Startup Costs Worth Considering in 2023

Starting a new business can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor, but it can also be quite costly. There are many different types of expenses you’ll need to consider when setting up your business. Planning ahead for these costs can help you to properly budget for your business’s future. There are two main categories of expenses companies will incur: operating costs and overhead costs.

Operating Costs – Cost of Goods Sold

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) are the costs directly incurred when producing and selling products or services. This includes things like raw materials, labor, and other direct expenses that are incurred in the process of producing your products or providing your services.

Depending on your industry (e.g., manufacturing or service industries) COGS will likely be your biggest expense. Accurately calculating this cost will be critical for your business. If you underestimate COGS, you may find that you’re not making as much profit as you thought you would be. If you overestimate it, you may find that you’re not pricing your products or services competitively enough, which could result in fewer sales and lower profits.

Options for Controlling COGS

There are a few different ways you can control your COGS and help ensure that your business is as profitable as possible. One of the most effective ways is to carefully negotiate prices with your suppliers. By getting the best possible prices on the materials and supplies you need, you can help keep your COGS as low as possible.

Another way to control your COGS is to be mindful of your production processes. Streamlining your production process and reducing waste can save money on materials and labor costs. For example, finding more efficient ways to use raw materials, or sourcing them at a lower cost.

Overhead Costs

In addition to COGS, are the many costs that you need to keep your business up and running. Overhead costs are not directly related to the manufacturing goods or providing a service but are nonetheless critical for day-to-day operations. Some of the most common overhead costs include:

  • Marketing and advertising includes things like website development, social media advertising, and traditional marketing efforts like print and radio ads.
  • Professional fees includes things like legal fees and accounting fees. Your business is likely to want the services of a professional when drafting contracts, structuring your business, soliciting investors, and filing taxes.
  • Rent and utilities most businesses require a physical location. In addition to the cost of renting that space you will also need to plan for the utilities you will need when operating in that space: electricity, water, and internet are frequently separate expenses from rent.
  • Equipment and supplies could include things like computers, printers, and other office equipment, as well as specialized tools and supplies for your industry.
  • Insurance some examples include general liability insurance, property insurance, and worker’s compensation insurance.

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Options for Controlling Overhead Costs

The above costs are just the most common types of startup costs that you’ll need to consider when you’re starting a new business. Understanding the full scope of costs your business will need for its regular operations and finding ways to control them can help ensure that your business is as profitable as possible.

5 Fastest Growing Sectors in Southeast Asia in 2023

Southeast Asia is a diverse and rapidly growing region with a wide range of industries and sectors experiencing strong growth. Below we explore 2023’s top five fastest growing sectors in Southeast Asia and delve into the trends and opportunities driving this growth.

E-commerce

E-commerce is simply the buying and selling of goods and services online, and in Southeast Asia it has become an increasingly popular form of commerce in recent years. With a large and growing middle class, more and more people in the region are turning to online platforms to purchase a wide variety of goods and services. This trend is expected to continue in 2023. Consumer data analyst group Satatista predicts Southeast Asian e-commerce sales to be $158.9 billion in 2023. This growth is expected to continue at an annual of rate of twelve percent for the next four years. A key factor driving this growth is the increasing availability and affordability of internet and mobile technology, making it easier for people to shop online. Additionally, e-commerce companies like Lazada are investing heavily in logistics and delivery infrastructure, making it more convenient for people to receive their purchases.

Digital healthcare

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the healthcare industry in Southeast Asia, with a significant shift towards digital healthcare solutions. This includes telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, and the use of electronic medical records. Last year, Tech In Asia reported that investors in this sector invested over $100 million USD more in the first half of 2021 than the entirety of 2020 alone. In 2023, the digital healthcare sector is expected to see strong growth as people continue to prioritize their health and as technology improves. The increasing availability of mobile health apps and telemedicine platforms make it easier for people to access healthcare services remotely, which also contribute to driving this growth. Additionally, the use of electronic medical records is helping to improve the efficiency and accuracy of healthcare delivery.

Fintech

Financial technology, or fintech, refers to the use of technology to improve and automate financial services. This sector is growing rapidly in Southeast Asia, with a large number of startups entering the market and offering innovative solutions such as mobile payments, online lending, and robo-advisory services. Jenfi is of course one of the many companies in this sector offering online lending to companies operating in digitally-enabled businesses.

