5 Keys to Raising Capital for Your New Business Idea

Learning how to raise capital for your business idea is often difficult for many otherwise very capable would be entrepreneurs. Raising finance, be it from a bank, a venture capital firm or a business angel, has a lot to do with being able to sell your business idea, and less about how good that idea actually is. The best business idea can get nowhere if you cannot convince your prospective investors of its potential as an investment and your ability as a business owner of making it a success. You should keep the following key points in mind when trying to raise capital for your new business idea.Prepare a business planWriting a business plan is often a lot of work and distracts you from doing what you want to do, which is running your business. But you won’t get any funding without a solid written business plan. Telling an investor or your bank contact that they should give you money because you had a great idea is just not going to cut it. A business plan will explain exactly what you plan on doing with that money, why you need it and real numbers proving your business idea potential. Among other things, you’ll need to be able to prove that you know your audience and the size of the market you plan on targeting, your marketing plans, your expected cashflow for the first few years and how will you deal with risks such as another competitor entering the market. If you are unsure about how to write a good business plan you can also hire a consultant to help you prepare it, but make sure you know exactly what’s in it, since the consultant won’t be with you when talking to the potential investors.Practice your pitchLooking for investment is like selling your business idea to somebody who knows a lot about what makes a good, profitable business. While a good business plan is the basis for your pitch, you will still need to deliver it the right way. It’s worth investigating your potential investors, and adapting your pitch to that information. For example, a bank is often conservative and would be more interested in you showcasing how your business idea is a safe bet and has a solid base, without extravagant expenses or high risk taking. However, an investor with an existing portfolio of cutting edge technological business may be more interested in listening to how your business is highly innovative and will use the money to create the next big thing online. Do not go into any meeting with your investors without researching all you can about them and their style, since they will have no doubt researched you to see if you, as a person and a businessman, are likely to succeed.Plan for threats and weaknessesRemember when at job interviews people asked you to name your weak points? Your investors are going to do exactly the same about your business idea. While it’s clear that you wouldn’t be asking for investment if you didn’t believe your business idea has a high potential for success, you should also be aware of what things could make it fail, and be able to plan for it. Do not say “Nothing can go wrong, I have everything covered” because at best you’ll get a reality check from the investors about the many things you had not considered, before politely being shown the door. Being secure of yourself is great, but realism is highly appreciated in business.Know your USPWhat makes your business idea unique, and so makes people choose you over anybody else to buy from? Your unique selling point, or USP, will be key to your marketing strategy since it’s the reason why people will buy from you. A generic business with no unique selling point is not likely to make venture investors interested, because if anybody can do it, it’s probably not going to be very profitable. Investors want a high return on investment, and that means that your business should grow and not just be good enough for you to make a living. On the other hand, a bank may be less demanding with your uniqueness, as long as you are using a proven business model on a niche that has room for new players, but a bank knows that they’ll get their payment through your loan interest so they are satisfied with you just breaking even and paying your loan.Show that you the right person to lead your businessThis is another challenging issue when trying to get finance, and a question that few investors will ask you directly so you need to show it by your actions and your sales pitch. Some people are great at having ideas, but are very bad at making those ideas into a real business and managing the day to day of said business. As a business owner, you’ll need many skills that aren’t directly related to your business core idea. Even if you are technically the best developer in the world, and the person who can best implement your idea, you may not be the right person to actually manage it and many investors will notice that unfavourably. Make sure you come across as a savvy businessperson, and not just a great inventor or a proficient salesman.

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Small Business Project Management: Six Pros and Cons

