Business Resources

Although a great business plan does not guarantee success, it helps organise your thoughts, set up the framework to execute your business and attracts the investment you need to get your idea off the ground.


The first step in writing a stellar business plan is to think about what your idea needs to be at each stage of the launch process and then set that out in a clear and concise strategy. Once the business plan is done, it's your job to promote it - talk about it, tweet it, post a link to facebook, take a photo of your pitch and instragram it, and inform your network through google+ and linkedin.


The business plan is your first introduction to the investor, so make an impression. A cool logo or an explanatory video, along with your business plan, will do wonders. Dedicate your time and resources to putting your best foot forward.


We have set a list of topics on the left for you to consider and incorporate when writing your business plan

Great Business Plans

The best business plans we have read have a few things in common:

  • There is a clear mission statement.
  • It is clear and easy to understand.
  • It is concise and to the point.
  • It includes hard data and facts and there is no fluffy language.




We have put together a list of a few websites that you may find useful in helping you prepare your Pitch.


If numbers are not your strong suit, we have provided a Financial Template to help you outline your financial forecasts and start up costs.


Sales Forecasts: This is where you project your sales. You will have to make certain assumptions such as how much you will charge, any capital expenditure, marketing spend, or seasonality.


Cash Flow: This shows how the money entering and leaving your account on a monthly basis.


Start-up Costs: This shows all the costs associated with starting your business. This can include, buying/creating the product, launching a website, insurance legals, furniture, etc.


If you're stuck, check out this government website for greater detail:

https://www.gov.uk/forecast-business-finances

Equity Raise Process


The process of raising equity funds is simple and transparent. We have set out the raising process below in a series of steps that you can understand and follow.

If your business plan is well thought out and developed, it should ordinarily take about 3 weeks for your pitch to be approved and showcased on InvestDen


Step 1. Pitch Application Once you are a registered member, you complete the InvestDen Pitch Application which details your idea, the business plan and the supporting financials. We will assess whether your business is appropriate for InvestDen and our members. If you are investment ready then you can move on to creating your pitch. If, in our discretion, we don’t think you are quite ready yet, we may recommend some things you could do to make your application more suitable for InvestDen. Step 2. Create your Pitch After your application is approved, you can create your pitch, including adding videos, defining your strategy, explaining how you will execute the idea and generating your financials. You may find some helpful tips on creating your pitch on The Perfect Pitch and Pitch Support Services. Step 3. Pitch Approval and Activation Once we have vetted your pitch, and deemed it appropriate for InvestDen, we will activate it by showcasing it on our platform. Step 4. Pitch Promotion This is the perfect time for you to start leveraging your network to get early momentum in your project. You should tell your friends and family and use all of your social media tools to get the word out on your project. If you can line up early interest for investment from some of your own network this will go a long way in helping your pitch reach its funding goal. Step 5. Pitch Funding Once your pitch reaches its funding goal, or any overfunding that may be appropriate, we will close out the offering and list it as funded on InvestDen. Step 6. Amend your Articles of Association We will work with you to get the deal executed and implement the necessary legal documents to consummate the transaction. This will include agreeing a new Articles of Association to integrate the new (and old, if appropriate) shareholders, accede the Nominee Agreement (if appropriate), confirm your share numbers and determine the investment schedule. Step 7. Seven Day email Investors are emailed to their registered address to confirm their investment and review the Articles of Association. Once the 7 days have passed, the investment will become binding. Step 8. AML checks We undertake anti-money laundering checks on the investor and entrepreneur for the protection of all parties. Step 9. Resolution and Board Meeting If it is required, the 'Waiver of Pre-emption Rights' and ‘Board Resolution’ documents provided to you are signed by relevant investors and board of directors and reviewed by us. You need to ensure that 75% of the shareholders sign the special shareholders resolution. Step 10. Funding The investment commitments are processed via the selected payment processors. The fees (ours and any payment processing fees) are deducted from the total investment commitments and the funds are delivered into your nominated account. It is typical for you to receive your funds in about 7 days after investments are processed. Step 11. Investor List We help you confirm the number of shares to be issued and draft a schedule of new investors for you. Step 12. Share Certificates We issue share certificates to your new investors so you can go out and successfully implement your business plan!

Debt Raise Process


The process of raising debt funds is simple and transparent. We have set out the borrowing process below in a series of steps that you can understand and follow.

If your borrowing needs are succinctly defined and you have submitted the appropriate supporting documentation, it should ordinarily take about 1 week for your loan request to be approved and showcased on InvestDen.


