When you want to grow your business, or launch a new one from scratch that requires a lot of capital, you may decide to approach investors.
However, getting people to back you isn’t as easy as you might think, particularly when there is lots of competition and venture capitalists and other investors have plenty of choice in front of them. As such, you need to find ways to make yourself and your business as attractive as possible.
Read on for some key ways to generate more interest today.
First up, it’s worth spending time networking, both in person and online so that you develop relationships with investors and the key people who might put you in touch with them. You should attend regular events such as conferences, tradeshows, business group meetings, mixers, and the like. Sometimes even less obvious places can be where you get to know investors, so be open to attending numerous types of events and occasions.
When you get to know potential business partners in person, not only do you have a better chance of being able to pitch to them, but you also increase your odds of them deciding to fund your venture. After all, investors want to get to know the people they back, and need to be able to see how you present yourself and communicate, and if you seem likely to be open to feedback and other people’s ideas.
Also make sure you’re active on social media sites. You never know who you might get to know on these platforms, plus demonstrating your expertise and passion in this way can again help investors to feel more comfortable putting their money into your business.
Networking like this is a good way to connect via similar interests, and to see who you might mesh well with. Furthermore, you can use your networking time as research. The more you get to know and learn about investors and their firms, the better you’ll be able to see who is likely to be the best fit for your business and for the direction you want to take it in.
Have Up-to-Date Information Available
Next, if you want to get real interest from investors that leads to a deal, you must have up-to-date paperwork and stats available for them to see. This includes various types of documents. For example, investors will always want to check out your resume, to get an idea of who you are, if you’re suitably qualified to lead the business, what kind of experience you’ve had, and so on.
Make sure, then, that your CV is in the best shape possible. You want it to be free from spelling and grammatical errors, typos, and the like, and tailored according to the type of venture you have, or want to, create. It’s wise to pay for a resume review from a professional who looks at these documents every day. They can pick up on potential issues you might have missed, particularly when it comes to the language or format you’ve used.
You also need to have a detailed business plan available for investors to check out. They will want to see you have researched the market, your target demographic, and your competitors; and that you have thought about potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for the business. Your plan should include financial projections and other specific finance-based data, and also detail your marketing ideas and strategies.
Other paperwork to have organized is: permits or other legal documents the business requires; your personal tax returns and those from the business if it’s already up and running; a lease agreement if you’re renting premises for your venture; and details of any current business loans or other liabilities. The more information investors can see, the better they will be able to identify that you’re serious, understand how to run an organization, and have done your due diligence.
Hone Your Pitch
Because you never know when you might have a few seconds or minutes to tell potential investors about your business idea, you should also practice honing your pitch. The best way to get money men and women to pay attention is to be able to explain what the business does or will do in one or two sentences, and how there is potential for real growth and financial gains.
It can be nerve wracking once you’re in front of investors, spend time practicing exactly what you will say, and how. Your elevator pitch needs to roll off your tongue with ease and demonstrate immediately that your business will solve problems or create benefits for customers; has some unique aspect that will set it apart from the competition; and be viable within a decent timeframe. Use specific information and numbers wherever possible too.