At Resilient Scotland, we really understand that applying for investment can feel like hard work. But, providing us with all the information we need when you make your application can really make a difference, and make the process faster and easier. Here are a few top tips:
1. Present a clear business plan
Having a sound business plan shows awareness, foresight, ambition and appreciation of the detail of running your business.
Keep it short. Think about the presentation, a well-presented plan will reinforce the positive impression you want to create.
Your plan should explain what your enterprise does (or will do if it’s a new business); it should demonstrate who will buy your product or service and why, and provide financial forecasts showing how it will work.
2. Tell your story in numbers
Community and social enterprises need to produce robust financial information to create and tell their story – to understand the competition, identify business opportunities and to seek investment. Detailed financial projections will turn your story into numbers.
3. Show the value of your team, not just your goods and services
It’s the people and their passion for what they do that really make social enterprises successful. Tell us about your employees and volunteers, showcase their skills, knowledge, energy and – above all – their desire to make your enterprise a success.
4. Know your customer
Imagine yourself in your customers’ situation; think about what they want, and you can get a better feel for their needs, both now and in the future.
Do you have a sales plan? Have you considered which promotional tools will be the most effective and most appropriate for your market?
5. Demonstrate your impact
There are lots of approaches to measuring social impact. We want you to consider:
• the effects or changes your enterprise will make due to the investment?
• who will benefit?
Remember to stay true to your core values; the best way to be a high impact social enterprise is to be an effective and sustainable business.
6. Understand the risks
Prepare for all eventualities. It is good to show that you have considered the risks your business could potentially face. Demonstrate you have looked at contingencies and insurance to cover these. Risks can include:
• commercial issues – sales, prices, deliveries
• operations – IT, technology or production failure
• staff – skills, availability and costs
• acts of God – fire or flood
If you want to apply for Start & Grow give the team a call on 0131 524 0300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org