At SheHive London, Nieros Oyegun, principal and head of Corporate and Financial Advisory at W8 ADVISORY gave an insightful talk about navigating the entrepreneurial roadmap. Here are five things I learned that I’m sure will be useful to you too.

1. It starts with an idea

For any entrepreneur out there, the first step they took towards starting their business is coming up with an idea. This may seem like the most basic step but thinking about a product that is marketable is key to overcoming the hurdles that will come in the future when it comes to financing and growth.

So to start off, you need to figure out what you are going to be selling, how you will be selling it and who your target market will constitute of.

2. Understand the environment

It is important to understand the environment you will be doing business in. Ask yourself, whose market share are you taking up with your startup and what are the opportunity costs.

You need to pick out your competitors and understand their habits, they are factors that could contribute to determining your growth rate and customer base.

3. Approach investors

Cold-calling investors is not the way to go. Try and build your contacts and get someone to introduce you to potential investors. When pitching to investors, keep your pitch skeletal and to the point. Try and demonstrate why you think your product is marketable and how it can make your way to profitability. In essence try and think like an investor and understand the risk-investor matrix of your business.

Also, make sure that when you leave investor meetings, you clearly understand expectations from both sides and where you stand. This is because there is always the risk of buyer’s remorse with the investor, they may decide not to go ahead with funding the business. So do not relax until the money is in your account!

4. Find a partner

A one person startup usually hinders investment opportunities. This is because it is difficult for one person to take on all the roles in a company.

Therefore investors are more skeptical of putting resources into such a business. Finding the right partner and their potential long term contribution to your business can aid you in getting investors.

5. Consider self-funding

When it comes to funding your business, look into self-funding through your savings, applying for grants and accelerator programs first. If you bring in a partner, you should be cautious of how much equity in your business they control. It is sometimes the case with start-up businesses that at the early stages, the partner is active in helping set up but once the business is up and running, their role is limited so having a huge percentage of equity is disadvantageous to you. Institutional investors are the later options to look into for funding.

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