Do you have an awesome idea for a business but don’t know where to start? Getting your idea off the ground might be easier than you think with these top five innovative entrepreneurial tools.
1. Google Campus
If you’re looking for a little bit of Google magic when it comes to getting your business off the ground then Google Campus could be for you.
A seven-storey ‘start-up hub’ in east London, it offers a flexible workspace with free high speed internet, support events and workshops. You can rent a space temporarily or permanently and work alongside like-minded entrepreneurs, swapping skills and talking ideas. It currently has more than 10,000 members and permanently houses over 100 different companies.
Chances are you’ve already heard of Kickstarter, which has been used to fund Hollywood blockbusters (the Veronica Mars movie) and businesses alike.
All you do is upload a video about your business and set a financial target and deadline. If people like your idea they’ll invest but they don’t get equity in return. Instead you offer perks, such as t-shirts, mementos or the product itself. If you don’t hit your target you get nothing but if you to Kickstarter takes a 5 per cent fee and you’ve got the money you need to start your business. Perfect.
If hitting a Kickstarter target sounds a bit too daunting then you might want to consider Indiegogo instead.
Rather than having to raise a predetermined amount or risk not receiving any funding at all, Indiegogo gives you the option of refunding what you’ve raised so far, or keeping it. The only catch is that if you don’t hit your target but want to keep what you have, you have to pay Indiegogo a 9 per cent fee (projects that reach their target pay 4 per cent). Investors receive similar perks offered by Kickstarter for their contributions.
This is another crowdfunding platform that has completed 106 successful fundraises to date.
It offers people equity in unlisted, UK-registered businesses in exchange for their investment rather than perks like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Wannabe Dragons Den style entrepreneurs upload a video pitch, images and supporting documents to attractive investors, and must hit a target to receive any funding. When a business is sold, the investors then receive an agreed percentage of the profits.
Seedrs is another equity-based crowdfunding site, which lets investors risk as little as £10.
Unlike the previouly mentioned crowdfunding sites Seedrs holds investment on behalf of the investors, so if a project doesn’t reach its target within the three-month time frame (talk about a deadline), they’ll have no problem getting their money back. You pitch your idea in a similar way to the other sites and if you manage to hit your target Seedrs takes at 7.5 per cent cut. Once your business turns a profit, either when it floats on a stock exchange or is sold, the investors get a percentage.
Now here are THE 3 things you need to think about before setting up a business…
Looking for more career inspo? It’s not too late to book tickets for Marie Claire’s @ Work Live, in association with Cointreau and Next. A one-day event on 23 April 2016, featuring advice, tips and inspiration from incredible speakers.