Growth hungry small businesses today in the UK and indeed throughout the world face the challenge of balancing two competing objectives. Firstly, businesses must maintain and standardise current business processes in order to give your business the chance to get really good at what it does through experience curve effects. Greater business efficiency normally translates into a better customer experience and higher profits. Secondly, businesses must transform business operations in order to survive and compete in the future. How well we are able to achieve the right balance for our business will ultimately determine if we survive and go on to thrive or go the way of so many small businesses into market irrelevancy and insolvency.You may well be thinking right now what has this got to do with project management? To understand that we first need to understand the fundamental differences between projects and day to day business operations. Whilst many of the skills required to manage your “business as usual” activities are the same as those needed to manage projects, there are some crucial differences. Amongst the most significant differences are that project work tends to be at least cross functional and often cross organisational and every project will be unique in some way rather than following the predictable pattern of business as usual. These characteristics of projects introduce opportunities and risks over and above those encountered in business as usual. In short, projects are riskier than day to day business, and therefore need a different management approach.Projects are the means by which we introduce change in organisations. All businesses that are making any attempt to adapt to face future challenges have projects. Common examples of projects in small businesses may include setting up a company website, establishing the office in a new location, or implementing a new product but it can be any temporary activity or set of activities that have a specific output associated with it. Businesses increase their productive capacity one project at a time. Indeed, for ambitious small companies looking to grow and expand, the need to initiate the right projects and achieve the desired results is even more vital l than it is for huge national and multi-national businessesDespite the obvious need for a project management (PM) approach, most small businesses don’t bother. This constitutes a huge missed opportunity as effective project management impacts the bottom line. For example, research by the CBP shows that project management improvement initiatives improve project performance by up to 50% for the first project and can continue for each new project if the business offers ongoing project management tools and support. We could emphasise this point further by citing the Standish Group, who in their CHAOS Report conservatively estimates that 20% of money spent on projects is wasted because companies don’t have a consistent approach to project management.Let’s take a look at six reasons I often hear from small business owners that choose not to bother with project management and then critically address the misconceptions behind these reasons.1. Project management practices take more timeHaving a process to follow may add time to the duration of an activity. Doing something properly will almost always take a little bit more time than adopting a slapdash approach. However, if you where building a house, would you rather have a quality end result that took a little longer, or would you prefer to have it done quickly but with lots of problems? Given that poorly executed projects can be completely de-rail a small business if they go badly, doing it well is essential, and PM processes help ensure things are done well.2. Project management eats into the cash that I need to grow my businessA common misconception is that it is hugely expensive to implement PM process. The reality is that there are many free or low-cost sources of advice, techniques, tools, templates and project management services readily available and accessible through the Internet. If done correctly, any small business can implement PM processes, techniques and tools with very little cost. The likelihood is that small business owners are already using software and other tools that can be used for project management. For example, certain email software, spreadsheets, and other common software applications offer good templates for project management, especially if used in collaboration with some of the low cost project management services available for small businesses3. Project management requires skills that I don’t have and cannot afford to hireAlthough it does require specialised skills and experience to be an accomplished project manager, these are skills that can be learned over time. To move further up the learning curve faster, it is possible to take a PM course in as little as four or five days. Most small business owners tend to possess the knowledge needed for project management, and courses such as the Prince 2 Practitioner course would build on these skills while introducing the specific theories, tools, and processes essential for project management. Whilst business owners might not emerge from a course as a project expert, they would certainly learn valuable skills to apply to their small business.4. I don’t need the hassle or paperwork of project management.Every entrepreneur that starts their own business will, at some point, need to do a risk assessment, a marketing campaign or apply for finance. Being knowledgeable in project management and applying associated tools such as stakeholder analysis, communication planning and risk management will not only assist in many of these tasks, but will provide your small business with a competitive edge over competitors who do not approach.5. Project management will slow me down and I need to stay agile.Modern PM methodologies all acknowledge the importance of a tailored approach to project management. If your project requires speed, the right methodology can enable you to move quickly. Just as important, however, it will provide you with techniques to understand whether some proposed projects are worth pursuing at all. Rushing into situations without thoroughly understanding your environment is hazardous to the health of any project and potentially to the health of the business as a whole6. I am an expert in my industry, I don’t need project management.Most small businesses are started by a person who already has some expertise in their industry. This is unquestionably an advantage; however, project management should still be used to convert plans into reality. The main reasons for project failure tends to be poor planning, lack of capital, and lack of management. Project management, while not a cast-iron guarantee of success, will assist the small business in mitigating some of the common risks that so often cause project failure amongst small businesses.Even a brief look at the reasons often posited by small business owners for failing to approach projects in a systematic and different way that recognises their inherent riskiness and addresses some of the more challenging aspects of project work shows them to be of dubious merit. Without question, the quality of project outputs would be greatly enhanced and the cost of and time taken in delivering project benefits using a project methodology appropriate to the scale of the project.

Construction Management Jobs for Felons – How To Get a High Paying Construction Job

Job opportunities for felons are often few and far between. To increase your chances of getting the best jobs for felons, you should choose an industry that is unrelated to your felony and where jobs are in high demand. It is also helpful to choose a profession, such as construction management jobs for felons, where you can be self-employed.

Construction administration jobs for felons are also known as project management or construction project management. Managers in this field are trained to oversee the planning, design and actual building of construction projects.

It is a very promising field of study right now because the employment opportunities for these managers is expected to exceed the number of qualified workers from now through 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This high demand and shortage of trained construction managers means that there are many job opportunities for felons available in construction management.

What kinds of jobs for felons are available in construction management?

Job opportunities for felons include construction estimating, construction safety, construction project management and building code compliance. The construction manager’s duties include keeping an eye on the big picture and making sure that the construction project is completed on time, does not go over the budget, meets quality standards and conforms to building codes. If the construction project is quite large, there will be many construction managers working on different tasks.

To be a good construction administrator, you have to like working with people. You will have to work not just with the owner-client but also with architects, construction workers, subcontractors, quantity surveyors, health inspectors, safety inspectors and other such people. Construction management may be a good choice for you if you are a good communicator who loves leadership roles. This is not the right career for shy people.

Also, since problems are bound to crop up with both large and small-scale construction projects, you need to be able to keep your cool while under pressure. Decisiveness and self-confidence are the two most important qualities that a construction developer should have.

Construction Management Jobs for Felons

Construction management is suitable for ex-felons because it is a job that is in high demand due to the shortage of qualified and experienced managers. This is also the type of job where people care more about experience and results than your felony.

Additionally, managers can be self-employed which is a good idea for ex-felons who are finding it hard to get employment. Most constructing managers work on a contract basis since construction projects are contract-based. However, it is also possible to get a salaried job within a construction company if you prefer a more stable type of job.

Since this is a managerial job, the pay is higher than average so this is a good career choice for those who are looking for high-paying job opportunities for felons.

Jobs for Felons: How to Get a Job in Construction Management

Construction education comes in two basic forms: one-year associate degrees and four-year baccalaureate degrees. Nowadays, many colleges also offer online courses as well as on-campus courses.

Generally, managers will either start at entry-level or mid-level jobs after graduation. Another career path that is popular for ex-felons is to work in construction and then take night or online classes to get a management degree in construction. This helps them get a promotion to a management or supervisory position.

It is also possible to specialize in certain construction projects which may improve your employability if these specialties are in demand. For example, some construction companies specialize in the restoration of historic homes and buildings. Experience or expertise in a specialized type of construction is quite valuable and makes getting the best jobs for felons easier.

Construction management jobs are projected to grow rapidly in the next few years so it is a good career choice for people looking for job opportunities for felons. A degree in construction management will greatly help you to land a job in construction project management. These managerial jobs for felons pay well but they are suitable only for those who are willing to put up with the stress of leadership roles.