In 2023, the fintech sector is expected to see significant growth as more people in the region gain access to financial services through digital platforms. The proliferation of mobile phones and increased internet access in Southeast Asia has made it easier for people to access financial services online. Additionally, the rise of digital currencies and blockchain technology is opening new opportunities for financial innovation.

Renewable Energy

As concerns about climate change and the need for sustainable energy sources continue to grow, the renewable energy sector is expected to see strong growth in Southeast Asia in 2023. This includes solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, as well as biofuels. Many countries in the region are investing in renewable energy as a way to meet their growing energy needs while also reducing their carbon emissions. Just last year Forbes reported on a $2.4 billion dollar investment toward the development of a solar farm on Batam, an Indonesian island just 44 kilometers south of Singapore. One of the key drivers of this growth is the increasing cost competitiveness of renewable energy technologies, making them an attractive alternative to fossil fuels.

Additionally, government policies and incentives are supporting the growth of the renewable energy sector. Following the Paris Agreement, the region has renewed its commitment to reducing emissions. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) set a target that calls for 35 percent of installed power capacity to be renewable energies by 2025. And the majority of ASEAN members further committed to renewable energies by agreeing to a target of net zero for the year 2050. Early this year the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) hosted an event to further explore ASEAN’s renewable energy prospects with the goal of promoting renewables within the region, furthering the support for renewable energies.

Education Technology

Education technology, or edtech, refers to the use of technology to improve and enhance education. This sector is growing rapidly in Southeast Asia, with a large number of startups offering online learning platforms, educational software, and other innovative solutions.

Southeast Asian countries currently have substantial populations dispersed over large geographical distances while having a limited number of educators that can reach these populations. These conditions result in an ideal environment for edtech to flourish. Increasing availability of internet and mobile technology, and technological developments that make that connectivity possible, mean that educators can provide increased access to education in areas that previously would have been left under serviced.

A growing middle class in Southeast Asia is also driving demand for higher quality education and training. This group drives competition in the edtech sector as potential students and parents of potential students: explore edtech options that enhance traditional education; seek out services that produce higher quality results; and, perhaps most importantly, take the opportunity to pursue educational services beyond the limitations of physical location. Growing competition in this market is also pushing the rise of edtech services that support teachers and help them to become more competitive.

In addition to all the factors listed above, the Covid-19 Pandemic led to a rapid acceleration of growth in this sector that has drastically changed the edtech landscape. In 2020 edtech usage tripled from what it had been in the previous year and $54 million USD was invested directly in the sector. Edtech is expected to see strong continued growth in 2023 as more people in the region seek out ways to learn and improve their skills.

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Final Thoughts

Each of the sectors discussed above are driven by a combination of technological advancements, economic and demographic trends, and regulatory and policy changes. They offer a wide range of opportunities for businesses and investors looking to tap into the growth potential of this dynamic and rapidly growing region. Jenfi itself is a part of the fintech sector, but in addition to that we are in a unique position that allows us to recognize the importance of the other sectors in this article as well. The potential of the e-commerce market is something we have built our company in response to. It is our mission to help businesses in the e-commerce market expand and grow. We also offer support to those who provide the software that facilitates other sector’s operations, these sectors include: edtech, telemedicine, and many other markets that continue to grow in the digital market.

How to Identify Your Business’ Hidden Costs

Hidden costs can be a major drain on a company’s bottom line, but with a little bit of effort, it’s possible to uncover and eliminate these expenses. By taking the time to review your expenses and identify areas where you can cut back, you can improve your profitability and set your business up for long-term success.

One of the first steps in identifying hidden costs is to conduct a thorough review of your expenses. This can be a time-consuming process, but it’s essential for identifying areas where you might be overspending. Start by going through all of your invoices and receipts, and look for any expenses that seem unnecessary or out of line with your budget.

Another way to uncover hidden costs is to take a closer look at your contracts and agreements. Many businesses have contracts in place for various services, such as office cleaning or landscaping. These contracts may include provisions that you’re not aware of, such as automatic renewal clauses or price increases. By reviewing your contracts, you may be able to negotiate more favorable terms or switch to a cheaper provider.

