Promotion: Business planning - the key to success
Companies preparing their business plans for entry in this year's InterTradeIreland All-Island Seedcorn Business Competition should look to use a simple tool, such as the Business Cube methodology, according to Connor Sweeney, Finance Equity Advisor at InterTradeIreland.
This guide, available on the InterTradeIreland website, outlines the key areas that investors look for when evaluating investment opportunities and ensures nothing is left out.
"For some businesses, the Seedcorn competition will be the first time they have attempted to prepare a business plan," said Sweeney. "It is a key document for any company and as with anything new, help in the preparation is invaluable."
Most businesses forget that the objective of the business plan is to raise money and fall into the trap of focussing too much in the detail around the product or technology. The writer should try to look at the business from the investor’s point of view and be ever conscious of this when writing the plan.
The best business plans have a great executive summary . This is the hook to get the reader to want to read further. A good business plan should be easy to read – get someone who is not in the industry to read it – they should be able to understand it without getting frustrated.
The 2010 InterTradeIreland All-Island Seedcorn Business competition offers a total prize fund of €280,000, including €100,000 for the winner of the Best High Growth Company and the €50,000 Best Emerging Company prize. There are also six regional prizes of €20,000 each and one Best Spinout award of €10,000.
"The competition is open to any business in any sector, as long as clear growth and innovation can be demonstrated," he said. "It aims to replicate the investment process and to help companies to get themselves investor ready. ‘
Previous finalists over the Seedcorn competition’s eight year history have gone on to secure an additional €129 million in funding.
Irrespective of whether a company makes it through as a regional winner or not, they can all get feedback on their own business plans. Previous winners have indicated that this part of the competition was most valuable to them. This in itself makes entering the competition a worthwhile exercise for any company.
Time is running out, register your interest now for the Competition by logging on to intertradeireland.com/seedcorn. Business plans must be submitted by 1PM on Friday 17th September 2010.