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Jonathan Nelson is fund manager for Rosebud, a Lancashire business loans provider and a proven alternative lender to high street banks and traditional finance providers.

Rosebud is funded by Lancashire County Developments Ltd, a subsidiary of Lancashire County Council, and provides loans from £10,000 to £300,000 for businesses across 12 administrative areas of Lancashire.

Jonathan shares his top tips relating to business funding.

What gets you excited about helping businesses secure funding?

I have been involved in funding businesses from early stage to well-established organisations. Each has their own dreams and ambitions and to play some part in helping business owners and their colleagues achieve these is predominantly why I enjoy helping them.

When looking for funding, where should a business start?

The marketplace is huge. There is a plethora of funders available for start-ups to established businesses. This can be over facing so take the advice of professional business advisors such as Access to Finance in Lancashire.

What are your top tips to get a business investment ready?

Can you demonstrate that you have a product or service that people are prepared to pay for? Prepare a pitch deck. Have you got a business plan in place backed up by financial forecasts? Do you understand your business model, your market, your competition? Set realistic milestones.

What are the common pitfalls businesses make when seeking funding?

Always be fully prepared when speaking to funders and do your research. What type of funding is required? Raising funding is both challenging and rewarding. Make sure you apply for the amount you need. Don’t over-estimate future revenue, ensure the time for raising finance is right, consider all your options.

What are funders looking for in a leader and management team?

Knowledge of their product or service, their market and competition. Passionate about their business, experience, are they adaptable to change? Can they drive their team to succeed? Are they fully committed to the business? Do they have a clear strategy to grow the business and deliver? Be receptive to new ideas, making mistakes and learning from them.

Why should investors and funders be looking to Lancashire businesses?

Lancashire has a huge pool of talented people and is undoubtedly a cost-effective location to do business. Innovation, industry, connectivity and hard work are all focal a thriving and ambitious regional economy.

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