Another source of hidden costs is employee expenses. While it’s important to invest in your team, there may be ways to reduce costs associated with hiring and retaining employees. For example, you might consider offering flexible work arrangements or remote work options, which can reduce your overhead costs. Additionally, you can review your benefits packages to ensure that you’re not overpaying for perks that your employees don’t value.

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In addition to these tactics, there are several other strategies you can use to reduce hidden costs:

  1. Automate processes: By automating routine tasks, you can free up your team’s time and reduce the need for additional staff. This can also help reduce errors and improve efficiency.
  2. Negotiate better rates: Whether you’re negotiating with suppliers or service providers, it’s always worth trying to negotiate better rates. You may be able to secure discounts or negotiate more favorable terms by simply asking.
  3. Use technology to your advantage: There are many tools and software solutions available that can help you streamline your operations and reduce costs. For example, you might consider using project management software to improve communication and collaboration among your team, or switch to a cloud-based storage solution to reduce your IT expenses.
  4. Outsource non-core functions: If you’re spending a lot of time and resources on tasks that aren’t central to your business, it might make sense to outsource those functions. By outsourcing, you can reduce your overhead costs and focus on your core competencies.

By taking the time to identify and eliminate hidden costs, you can improve your bottom line and set your business up for long-term success. By conducting a thorough review of your expenses, reviewing your contracts and agreements, and finding ways to reduce employee expenses, you can make a significant impact on your profitability. Additionally, by automating processes, negotiating better rates, using technology to your advantage, and outsourcing non-core functions, you can continue to find ways to reduce costs and improve your bottom line.

How to Budget for Fast Growing Startups

Budgeting is crucial to any startup, especially one that is anticipating rapid growth. Without proper budgeting, it can be difficult to allocate resources effectively and make informed financial decisions. Below we explore some tips on how to budget for fast-growing startups .

Create a clear picture of your company’s financials

When preparing your budget you want to understand the current financial health of your company, what you can expenses you can expect going forward, and the financial goals you have for your company.

  • Understand the financial health of your company

Regularly review your income statement and balance sheet to track your revenues, expenses, and assets. You should also be monitoring your cash flow, i.e., all movement of money in and out of your business. By staying on top of these financial metrics, you can identify any potential problems early on and take steps to address them.

  • Set financial goals

Financial goals can include short-term goals, such as increasing profits by a certain percentage over the next quarter, as well as long-term goals, like generating a certain level of revenue within the next year. By setting clear financial objectives, you can better align your budget with your overall business strategy.

  • Create a budget forecast

A budget forecast is an estimate of your future financial performance. This can help you anticipate any potential cash flow shortages or surpluses and plan accordingly. To create a budget forecast, you will need to consider factors such as your expected revenue, costs, and investments.

Develop your budget

A thorough understanding of your business’s present financial situation, projected expenses, and financial goals are all vital information to have before developing your budget. Your budget balances how much cash flow you will need to spend with how much you can expect earn. The difference between projected earnings and fixed expenses will be the amount you can use to further invest in your company and work toward long-term goals. While creating your budget consider the following suggestions:

    • Prioritize expenses that are critical for your business’s continued success alongside those that will drive it toward your long-term goals. Prioritizing expenses will be important when making adjustments later.
    • Compare your current cashflow to your budget forecast. Does it appear that you will meet the expenses, exceed them, or fall short?
    • Prepare conditions that allow you to adjust your budget as your business grows. A budget is not a fixed formula. You will need to adapt to the challenges and successes your business encounters.

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  • Match your cashflow to your budget

    Once a budget has been developed, you will want to continue to monitor cashflow and make adjustments as needed. If you notice expenses beginning to overtake earnings, you will want to make adjustments so that cashflow matches your budget. The more income you have to expenses, the more resources you will have to invest in growth opportunities.

    • Adjust income: increase prices or finding new sources of funding.
    • Adjust expenses: Look for opportunities to cut costs. For example, you may want to negotiate better terms with suppliers or switch to more cost-effective service providers.
    • Seek the advice of a financial professional: Accountants and financial advisors can provide valuable insights on how to manage your finances and help you create a budget that aligns with your business goals.

    As your business grows, a budget will help you to manage a more volatile cashflow with ever increasing expenses and, hopefully, income. A few simple steps can help you to effectively allocate your resources and make informed financial decisions that help your business succeed. Set financial goals, create a budget forecast, control expenses, and seek professional advice.

