Starting up and heading out into the big bad business world can be daunting and financially taxing when you’re flying solo, but there are a few to soften the blow. If you missed our post on the difference between an entrepreneur and a solopreneur, it’s worth a read, and we’ve covered funding and grants previously too, but learning from those who have gone before is one of the smartest things you can do in business.

If you’re smart, you’ll do your sleuthing, and Googling ‘small business grants’ is a great place to start, but you can also learn a thing or two from our Founder, Tobi Skovron. He’s a serial entrepreneur, and he’s applied a decade’s worth of experience to his latest venture, CreativeCubes.Co. He’s seen success and failure on both sides of the globe, but most importantly, he’s learnt from both.

Tobi proudly stacks a list of awards against his name too, including Winner of Melbourne Design Awards (2018) and Winner of Westpac Business of Tomorrow (2018), and everything he’s learnt along the way – he’s happy to share.

CreativeCubes.Co may be a well-oiled machine and one of Melbourne’s top co-working spaces now but building such an intricate eco-system hasn’t always been easy, or cheap.

Here are Tobi’s top tips on getting funding for your start-up…

  • Make sure your business in humming, you may think you’re ready but in reality, you should qualify with conviction you’re absolutely ready to take on external capital.
    • Taking on capital should be for growth, not to cover your cash burn
    • Do NOT take on external capital if you can’t see yourself getting into the black and running a profitable enterprise.
    • Raising capital is all about business growth, not keeping your dream alive if its not hit the mark or the market hasn’t accepted it the way you thought it would
    • If the above is in check, move to point 2.
  • Securing money isn’t a problem is your business has traction. You should be in a position whereby you can pick and choose your investors and for that what’s important here is the long-term relationship. I think it’s way more important to build a relationship verse hunting for cash. Be prepared to go on as many “dates” as possible – ease in, don’t rush and make sure you’re both (you and your prospective investor(s)) are 100% dialled in.
  • Make sure you’re listening to the market. Listen to the feedback, especially if it’s negative and learn as much as you possibly can from it.
    • You’ll get a lot of candid responses when doing the fund raising rounds – take it all on board!
  • Speak to a lot of people – no different to making sales calls make sure you’re active in communication with people that you want to invest in your business.
  • Meet, re-meet then meet up again and make sure you’re sure.
  • Make sure you have an established shareholder agreement… a book of terms and conditions that you’ve engaged with your business on.
  • Set your term sheet and issue it for feedback & negotiation
  • Remember a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush – so if you have the right investor and terms within reason CLOSE CLOSE CLOSE!

Author Tobi Skovron

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