As a component of the business plan, we had to come up with prices for our services provided and come to a conclusion on the amount of investment we would need to start our company.
This was definitely the most difficult element of writing the plan for me. I have never had any education in business or accounting, and in school maths was the subject I consistently struggled with. To say I dreaded this element of the plan is an understatement. On reflection, I think I did fairly well considering I have zero knowledge in this area. It was a large learning curve for me but I think having a basic knowledge of business will be a great asset regardless of whether I become an entrepreneur or not. This website was my go-to guide for all financial terms. This knowledge was essential for me as a potential entrepreneur to assist me in writing a solid financial plan.
After estimating costs for my expenses and income, I came to the conclusion that to start-up Graphic Spark I would need an investment of €10,000. My next question was where should I approach to seek investment? This took a lot of time to figure out. Having analysed many different options for finance and investment, I now feel I would be better prepared in selecting the correct investor for my venture.
While researching Delta Partners I found out that they provide an extremely useful and free service they provide. It is called Around the Table and it provides the opportunity to ask any investment questions at an early stage. Unfortunately, there was an event held in Dundalk IT in March this year, but I wasn’t aware of this at the time. Having learnt of this service, it is something that I would consider as the next step for gaining an investment.
However, from conducting research, I think that overall the Meath Enterprise Office would be a more suitable choice for me. This is a short video on what the Enterprise Office does.
The Meath Enterprise Office is a key investor in start-up companies in Meath. They actively seeking new investments, and they release campaigns, like the video above, to encourage companies to localise in Meath. The qualification process can be made through Micro Finance Ireland, who specialise in small loans up to €25,000. The required assessment criteria have been met for qualification of a priming grant and the application process is underway. Having analysed investors, I now feel this is the most promising investor for Graphic Spark as they specialise in companies with under 10 employees that do not make above €2 Million.
Additionally, Micro Finance Ireland provided a very useful loan calculation tool, as seen below. This was key for my research as it made the process considerably easier than me trying to work it out myself.
I have significantly developed my awareness of business terminology and improved my skills in this area. Although, if I were to create a business plan as a future entrepreneur, I would definitely invest in sourcing professional help in this area with an accountant. It is by no means an area I am proficient in, so to create a plan that it realistic and accurate I think this would be a wise approach to take.
Image 1 – http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/business/blog/finance-terms-for-student-investors/
Image 2 – http://microfinanceireland.ie/loan-calculator/