Whether you want to grow your workforce, expand facilities, make investments in technology, streamline your current workflow, or embark on any number of other business-boosting adventures, securing investment is key.
Sometimes, however, that can seem much easier said than done.
That’s why we’ve put together this concise-yet-comprehensive guide to attracting investors.
Don’t undervalue “F&F” money—or your own.
Often investors look for companies where the owner has already put money into the business. This could be your own money or the money of friends and family. (That’s the “F&F” here above…) This shows you are committed to the business and you a real stake in making sure it survives and thrives when the going gets tough. (If you need help investing in yourself, remember Idea Financial offers business loans and business lines of credit of up to $250,000 with a simple, hassle-free application and same day approval.)
Have a plan.
A good business plan is crucial for anyone seeking financing. Prospective investors want to see that you possess a detailed understanding of your business and have thought ahead about a plausible path toward growth. How will you structure your business going forward? How will you become or remain profitable? What analyses of the market have you used to support your forecasts? What is your Plan B…and C…and D? A well-crafted business plan can answer such questions and set an investor’s concerns to rest.
Fill key roles.
The ability to hire and retain talented employees reflects well on you as a business leader—and will encourage potential investors to more readily trust your business instincts. By the same token, if there is a key position left open, it could reflect less positively and potentially affect your chances of securing financing. And if you are short-handed, you will likely have to pick up the slack. Which means less time prepping for meetings with investors or working on your business plan.
Research potential investors.
When you are looking for investment in your company, it can be tempting to contact anyone and everyone you think might be able to offer financing. This is often a waste of effort, inevitably targeting investors with no expertise or interest in your business arena. Which is to say a little research can go a long way. Money is great—never turn down money! But also look for investors who can provide insightful counsel, connections with suppliers, and have relevant professional contacts. An investor who feels they have knowledge of the sector is a confident investor. And confident investors often open those wallets wider.
Work on your pitch.
You could have a successful business, great employees, a polished business plan, and the perfect investor targeted, but if your pitch skills are lacking you could very well still struggle. Practice your pitch as much as possible and carefully observe other successful business speakers to get an idea of how they build support for their businesses. A night class in public speaking or even improv could provide a big leg up as well. Remember, a successful pitch is more than just a good speech: It is being able to answer investors’ questions with clarity and confidence. Make a list of the questions you would likely ask if you were an investor and have answers to those ready. As the race car driver Bobby Unser once famously said, “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”
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