Step 1. Loan Request Application Once you are a registered member, you can make a loan request by providing us with some basic details about you and/or your business and how much you would like to borrow. We will then undertake a credit check verifying certain details and determining, in conjunction with external credit agencies, if your request is suitable for InvestDen. Step 2. Create your Offering Once we confirm to you that your Loan Request is suitable, you can create your offering by detailing your loan request, and uploading any helpful supporting documentation. We may contact you to work on your loan request or ask for further information. Step 3. Loan Documentation We will send you the loan documentation to approve and sign which will govern the borrowing arrangement with your lenders. Step 4. Offering Approval and Activation Once we have vetted all the information you have provided, we will activate the loan request and showcase it on InvestDen. Step 5. Offering Promotion This is the perfect time for you to start leveraging your network to get early momentum in funding your loan request. You should tell your friends and family and use all of your social media tools to get the word out on your funding needs. If you can line up early interest from some of your own network to be lenders then this will go a long way in helping your loan request reach its total borrowing goal. Step 6. AML checks We undertake anti-money laundering checks on the Lender and Borrower for the protection of all parties. Step 7. Funding Once your Loan Request meets its target goal, funds are processed from the Lenders and transferred to your designated account. It is typical for you to receive your funds in about 7 days after monies are processed. Step 8. Lenders List We provide you with a list of all the Lenders who contributed to your total loan amount.

The Business Plan:

1. What is the Opportunity


The objective of defining the opportunity is to allow investors to understand the business you are proposing. Try to put yourself in an investors shoes and answer the questions that would come to their mind. You should specifically include:


  • A description of the business
  • An overview of the market
  • Your funding requirement (Explain how you arrived at valuation and use of funds)
  • Who your customer is
  • How you will sell your products or services
  • An overview of your competition
  • Your value proposition
  • An overview of the economics
  • An overview of how rapid your industry is growing
  • An overview of your strategic plan to take your idea to market
  • A plan on how you will achieve and sustain profitability

2. Who are the People?


Members of InvestDen can invest in an idea or the people (or both). Let investors know who the people are behind the project. Set out the key people, including their backgrounds and provide any relevant information, or qualifications, that may give an investor confidence that your people have the right expertise to pull off this business. Don’t hesitate to list any advisors or service providers that you will be working with, including but not limited to, accountants, lawyers or suppliers.


3. What is the Context?


Explain what the business landscape looks like, from both a micro and macro perspective. Consider things such as the regulatory environment, how interest rates may affect you, what your payment terms are, and the impact of inflation. Also consider what the competition is doing (if there is any).


4. What is the Risk and Reward?


Undertake an assessment of the risks to the business and propose solutions to mitigate these risks. An investor knows that risks are inherent to investing, however, they want to see that you have considered these risks and are prepared for them.


5. What is your Valuation?


Valuing a business, particularly one that has not yet begun to trade, is very difficult. If you are pitching a start up, be sensible on your valuation - you don’t want to discourage potential investors. Your valuation is based on the idea, the market and your team. Its less of a science, and more of an art.


If you are pitching a business that has a trade history, valuation will be a little bit easier. Two common methods are

  • Discounted cash flow
  • and

  • Net present value


6. How will you Achieve Your Funding Goal?


First you have to set a realistic funding goal, then you need to achieve it!

Have a plan of action in place before you set your funding goal. Think about how you can promote your Pitch, what friends and family members, or other people within your network who you may be able to rely on to help you get funded. Use all the resources available to you. We have found that word of mouth, and the use of social media are effective tools to bring attention, and funding, to an Entrepreneurs Pitch.


7. What is Your Exit Strategy?


Investors want to make money on their investment. You should clearly demonstrate what your exit strategy is (it could be more than one exit option) and how long this will take. Don’t rush to pay unsustainable dividends - take your time and lay out an exit strategy that makes sense and is credible.


8. Should I include a Video?


A short and illustrative video of your product or service is an excellent compliment to your business plan. A video is your chance to bring your idea to life and connect with your investors on a more personal level. Display your idea clearly and communicate why it's a compelling proposition, what problems it solves, and how you are going to add value. If you do choose to make a video, our research suggests it best to keep it between 30 second and 3 minutes.


9. Should I Provide a Reward?


Its totally up to you. A non-financial reward may serve as a way to get investors excited about your idea and generate buzz in the InvestDen community. You can be creative with your reward offering but it must comply with our governance policies (ie. you can NOT give out alcohol, narcotics or anything offensive). You can correlate the rewards to investment at a certain level and this may encourage a larger investment from some.




How to make an amazing pitch

Stand out

You need to make your pitch catch an investor's eye. Keep your pitch simple, easy to understand and make it stand out with great aesthetics, the use of vibrant colors, create a captivating logo, supporting documentation, videos and photographs.


Answer the “Whys”

Why should an investor place funds with your business? Why is the proposition you are offering unique? Why is your strategy going to work? Why is the team in place poised for success? Why will your business achieve its forecasts? Why will your business succeed? Answer the “whys” in a direct, specific and effective manner.


Be thoughtful

An investor should immediately understand that you have thought about things such as your proposition, your competition, your strategy, the fundraising ask and the use of proceeds, and your valuation methods. Answer these questions in the early literature of your pitch.


Generate a solid business plan

The business plan should clearly summarise the opportunity, the market, your strategy and objectives, the key employees, as well as your financial forecasts (and previous audited statements if you are pitching an existing business).