4 Ways to Reduce Your Tax Burden in Singapore

Singapore has a reputation as a business-friendly country. It offers companies a competitive corporate tax rate, tax reliefs, tax incentives, and tax rebates. These measures fall under the jurisdiction of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) and are designed to encourage economic growth and development in the country.

The incentives and rebates offered by the IRAS can help businesses save money and make it easier for them to compete internationally. If you are looking to incorporate in Singapore, incentives like these could help you reduce your tax burden and give your businesses a jumpstart as you get established and start generating profits. When applying for the various types of relief offered for businesses operating in Singapore remember to:

  • Carefully review the eligibility requirements
  • Determine what steps you need to take to claim it.
  • Be aware of deadlines for claiming tax reliefs and incentives.

Additionally, we recommend speaking with a tax professional or contacting the IRAS if you have difficulties or questions when applying for any of these incentives. Consulting with a tax professional helps you not only to understand the rules and requirements for the incentives you are currently applying to, but they can also help to ensure that you are taking advantage of any additional tax breaks you qualify for. Below are four types of incentives Singapore offers to new companies.

  1. Startup Tax Exemption Scheme (SUTE)

SUTE allows qualifying companies to receive an exemption of 75% toward the first SGD$100,000 of taxable income and 50% on their next SGD$100,000 after that. This exemption is only available during the first three consecutive years. If your company has been incorporated for more than three years you may instead be able eligible to receive exemptions under Singapore’s Partial Tax Exemption (PTE). This incentive offers an exemption to qualifying businesses of 75% on the first $SGD10,000 and 50% on the next SGD$190,000 after that.

Both SUTE and PTE can make a significant difference to businesses just starting out. The IRAS website provides a thorough breakdown of what businesses qualify for these incentives, how they can apply, and what benefits they can expect.

  1. Productivity and Innovation Credit

The Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme provides tax deductions and cash payouts for businesses that invest in productivity-enhancing activities such as training, research and development, and automation. A 400% tax deduction (or allowance) is granted to these businesses: for every SGD$1 spent on eligible activities, the business can claim a SGD$4 credit against their tax liability. Examples of qualifying expenditures include: the purchase of equipment, training, and research and development (R&D) activities. The PIC scheme will be available until YA 2025.

  1. Sector-specific Incentives

Several tax incentives are offered by the government to encourage businesses to invest in specific sectors, for example, research and development, healthcare, and financial services. There are also incentives designed to encourage businesses to adopt certain practices, or to locate their operations in certain areas of the country. These types of incentives can include tax deductions, exemptions, or allowances for companies that meet certain criteria.

The Development and Expansion Incentive (DEI) is one example of a tax incentive that encourages businesses to expand operations in Singapore. The DEI provides a partial exemption of corporate income tax for companies that have made significant investments expanding their operations here.

Examples of sector-specific incentives include he Energy Efficiency Fund for businesses that adopt energy-efficient technologies, or the Experience Step-Up Fund (ESF) for businesses promoting tourism in Singapore.

  1. Tax Deductions

Deductions for eligible expenses is one of the most straightforward ways to save on taxes. In Singapore, businesses can claim tax deductions for a wide range of expenses, including:

  • Rental of business premises
  • Utilities and other property-related expenses
  • Business travel and entertainment expenses
  • Professional fees and subscriptions
  • Research and development costs

To claim tax deductions, businesses must keep detailed records of their eligible expenses, including receipts and invoices. Review the list of eligible expenses regularly to make sure you don’t miss out on any deductions.

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Tax Obligations

When taking advantage of tax reliefs and incentives, it is also important to ensure that your business complies with its tax obligations in Singapore.

  • File tax returns, be accurate and timely
  • Make tax payments on time
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date records of your transactions.

Failure to meet these obligations can result in penalties and fines, so stay informed and seek advice if necessary.

Finally, it is important to note that tax reliefs and incentives in Singapore are subject to change and may be reviewed periodically. Businesses should check with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) or a tax professional to determine their eligibility for these tax breaks and to stay up to date on any changes.

