About Internet Business Angels
Angels (a division of RWAP
Services - Internet Software and Services) were created to meet the
needs of entrepreneurs who are looking to market their products on the
internet and are seeking advice on the best technologies to use to
promote their products or how best to ensure that a website obtains a
more personable touch (engaging customers by providing a visitor with a
pleasant experience and converting browsers into long term
have an idea for a new business, or a new product, you need to
carefully consider whether this is something you can do on your own
with the right financial backing, or whether you need to involve
someone else with the right business skills to turn your idea into a viable and prosperous
business. Many people get this wrong and believe that they can go
it alone, whereas the easiest way of turning the idea into a profitable
commercial venture would be to sell the idea to one of the major
companies already in a similar field (either in return for a one off
fee or a royalty payment).
If you are seeking
pure finance, then visit your bank manager (or look for
a venture capitalist). Venture capitalists
might be helpful because they have lots of capital available to help
fund your business as an investor. However, if you think that you need
additional business skills and knowledge to complement your own, you
may want to explore the possibility of finding a Business Angel.
What Are Business Angels?
Business Angels are
known for providing a wealth of commercial knowledge and business
acumen to assist a failing business or a new one which is struggling to
get off the ground. Normally, Business Angels may be called upon
to invest in the company in return for a share of equity (similar to a
venture capitalist), but would normally insist on having some say in
the day to day running of the business in order to protect their
investment and to make the maximum return on their capital. Some
angels have acquired cult status due to programs such as BBC2's Dragons Den
which allows people to pitch on television for a capital investment.
is that with the assistance of an angel (or venture capitalist), your
business will grow and any problems in your business plan will be hit
as quickly as possible, with a specialised trouble shooter who can
either be employed or bought in (for example, marketing expertise,
manufacturing gearing or financing). However, the one thing you
have to beware of is that anyone who invests in a business will be
looking for an exit strategy, that is to say, how they will get their
money back, together with a return on that investment (typically
40-50%) as soon as possible, normally through a stock market flotation
or sale. Businesses can be turned around at the expense of your
suppliers (for example, by improving cash flow by making suppliers wait
longer for payment) and are generally taken apart from a purely
economical viewpoint - this may or may not fit in with your business
angel generally offers less investment than a venture capitalist (say
£10,000-£250,000) and will want more hands on involvement
in ensuring that your business turns into a success. Due to the
close relationship which you will form with a business angel, you will
need to ensure that you have a robust business plan, avoid jargon,
provide details of how the business angel will get back a return on
their investment and when and you must have a clear idea of how your
business will utilise their capital funding to expand and grow profits.
If you are
looking to offer a share in your business in exchange for capital
funding, be careful how you calculate the value of your business. Many
people seeking capital over-value their business and as a result fail
to get funding as they are offering too small a stake in the business
in exchange for capital invested. The general rule of thumb is to
take average profits over the previous 3 years (after payment of your
own salaries and tax) and use a maximum price/earnings ratio of 10:1 -
that means that on a £30,000 net profit, your business is only
worth around £300,000 - it's no good asking someone to invest
£100,000 in the company in exchange for a 20% share.
Business Angels do not offer to provide funding or ask for a stake in
your business - rather we provide advice to start-up businesses to help
you get started and in a position to apply for backing from experienced
Business Angels. There are plenty of individual business angels
who may be interested in investing - see the British Business Angel
Association for more details.
So What Can You Expect from
to set up your own business manufacturing and selling
items, or want to create a website for your business / idea, then
Internet Business Angels can provide advice to help prevent you from
falling at the first hurdle and ensure that the website which you
create is designed correctly and generates interest in your product;
whilst ensuring that people who do come to your website, stay on it
long enough to explore what you have to offer.
forms part of getting the right visitor experience to engage your
potential customers, reassure them of the quality of your products and
that your company is reputable and can be trusted to deliver what the
customer wants on time and at the right price.
specific sections on how to choose a web site hosting company, as well
as broader design considerations in order to ensure that you can turn
your visitors into customers. These design considerations are
what you should take into account when choosing a web site designer and
looking at their existing portfolio to compare the quality of
designers. We also provide advice on the most cost effective
methods of accepting payments over the internet and also how to add
customer feedback to your website and query forms.
created your website, we can assist you with promoting your website
through advertising and search engine optimisation, as well as how you
track the type of visitors who are attracted to your website and the
pages which attract the most interest. This information can then
be used to tune your website to ensure that your efforts are
concentrated on the most important parts of your business and also to
ensure that your web site can be easily accessed by the broadest
possible spectrum of customers.
have looked at how you can provide added value for your customers,
through providing video content and advertising which is specifically
aimed at the specific type of people who visit your website. This
can provide a good means of customer interaction whilst also providing
you with a source of additional targeted revenue.
together into a cohesive approach, this can create an exciting website
which is most likely to be passed on to other people by word of mouth.
If your business is
going to take off and become popular, you are always in danger of
someone copying your ideas and products, producing rival web sites
which directly compete with you. It is now quite common for
people to pass themselves off as another business in order to build on
that company's good reputation and customer confidence. You also
need to beware of counterfeiting of your products and safeguarding the
design through trademarks and copyright.
With several years
experience of advising people on legal issues, we have put together
some guidelines on how to protect your
ideas online including passing off, patents, trademark protection
and copyright protection.