Spread the word

A network is a powerful thing. Tap into your social media, tell your facebook friends, tweet about your recent pitch, post it on LinkedIn, and make it the topic conversation at social events. When people see your pitch, you have a double benefit - they could invest, and you are also building your brand and customer base. Even if your friends don't invest, ask them to like it on facebook, post a photo on instragram, and tweet about it. Be an InvestDen ambassador and be the master of your own destiny.




Some Important points to consider:

  • use clear language
  • only make representations that are true, accurate and verifiable
  • think about offering rewards such as free products to investors, but remember, its your obligation to keep any promise you make
  • don't be afraid to ask for help. We may be able to point you in the right direction or introduce you to people that help generate an awesome pitch




Pitch Support Services:

InvestDen has partnered up with best in class service providers to help you create an awesome pitch. Investors have frequently advised that they want a compelling business plan, with great financials. While you may be skilled in being able to deliver this, you have the option to seek outside assistance to put your best pitch forward.


Law Firms:

Contact us at support@investden.com for recommendations in this area


Financial Advisory:

Contact us at support@investden.com for recommendations in this area


Marketing and Video Production:

We have partnered up with the following marketing and video production companies who can help you get the edge on your pitch by making it presentable.

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SUTV

SUTV specialise in producing high quality Pitch Video Animations for ambitious Crowdfunders. Their service takes the pain out of ordering a great Pitch Video Animation for your great startup idea!

You can order your Pitch Video Animation using the SUTV Studio online in ten minutes, and then have it uploaded into your Crowdfunding platform just six working days after script approval. 

By using the SUTV Studio, you can specify the dimensions of your video pitch animation, such a voiceovers and script writing.

You can also pick from their range of animation styles, and upload any images and logos you want featured on your animation.

Their pricing is completely transparent - the SUTV Studio will calculate the exact price of your video pitch animation before you place your order. Prices start from £225

Contact: Stephen Bardle

Email: stephen@startuploaded.com

Web: www.powtoon.com/studio/sutv/


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Gro-Up

Gro-Up produce video pitches and promos specifically for Crowdfunded projects and will only ask for their full fee if you hit your funding target. 

They are versatile and will contribute as much as you need in terms of ideas and input. They can cover both animation and video requirements as they have a varied background in film, advertising and creative work. 

Contact: Sam Fourness

Email: sam@gro-up.co.uk

Web: www.gro-up.co.uk

Telephone: 07740 074 351


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Triangles

Triangles can produce animated explanatory videos, viral explainer videos & screencast videos. Effectively help explain a business angle or idea and increase conversions and investment opportunity dramatically. 

Their services include Strategy, Creative Storytelling, Video Production and Analytics. 

Video styles include Cartoon Animation, Motion Graphics and Whiteboard (hand-drawn) animation. Elements with video production elements can be costed on a custom basis.

Contact: Ford Shirriff

Email: ford@triangles.net

Web: www.triangles.net


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U&M Film & Video Production

Unity & Motion specialise in film & video production. Creating motion pictures for your successful crowdfunding campaign.

Based in London U&M are in the heart of the start-up scene, along with hubs in Northampton & Manchester they are available across the country. Offering special rates for crowdfunding campaigns, they understand the importance of getting your pitch video perfect so you hit your funding target.

U&M can help you throughout the production process, from initial ideas to production shooting, right through to post-production & content marketing. Contact U&M for a complimentary consultation on your company's pitch video.

Contact: Charles Parkinson

Email: charles@unityandmotion.com

Web: www.unityandmotion.com

Telephone: 020 7887 4522


We have made every effort to make raising finance on InvestDen as affordable as possible for everyone.  If you have any questions, please email us at support@investden.com


Investors pay no fee for making any investment on InvestDen


Equity Raises

1. Entrepreneur Pitch Listing

Pitch listing Fee: FREE

2. Fees payable once you reach your funding target

Success fee: 4.88% of total funds raised and processed

Administration and Closing fees: £1,850 (exc. VAT) covers issue of share certificates, adoption of Articles of Association and other filings.  Payable in any event.

3. Payment Processing Fees

The Payment Processing Fees will be dependent upon the chosen payment provider(s) and are charged by the provider directly to the entrepreneur when the raised monies are transferred.  


Debt Raises

1. Debt Offering listing

Free

2. Fees payable on Debt being issued

2% arrangement fee payable to InvestDen upon successful funding

Administration fees: To be agreed in advance

3. Payment Processing Fees

The Payment Processing Fees will be dependant upon the chosen payment provider(s) and are charged by the provider directly to the entrepreneur when the raised monies are transferred.


Secondary Market Sales

1. Investment Trader Listing Fee:

Free

2. Fees payable on Sale

Success fee: 5% of total sale payable by the Seller

Administration fees: £1,850 (exc. VAT) covers issue of share certificates, adoption of Articles of Association and other filings.  Payable in any event.

3. Payment Processing Fees

The Payment Processing Fees will be dependant upon the chosen payment provider(s) and are charged by the provider directly to the Borrower.


Feeling inspired to start your pitch?