Tax reliefs and incentives in Singapore can be a valuable resource for businesses. By understanding the various tax breaks available and staying informed about any updates to Singapore’s tax laws and incentives, you can take advantage of these opportunities and you’re your business a competitive edge in the global market.

How to Incorporate Your Business in Singapore in 2023

Incorporating a company in Singapore allows businesses to be established as entities and for them to operate as separate entities from their owners. There are several benefits to incorporating in Singapore, e.g., Singapore’s business -friendly laws, strong intellectual property protections, and stable political and economic conditions. Below we outline the process of incorporating a company in Singapore, provide additional details about each of these steps, and some things to consider beyond the incorporation process.

How to Incorporate a Company in Singapore

Step 1 – Choose a Business Structure:

There are three main types of entities that businesses in Singapore have the option of incorporating under: sole proprietorships, partnerships, and limited liability companies (LLCs). Each type of business structure has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is important to choose the one that best meets the needs of your business.

  • Sole proprietorships are the simplest and most straightforward type of business. A sole proprietorships are suitable for businesses that are owned and operated by a single individual.
  • Partnerships are businesses owned and operated by two or more individuals. These are suitable for businesses in which owners share the risk and responsibilities of ownership.
  • LLCs are more complex. In Singapore it is possible to incorporate as a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) or a Company.
    • LLPs have two types of partners: a general partner who is personally liable for the company’s debts and losses and a limited partner who has limited liability, i.e. a partner who is not personally responsible for the debts and losses of the company.
    • Companies will typically be incorporated as either a Pte or Ltd. Ownership of a company is divide among its shareholders. Shareholders have limited liability and are not personally responsible for the debts incurred by the company. The tradeoff for limited liability is that shareholders do not exercise the same level of control over a company as owners in other business structures.

Step 2 – Select a Company Name:

Your company name must be entirely unique, i.e., it cannot be identical or similar to any existing company names. When choosing your name, be sure it does not infringe on any trademarks or intellectual property rights.

When deciding on a name, it is helpful to think about the nature of your business and the image that you want to project. A good company name should be memorable, descriptive, and easy to pronounce and spell. It should also be consistent with the branding and marketing strategy of your business.

Step 3 – Prepare Necessary Documents

Documents necessary for incorporation include articles of association, a memorandum of association, and a register of directors and shareholders.

  • Articles of association – a legal document that sets out the rules and regulations that govern the internal management of the company.
  • Memorandum of association – a legal document that outlines the relationship between the company and its members (i.e. the shareholders).
  • Register of directors and shareholders – a record of the individuals responsible for managing and owning the company.

Step 4 – File Incorporation Documents

After the incorporation documents have been prepared, they must be filed with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) to formally incorporate the company. The incorporation process typically takes a few days to complete.

To file the incorporation documents, you will need to submit them online through the ACRA’s Business Filing and Information System (BizFile+). You will also need to pay the incorporation fee. This fee will vary depending on the type of business structure you have chosen and the size of your company.

Step 5 – Obtain Necessary Licenses and Permits

To operate legally in Singapore, certain types of businesses require additional permits and licenses. Depending on the type of business you are operating. These can include industry specific licenses, such as food and beverage or retail, or permits activity specific permits like importing and exporting goods.

To obtain the necessary licenses and permits, contact the relevant government agencies and/or departments and provide them with the required documentation. This process can take several weeks to complete, so plan ahead and allow sufficient time.

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Initial Considerations

  • Business structure: As mentioned above, it is important to choose the right business structure for your company. This will depend on a variety of factors, including the size of your business, the nature of your operations, and your long-term goals.
  • Shareholders: These are the owners of the business, and as such they have certain rights and responsibilities. Carefully consider the number and types of shareholders your company will have, as well as the distribution of ownership and control.
  • Directors: Directors manage the business and make key decisions on behalf of the shareholders. It is important to choose directors who have the necessary skills and experience to lead your company effectively.
  • Capital requirements: Most business structures require a minimum amount of paid-up capital, i.e., money that has been invested in the company by the shareholders. The amount required will depend on the type of business you are operating and the size of your operations.

