Sunday, August 5, 2007

Business Angels vs Venture Capital

To use Angel capital or not to use Angel capital that may be the question. Or in this instance, to use Angel capital or venture capital. Many startups find them selves in this situation once they have decided to not opt for bank finance. Both of course can have its benefits but before you decide which one to opt for its important that you consider the ins and outs of both.

Business Angels what are they you may ask, they often work as individuals who themselves are entrepreneurs and have made their dream come true in whatever business sector they chose. They have now have the experience and financial backing to help other entrepreneurs to start their own business just like themselves years ago.

Venture Capitalists are very similar to Business Angels they are often from an entrepreneur background have made a successful business and now would like to give back to other entrepreneurs and help them with finance for their new start-up business.

So you’re asking what is the difference between them both, they are:
Business Angels – Give you the financial help you need when you need it, and invest their own money in your business. If a business angel works within an angel network the angels will pool together with their investment as well as sharing research they each do. Angels understand the needs of a new business as they have been there themselves and therefore they not only offer financial help but they can offer good advice when no one else will.

Venture Capitalists – Give you the financial help you require when you need it but uses pooled money the venture capitalist and others have in a professionally managed fund. Venture Capitalists like to take an active role in the business they are investing usually being a director or on the management board of the business.

So if you’re looking for some financial help for your new start-up business or even your struggling business you don’t just have the options of:
• Family 
• Friends 
• Banks 
• Loans 
• Credit Cards

You have the option of using a Business Angel or a Venture Capitalist. Which ever one you decide to use the only way you’re going to show your serious in wanting their help is to have a well planned and thorough business plan.

A business plan will not only be used to show your investor what you planned ideas are and your predicted returns in the next few years will be it will also be used for you to run your business well. Your business plan will show others what your initial goals were and if you succeeded in these as well as any risks you planned for and if any of these actually occurred and if they did, did you cope ok with rectifying the risk.

Your business plan shouldn’t just be placed in a drawer and forgotten about it should be regularly updated. Your business will continue to change and usually out of your control and you should reflect on these changes within your business plan. You should have contingency plans to deal with any external influences that would affect your business and the way in which you run it.

You should now be a little wiser of the facts of the difference between Business Angels and Venture Capitalists and how they can help you.

Thank you 
Jene Peddler for her contribution to this article.

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