Finding investors for your business, whether it be a start-up or merely for growth is hard, but what is ten times harder is finding the right investor. An entrepreneur can have access to more than 50 investors and get the opportunity to present their pitch an idea; however, it is the quality of investor that is hard to catch.
For your business to be successful, you need to find a quality investor, one who has similar interest to the business, an investor that is wise and can assist in the growth of the business through his wisdom, one who is capable of coming to a mutual and reasonable financial agreement suitable for both parties. In order to find the best investor for your business, you need to do a lot of research, accompanied by a well thought out pitch, and an accurate and realistic business plan.
Let’s look at ten tips for finding outside investors for your business.
Do your research
First things first, if you want to be well equipped to find and nail the right investors for your business, you are going to do your due diligence; therefore, research is definitely key. No matter whom you intend to target as your potential investor, whether it be family and friends, angel investors or any other options you have in mind.
Research and confirm what kind of funding you are seeking; be sure about that because if there is no clarity between you and the investor, that may turn out to be a huge problem in the future. For Angel investors, for example, find out about a select few that invest the amount you require for your business, know their preferences, where they like to invest, the amounts they invest and so on. If you are considering family members or friends, introduce the business to them in detail and ask them for recommendations if it is something, they are interested in they will offer, which is better for you.
Summarise your business into a very catchy Tagline
One important thing we tend to forget is that every opportunity counts. Say you happen to meet a potentially huge investor in an elevator, and you get to talking, now you have about 60 seconds to casually and confidently tell him about your business, do you know what you are going to say? If you don’t, you will lose that opportunity.
Therefore, summarising your business idea in one intriguing tagline that will leave a potential investor wanting to know more, is very important. Make sure that as intriguing as the tagline is, it is also very clear what your business is about.
Avoid passive and bulk investor seeking
One thing is for sure everyone wants to feel special, separate from the majority; this goes for investors too. Major investors know their worth, and they know what they have to offer; therefore, they want to know whom they’re investing. When you send out email templates, executive summaries, and pitches that look like they’ve been sent in bulk to several investors, they will probably be ignored.
Apart from that, major investors don’t really have time to sit and actively open a business plan or executive summary from their many emails; so, you will need to be proactive and more particular and confident in exactly what and who you want for your business.
Make a list of potential investors you would like to meet
Considering that the chances of receiving an investment education from any particular meeting are not guaranteed, it is easy to consider approaching as many investors as possible. However, with as many investors that are available nowadays, with different preferences and interest you are better off focusing on a specific list of investors that are suitable for your business, you can always lengthen the list after.
Scrutinize Your Networks
Investors get a lot of pitches from all angles, therefore they often priorities or rather prefer those businesses that are recommended or introduced by a mutual contact. Therefore, from your potential investor’s list, go through it and see if you have any mutual contacts with any of them; if you do fantastic!
Meet up with your mutual contact, throw in a discussion about your company and make sure you show him the value of your company so that when you ask him to introduce you to the investor, he is confident that it is beneficial to the both of you.
Make an effort to market yourself and your business
You can spend a lot of time looking for investors through all channels, but one important thing that will help them find you is self-marketing. Put yourself and your business out there on the market where investors are guaranteed to find you.
You can do this by social networking, creating your own website and advertising it, engaging in social media conversations, publishing guest posts on well-known blogs and even doing your own blog. Such things if executed correctly will draw attention to your business and attract potential investors.
Create a profile on professional networking sites
Not only self-marketing, there are a lot of professional networking sites that have been introduced over the years that can help you find investors and help investors find you. These sites include LinkedIn, Xing, Plaxo, Start-up Nation, Cofounder and many others. Creating an attractive profile on these sites can be very beneficial, as it will state exactly what your business is about and what you are looking to achieve. Therefore, investors can easily see if you are a match for them and vice versa.
Online lending platforms
You can also make use of online lending platforms in cases where severe restrictions are involved. These days getting bank loans for start-ups can be a hassle, and online lending platforms are a great way to get around that issue. These can be peer-to-peer or large investors wanting to help small businesses and benefit from it as well, so it is a win-win situation.
Perfect your business plan and pitch
Investors may reject your business before reading your business plan, but they will not invest in your business before reading your plan. What I mean is, you can present your tagline or introduce your business, and if the investor is not intrigued from just that, he can simply reject it and not be interested in reading the plan.
However, if he is captivated by your introduction, and he wants to learn more and expresses interest, he will want to read a detailed business plan before he seals the deal.
You have to understand that it is not an overnight process; it will take a bit of time from when you start seeking to when the cheque clears. Due diligences itself is going to take you a little while, and if you’re going to get this right the first time. So don’t rush it, remember this is for the long run, so take your time and do it right and secure funding that will take your business to a new level.
One thing to take away from this is that it is going to be a roller coaster ride, and even with all the tips and tricks, you will use, you will still hear some no. But if you prepare yourself, then that shouldn’t get you down. Expect the No’s but work for a YES and all the no really won’t matter after that.