one hour video conference earlier yesterday looking at members pitches. We are also going to be presenting companies, when ready, to investors at 1000 Angels. You should take a look and consider. http://info.cofounderslab.com/cfl-accelerator-lp
As nice as it might be, no one is going to give you capital to update business plans or to develop a presentation. That's always on you, the founder, and your own time or money. Raising funds requires an exchange of value. Until you have a solid, credible plan, you have nothing of value to offer. An idea is so cheap, I can literally stand here like an ATM machine dispensing $10 bills and get a never-ending stream of ideas that haven't been turned into plans.
So, while you're still in the idea phase, it's extremely unlikely you will get any financial support from anyone who is not a close family member or friend who is essentially just donating money to make you happy.
Writing a business plan doesn't take money, it takes time. And yes, there are a few things that can accelerate the writing that you could spend money on, but doing so is usually a bad choice. For example, any research you pay to have done on your behalf means you didn't learn how to do such research, critical to your business, and the process and interpretation skill will remain a skill gap in the future.
At this stage I recommend you work with a mentor, like from the SCORE program. I don't know if they have SCORE in the UK or an equivalent organization. SCORE might even be available remotely. Why I recommend them is because at no cost other than your time, you get the support of a retired executive who will help you at whatever stage your plan is, to refine it, to highlight the areas that need work, to walk you through the process of preparing for presenting your pitch, and all those pre-launch phases that are tough to get through without a sounding board.
99% of the time, ideas are not investable. You need to develop your plan, focus on your MVP, create a deck and then you can present to investors.
I would suggest looking into the CoFoundersLab Start-up accelerator. http://info.cofounderslab.com/cfl-accelerator-lp
As part of the program, we do live - 1 hour video conferences with members of the accelerator, drilling down on specific issues with each company. I guarantee you'll find value in this. Lots of connector points that can help with your journey.
Thanks for your valuable observations and advice. Now I realise that my question was not formed properly, so my apologies. I meant to also ask what would you do if a person constantly generates innovative ideas, concept and theories? If he doesn’t have the time to work on the plan, can he find a partner who can help him do further tests, research and development of a complete business plan, so the tasks are split? Sorry I don’t mean to sound stupid, I’m a top rated freelancer and I have 15 years 100% positive seller feedback on EBay but it feels I’m trapped in a bubble with this one. I believe that I have found ways to constantly generate unique ideas and I want to meet someone to take these ideas and develop them into a plan if they are feasible of course.
@Jeanmichel Wong an innovative idea isn't valuable, maybe it's potentially valuable but by itself it's practically worthless. That's a hard concept to understand and a harder pill to swallow. Grandma might have passed down a great cook book, and the food is better than every restaurant out there, but that doesn't mean you can start a restaurant. It's only one small piece of the puzzle.
I was in the same shoes, as you are. I created MVP / hired decent UX/UI designers, and start showing idea to the world. I am able to raise $35K in the first 3 months. I used $35K to develop Android and IOS App, pitch deck, AWS and complete legal stuff. I have failed on the marketing front. Now I have an app out there but I have around 30-40 organic users coming on app monthly. We are 3 months old with 280 users! Now we are struggling in the mid-west to raise funds for our AI social networking app, which showed curated data by interest(s) .
I believe, having a strong network and at the right place (NY,California) is very crucial to raise funds. Even your idea is great and people loving it - if you don`t have a great startup ecosystem and cash flow you are done!
I suggest buckling down and focusing on a single idea, whichever you think it the most sustainable in the long run, i.e. has the potential for high revenue or growth. If you can't decide between your ideas, collect more market data to see which problem is actually a problem. It's best to create "imaginary" customer profiles for each idea and see what is the most realistic. For example, saying Michael Jordan and NFL players will use my exercise tracking app is not exactly feasible. Rather, a customer profile should be something like: Michael, male, high school junior, recovering from injury, can't afford a personal rehab trainer, looking for cheap alliterative to rehab therapy, would use my app.
Good luck on your decision!