Small and medium enterprises (SME’s in Singapore), typically defined as organizations that…
One of the most fertile grounds for startups is in Singapore, because of its business-friendly environment and a stable government that supports startups via various laws and regulations, including tax incentives. As one of the most innovative hubs in Southeast Asia, it presents startups with many opportunities to connect with business leaders and visionaries willing to place bets on startups. Singapore-based startups successfully secured S$11.2 billion in funding in 2021, doubling the amount raised in 2020.
But fundraising is a tremendous challenge even with government support. You must convince a group of investors that your product will change the game one day, becoming the next Grab or Lazada in your industry. Not to mention that when you’re first starting, it can be challenging to get your foot in the door, meeting the right potential investors without established connections in the industry.
Enter the fundraising consultants into the picture. They are a group of professionals, mainly comprised of veterans of venture capital firms or former founders, who have a good track record of fundraising. They have a vast network of investors that might be interested in investing in your startup. Most importantly, they know how these investors think and what they want, a valuable insight for you when crafting a business plan or a pitch deck.
How can a fundraising consultant help you?
It’s a fundraising consultant’s job description to assist you in the following areas:
1. Affirm your idea
Profit is always the bottom line for investors, so your idea or product must be considered to have the potential to be profitable in the long run. Your idea must also be a viable and sustainable product.
As the founder, you may be too close to the project to evaluate these things objectively. A fundraising consultant provides an outsider perspective and highlights the problems or pitfalls in your current business model and product upfront. Doing so allows you to rethink your strategy and pivot if necessary before approaching investors.
2. Market research and competitive analysis
You wouldn’t go to a battle without assessing the enemy, would you? The same applies to your startup.
Fundraising consultants help you assess the current market trends and research what your competitors are doing. This enables you to judge your position in the market and highlight what differentiates you from your competitors. Such information can help you make a well-informed decision regarding your business planning or strategy. Consultants can also help you get opinions from professionals working on the ground with their vast network.
3. Give advice on your business plan and pitch deck
The business plan and pitch deck are the first things that investors look at when considering investing in a startup, so having a sound business plan and pitch deck should be a top priority. One of the job descriptions of a fundraising consultant is to assist you in creating them, which includes a well thought out plan when it comes to the following:
- Your business objective
- How are you going to accomplish and execute them?
- How will funds given be allocated for the betterment of the company?
- Projected growth or sales in the future
4. Bettering your existing plans
Creating a solid business plan for startups takes a lot of time and effort; a fantastic idea in one’s head is not enough. It takes meticulous planning to turn your idea into reality. A business plan provides you with the blueprint of how you’ll achieve and run the business effectively. While a seasoned professional may have a clear vision and understanding, novice entrepreneurs may need more help.
A founder may be an exceptional coder with a user-friendly app, but they might lack the expertise to market and advertise the app to the public. Having a consultant can help you envision and guide what needs to be done on the managerial side so the business can run smoothly. The consultant may draw you the ideal business model for your startup or an organisational chart to show the most effective way for the business to operate.
5. Widening your connections
As fundraising consultants tend to occupy high-level positions, they know various people from different backgrounds. This may include a pool of investors with different interests or experts from different fields, ranging from healthcare and IT to business and marketing.
Regardless, these people can mentor you properly. After all, part of being successful is knowing the right people to help you reach your goal. Hiring a consultant can help you do that as they will be the one who makes the introductions first.
Doing so minimises the level of awkwardness or tension that may occur and can save you months of struggling to meet the right people.
A fundraising consultant is like having a fairy godmother who helps you navigate the uncertain waters of fundraising, an experience that every startup will go through, regardless of size or industry. However, it’s important to note that before hiring a consultant, it’s better that you have a working prototype or an existing product, not only an idea.
Ideally, startup fundraising advisors are for businesses looking to scale up and expand their operations. They’re at a stage where their business is already running and viable; they have the money to ask for expert help. Such luxury is not always available for startups in the pre-seed stage.
Once you have your fundraising consultant, contact as at Lanturn to learn how we can make your fundraising rounds even easier. Lanturn has a proven track record in administering over S$200M in fundraising rounds for our clients, from initial seed rounds to Series C. Talk to us now.
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