Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurs Looking to Raise Funds Need Back-to-Basics Approach in the Bear Market; INVESTMENT: Companies That Address the Right Points at the Right Time Will Maximise Chances of Success David Jenkins of PricewaterhouseCoopers Sets out 10 Key Musts for Successfully Obtaining Funds in the Current Difficult Market Conditions

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CASH is key, but equity is precious and so often entrepreneurs leave fund-raising to the last moment.

To successfully obtain funds in the current difficult market conditions entrepreneurs should: u Ensure that you have adequate cash resources - the funding process is typically taking three to six months.

Potential investors are performing more thorough due diligence and taking longer to commit to funding. External bridge funding may be difficult to secure.

u Arrive via a strong referral - this will give your investment proposition credibility.

There is evidence to suggest that only one in 10 businesses looking for funding will be successful. Ensuring your business plan gets appropriate and timely consideration is critical. Leverage your professional advisers and personal contacts.

u Have a focused well-thoughtout business plan - what are the products/services you will be pro-viding? How and why will people buy them? How big is the market potential? What are the barriers to success, including an analysis of competition?

u Your business must have ``traction'' - you must be able to demonstrate that your business model works, that there is a high demand for your products/services and that you are capable of earning good sustainable margins.

u A strong management team is critical - having a great idea in ``hot sector'' is not good enough. You must be able to demonstrate that you have a management team that is capable of implementing the business plan. The team must be committed, capable, and hungry for success.

u Ensure that you can sell your story - practice your presentation skills. You should understand in-vestors' ``hot spots'' and be able to convincingly address them in detail. …