Truly challenging times are upon us right now, with much of the world’s businesses going through an unprecedented downtime many of us would’ve never been able to predict. But what comes next can definitely be planned for… and that’s where one Maltese financial advisory firm comes in.
Enter Firstbridge, a firm that’s dead set on helping the island’s businesses – be they micro startups or medium enterprises – plan their new phase of operations, to effectively and efficiently see them through to the next half of a tumultuous 2020.
“It does not come as a surprise that most organisations are currently dormant if not worse,” Firstbridge explains. “The time available right now could be better used to strategically plan for our organisations’ future.”
Firstbridge can help you get there with a clearer head and, most importantly, a business plan.
It’s normal for business owners – especially newcomers with smaller enterprising ideas – to get very emotionally tied to their projects.
And while this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can create a situation where one would have a mental picture of their project being perfect, and as a result, would be unable to critically assess and really challenge all the different components that go into the project being successful.
Add a global pandemic and incoming tough times for businesses worldwide into the equation, and you’re looking at an extremely vital time to come up with a solid business plan.
There’s never been a better time to come up with a business plan for the future… and there are EU funds that can even give up to an 80% refund on services like Firstbridge’s!
Realising how challenging it is for these small businesses to have a coherent and objective plan for the future – especially in these troubling times – funding agencies have issued a new fund specifically targeting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (including both self-employed and startup outfits) who wish to develop well-structured business plans.
No doubt a move to try and curb COVID-19’s far-reaching effects on the world’s businesses, the latest funding being made available by the EU can go a long way into helping businesses hit the ground running when these tough times blow over.
Made available to support the preparation of these small companies carrying out a business plan, Malta’s SMEs have two months to apply for this funding.
Should the funding be approved, you’d be getting a commitment to cover 80% of your business plan expenses, which is as amazing a deal as you could ever hope for right now.
The applications to receive funding to carry out the business plans close in June, with the ability for the actual plan to be drafted up and sent in later. Of course, businesses from all over the continent are rushing in to make use of this vital offer, so we would recommend applying ASAP before it’s too late!
So if you think you have a solid business concept with strong fundamental components, it’s time to seriously consider taking it to the next level. Here’s how.
The next big step is carrying out a proper, comprehensive business plan, backed up by a financial model that gives it flexibility and adaptability if numbers need to be updated as more tangible information comes in. This way, an independent, experienced and absolutely unbiased review of the entire business proposition can be made by experts over at Firstbridge, increasing your chances of success.
Always adopting a hands-on approach and realising the absolute importance that you can’t have a one-size-fits-all approach in this sector, Firstbridge kicks things off with a pro bono consultation to tailor every future discussion and decision around your specific business venture.
Assessing the project from every possible angle – be it related to technology and operations or marketing and human resources – Firstbridge start from purely discussion-based levels until eventually upgrading to process suggestions and even an overview of potential grants that can be tapped into.
Whether it’s to help identify grants to finance business plans or even aid with investments and operational costs, Firstbridge will make sure you’re getting the most out of your business.
Business plans will be developed to cover any of the following:
- the economic exploitation of new ideas,
- expansion in the capacity of the establishment,
- diversification of the activity of an establishment,
- diversification in the output of an establishment,
- fundamental change in the overall production process of the establishment,
- development of new or improved products, processes and systems,
- investment in new or improved products, processes and systems,
- organisation innovation,
- process innovation,
- the internationalisation of products and services,
- the entry, establishment and expansion into new markets,
- the introduction, upgrading and integration of e-commerce solutions enabling online selling by the undertaking.
A solid business plan can help you achieve anything from financing to industry expertise.
Attaining financing from bank lending or private investment, getting further EU funding to cover everything from equipment costs to human resources, and even allowing project owners to really and truly understand their project from every perspective. A business plan will help do so much for your business… at a time when you really need it all.
“Up until very recently, the pace of modern business was so fast that there tends to be a lot of fear of slowing down to think about things much more holistically, particularly amongst SMEs that do not have the structures that support innovation and growth strategies,” Firstbridge explained.
“There is a general fear that it took that time away from our day-to-day grind, we could risk competitors entering or dominating our markets while we aren’t on watch reacting quickly enough, or just a fear of missing out on something due to lack of day-to-day focus,” they continued. “Of course, many organisations operating within highly competitive markets fear making wrong decisions… to the extent that they take none and remain stuck where they are.”
So why not make the most of this extra thinking time to effectively assess what’s been done so far… and come up with proper future projects and plans?
“With every challenge comes opportunity, and although they might not be the traditional opportunities we are used to looking for, we need to embrace the time being given to reflect on so many things,” Firstbridge continued.
“Whether you’re worried, concerned, lost or frightened, we are all in this together, and together, a lot can be achieved.”
When the situation has turned around – and it will turn around – make sure you’ve invested in some solid reflection time and have done all the groundwork necessary. That way, when normality starts being gradually restored, you won’t need to learn how to walk again but will be able to hit the ground running.