APPRENTICE star and West Ham United vice-chair Karren Brady answers your careers questions.
Here she gives a reader advice on building her own business while facing difficulties with her savings.
Q: I’ve owned a successful online party supplies business for the past six years.
My local town centre has always been buzzing with shoppers, and I’d love to open a store there.
I saved up the £50k I’d need for the store, and a space became available, but I had to pay for medical treatment for my fiancée in Italy, which wiped out a lot of my savings.
Thankfully, her condition is now under control and she is moving to the UK.
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I am ready to open this shop and work hard to help us start our life together, but I just don’t have the money.
Do you have any advice on how I can seek funding?
Stephanie, via email
A: It sounds like you’re in a challenging situation, but it is great that your fiancée’s condition is now under control.
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I’m glad to hear that you’re still motivated to pursue your dream of opening a physical shop for your business.
A comprehensive business plan is an essential starting point for attracting potential investors.
It should outline your goals, target market, marketing strategy, financial projections, and how the funds will be used.
Research the government-backed Start Up Loan programme.
Unlike a business loan, this is an unsecured personal loan of up to £25,000, plus successful applicants get up to 12 months of free mentoring.
Or speak to your bank to see what business loans they offer, and compare different rates across the market.
You could also seek out venture capitalists as potential investors – they can provide capital in exchange for equity or a share of the profits.
It can also be helpful to have a consultation with a financial advisor or business mentor to get advice based on your specific situation. Good luck!
- Got a careers question for Karren? Email [email protected]
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