Ongoing Considerations

  • Additional financing: The required start-up capital will typically be much lower than the amount of capital your business will need going forward.
    • Basic overhead costs like rent, salaries, and inventory. You will want to have sufficient capital not only to initially get secure these resources, you also want to ensure you have sufficient capital to pay these expenses during the early stage of your business.
    • Capital to support growth and marketing endeavors. Financing for these types of expenses is something we specialize in providing to companies at
    • Financial stability and viability. Having adequate capital can demonstrate to potential investors and partners that your company is financial stable and viable. Doing so will create new opportunities for valuable partnerships and more financing options for your company.
  • Location: Another important is the physical location of your business. Singapore has an efficient transportation infrastructure, making it easy to access key markets and supply chains. The country is also home to a large and skilled workforce, which can help to support the growth and development of your business.
  • Legal and regulatory requirements: Incorporating a company in Singapore involves complying with a range of legal and regulatory requirements. Important requirements include:
    • Registering the company with the ACRA
    • Obtaining necessary licenses and permits
    • Complying with the requirements of the Companies Act and other relevant laws.
    • Seek the advice of a legal professional to ensure that you are complying with all of the necessary requirements a business needs to meet when incorporating and operating in Singapore.

By following the steps outlined above and carefully considering additional considerations beyond incorporation, businesses can successfully incorporate in Singapore and take advantage of the country’s business-friendly environment.

Write a Solid Investor Pitch Deck For Your Startup

A pitch deck is a presentation that entrepreneurs use to pitch their business idea to potential investors or partners. A pitch deck typically includes an overview of the business, a description of the product or service, and a plan for growth and profitability. It is an important tool for start-ups, as it helps to communicate the value of the business and convince investors to provide funding or support. If you are a start-up looking to create a pitch deck, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind.

Start with the problem:

The first slide of your pitch deck should introduce the problem that your business is solving. This should be a clear and concise statement that explains the pain point or need that your product or service addresses. By starting with the problem, you can immediately grab the attention of the audience and set the stage for the rest of the pitch.

Describe your solution:

Once you have introduced the problem, the next step is to describe your solution. This should include a high-level overview of your product or service, and how it addresses the problem that you have identified. You should also explain the unique value proposition of your business and how it differs from competitors.

Share your business model:

The next slide of your pitch deck should describe your business model and how you plan to generate revenue. This should include information about your target market, pricing strategy, and distribution channels. You should also outline any partnerships or collaborations that you have in place or are planning to pursue.

Discuss your team:

The team slide is an opportunity to introduce the founders and key team members of your business. You should include information about the skills and experiences of the team, and how they are uniquely qualified to execute your vision. This is also a good opportunity to highlight any notable advisors or mentors who are supporting the business.

Provide evidence of traction:

Investors want to see that your business has traction, whether it is in the form of customers, revenue, or user engagement. You should include any relevant metrics or data points that demonstrate the progress of your business to date. This could include information about the number of users, the amount of revenue generated, or the growth of your social media following.

Outline your go-to-market strategy:

Your go-to-market strategy is the plan for how you will reach and acquire customers. You should outline the specific channels and tactics that you will use to promote and sell your product or service. This could include marketing campaigns, sales efforts, or partnerships.

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Share your financial projections:

Financial projections are an important part of any pitch, as they help to demonstrate the potential growth and profitability of your business. You should include a high-level overview of your financial projections, including information about your revenue and expenses. You should also include information about any capital that you have raised to date and any funding that you are seeking.

Close with a call to action:

The final slide of your pitch deck should be a call to action, in which you ask the audience for the specific action that you want them to take. This could be an invitation to invest, a request for a partnership, or a request for feedback. You should also include any relevant contact information and a summary of the key points of the pitch.

Conclusion

A pitch deck is an essential tool for start-ups that are looking to raise funding or build partnerships. By following the guidelines outlined above, you can create a compelling pitch deck that effectively communicates the value of your business and inspires investors to take action. It is important to remember, however, that a pitch deck is just one part of the pitch process, and it is important to be prepared to answer questions and engage in a dialogue with the audience. With a well-crafted pitch deck and strong presentation skills, you can increase your chances of success and take your business to the next level.

How To Be Accepted Into a Startup Incubator in Southeast Asia

Start-up incubators are programs that provide early-stage companies with resources, mentorship, and workspace to help them to get off the ground and start growing. Incubators are typically focused on a specific industry or sector and some offer funding in exchange for a small equity stake in the start-up. If you are an entrepreneur looking to enroll in an incubator program, the following steps can increase your chance of success.

Research incubators specific to your industry or location:

Identify the incubators that are relevant to your industry and location. There are many incubators to choose from; it is important to find one that aligns with your business goals and values. You can search online directories such as AngelList or Seed-DB to find incubators that align with your business based on industry or location. You can also reach out to other entrepreneurs or professionals within your industry for recommendations.

Review the application requirements:

Once you have identified incubators that you are interested in, it is important to review the application requirements and make sure that you meet the eligibility criteria. Incubators typically have specific requirements regarding the company’s stage of development, type of business, and professional team. Deadlines and application procedures may differ depending on the incubator you apply to, so it is important to carefully read the instructions and follow them to the letter.

Prepare a strong application:

A strong application is crucial for getting into a start-up incubator. Your application should clearly articulate your business idea, the problem it solves, and the value it brings to the market. You should also describe your team, your progress to date, and your plans for growth. Including a pitch deck or a video pitch with your application can help bring your business to life.

Network and seek introductions:

Incubators often receive a large number of applications, and the competition can be fierce. One way to increase your chances of acceptance is by properly leveraging your networking skills. Seek out individuals within your industry who can introduce you to people involved with the incubator. Strive to introduce yourself to incubator mentors, advisors, and alumni. Personal introductions can help give you an edge and make your application stand out.

Be persistent:

If you are not accepted into a start-up incubator on your first attempt, don’t be discouraged. It is common for entrepreneurs to apply to multiple incubators before being accepted. Take the feedback that you receive and use it to improve your business and your application. With persistence and hard work, you can increase your chances of getting into a start-up incubator and taking your business to the next level.

 

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Consider alternative options:

The purpose of an incubator is to provide businesses with experienced and professional guidance during the early stages of their development. When looking for an incubator, you should also consider other resources that can provide similar types of guidance to your company. Avenues similar to start-up incubators include:

  • Start-up accelerators are similar to incubators but typically with more intensive programs and shorter durations.
  • Co-working spaces or business accelerators provide access to resources and networking opportunities.
  • Mentorship or advisory services help you to develop your business and gain valuable insights and guidance.

Be prepared to give up equity:

Some start-up incubators and accelerators require entrepreneurs to give up a small equity stake in exchange for the resources and support that they provide. This can be a significant decision, as it means giving up a portion of your ownership in the company. It is important to carefully consider the terms of the equity agreement and make sure that it is fair and aligns with your long-term goals for the business.

Stay focused on your goals:

It is important to stay focused on your long-term goals and continue to work hard to develop and grow your company. Incubators and accelerators can provide valuable resources and support, but your business will not thrive on the support of an incubator alone. The success of your business will depend on your ability to execute your vision, overcome challenges, and build a strong team.

Getting accepted into a start-up incubator can be challenging, but the steps outlined above can increase your chances of getting accepted into a start-up incubator. With the support of an incubator and a strong drive and commitment to your vision, you can set yourself on a path that will take your business to the next level.

How to Write a Business Memo For Startup Investors

An investment memorandum, also known as a private placement memorandum (PPM), is a document used to provide information about an investment opportunity to potential investors. A PPM is typically used by start-ups or early-stage companies that are seeking funding from private investors, such as venture capital firms or angel investors.

 

A PPM is an important tool for entrepreneurs. It demonstrates the value of their business and motivates investors to provide funding. Below are the different sections you will want to include in your PPM to adequately present the information investors want to know about your business and the opportunity being offered.

  • Define the purpose of the memorandum: Your first step is to define the purpose of the document. The purpose should be clearly stated in the introduction of the PPM and should include information about your company, the product or service being offered, and the funding being sought.
  • Provide an overview of the company: Explain your company’s mission, vision, and values. You should also include information about your company’s team, business model, and progress made to date. The purpose of this section is to clarify the general direction and goals of your company.
  • Describe the product or service: Provide a detailed description of the product or service, as well as information about the target market and the unique value proposition of your company. You should also include any relevant market research or data points that demonstrate demand for your product or service.
  • Outline the funding request: Outline your funding request and the specific terms of the investment. This should include information about the amount of funding sought, the valuation of your company, and the terms of equity or debt being offered. You should also include any relevant financial projections or assumptions that support your funding request.
  • Describe the use of proceeds: Your description should include a detailed breakdown of the planned expenses and any milestones or benchmarks that will be achieved with the funding. The purpose of this section is to show how the funds will be used to support the growth and development of your company.
  • Disclose any risks: Disclose any risks or uncertainties associated with the investment. This should include any legal, financial, or operational risks that your company is facing. It is important to be transparent and honest about risks. Investors will want to understand the potential pitfalls of the investment.
  • Include relevant legal documents: The final section should include any relevant legal documents, for example, the articles of incorporation, company bylaws, and any relevant agreements or contracts. It is important to include these documents to provide transparency and to ensure that the investment is legally sound.

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Final Thoughts

A private placement memorandum is a crucial tool for start-ups and early-stage companies that are seeking funding from private investors. By following the template above, you can create a compelling PPM that effectively communicates the value of your business and inspires investors to take action. It is important to remember that the investment memorandum is just one part of the funding process. Be prepared to answer follow-up questions and engage in dialogue with potential investors. With a well-crafted investment memorandum and strong presentation skills, you can increase your chances of success and secure the funding that you need to grow and develop your business.

An investment memorandum plays an important role for those seeking private financing. However, your business may also want to consider non-traditional investment options. Jenfi offers loans to businesses focused on growth and marketing, giving you another option for growing your business.

Your 2023 Business Metrics Glossary

Effective business management requires the ability to track, measure, and analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) that reflect the health and success of the business. It is important to have a clear understanding of the various business metrics that are relevant to your business and the specific goals that you are trying to achieve. Below we provide a concise glossary of common business metrics that every business owner should be familiar with.

 

Acquisition cost (CAC):

Acquisition cost (also known as customer acquisition cost) is the cost of acquiring a new customer, including marketing and sales expenses. CAC is an important metric for businesses that rely on customer acquisition to drive growth. It helps to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing and sales efforts.

Churn rate:

Churn rate is the percentage of customers who cancel their subscriptions or stop using a product or service over a given period. Churn rate is an important metric for businesses that rely on recurring revenue. It reflects the ability of the business to retain long term customers.

Customer lifetime value (CLV):

Customer lifetime value (also known as lifetime customer value) is the total revenue that a customer is expected to generate over the course of their relationship with the business. CLV is an important metric for businesses that rely on customer retention, as it can show which customers have the potential to create the most long-term value for the business.

Gross margin:

Gross margin is the percentage of revenue left after the direct costs of producing a product or service have been subtracted. Gross margin is an important metric for businesses that produce and sell physical products. It measures the efficiency and profitability of the production process.

Monthly recurring revenue (MRR):

Monthly recurring revenue (also known as recurring revenue) is the monthly revenue generated from subscriptions or recurring services. MRR is important for businesses that rely on recurring revenue. This metric is used to establish the stability and predictability of a business model.

Net promoter score (NPS):

Net promoter score (also known as customer loyalty score) is a measure of customer satisfaction and loyalty. NPS is calculated by asking customers to rate their likelihood to recommend the product or service on a scale of 1-10, and then dividing the responses into three categories: promoters (9-10), passives (7-8), and detractors (0-6). NPS is an important metric for businesses that rely on word-of-mouth marketing and customer referrals. It uses direct customer feedback to assess customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Return on investment (ROI):

Return on investment (also known as return on capital) is a measure of the profitability of an investment. ROI is calculated by dividing the net profit of an investment by its cost and expressing the result as a percentage. ROI is an important metric for businesses that are evaluating the performance of their investments. It shows how efficiently and effectively they use capital.

Traffic-to-lead ratio:

Traffic-to-lead ratio is the ratio of website visitors to leads generated. Traffic-to-lead ratio is an important metric for businesses that use their website as a marketing and lead generation tool. It reflects the effectiveness of the website in converting visitors into leads.

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Final Thoughts

Remember: tracking and analyzing business metrics is crucial for businesses of all sizes and across all industries. Understanding the key metrics relevant to your business can help you make informed decisions about your operations, marketing, and growth strategy. However, these metrics should not be viewed in isolation, but as part of a broader set of data and indicators. Together these will provide a holistic view of the health and success of your business. By tracking the right metrics and using them effectively, businesses can gain valuable insights and make data-driven decisions that drive growth and success.