When you’re building your startup from the ground up, one of the essential foundations you’ll need to be thinking about is where you’re going to get investment, credit, and capital to fund your entrepreneurial venture.
Without ample funds, you’re not going to be able to invest in certain areas of your business, and you won’t be able to get it off the ground. You need to spend money in order to make money. However, trying to source investors for your idea is one of the most challenging obstacles you’ll come up against.
Today, we’re going to explore potential candidates that could be interested in your startup, so much so that they’re willing to invest. We’re then going to explore why they would be interested, and why you should consider pitching your idea, ensuring your startup has the best chances of success.
First; Define Where You Are
The absolute first thing you’re going to need to do is to think about what stage of building your startup is in. This is so you know how to present yourself to a potential investor and understand what kind of investor would be attracted to your business opportunity.
Some investors will be happy to fund you based on an idea, even if you’ve got nothing set in stone. Others may like to see a prototype of your product, or case studies surrounding the service you plan to provide.
Collect this information first and gather all the resources you’ll need to pitch to an investor. The more prepared and organized you are during this stage, the more likely an investor is to take you seriously and provide you with the funding you need.
Now, let’s jump into what investors would be interested in your startup venture.
Choosing an Investor with the Suitable Funds
You need to understand exactly how much money you need in order to pitch to a potential investor. However, knowing how much you need is only half the battle. You then need to find investors who are able to fund the amount you need.
“Of course, you could take the approach of finding one investor to fund everything, or you could find multiple investors who provide smaller amounts, but whatever method you take, you need to make sure the people you’re spending your time with can afford what you’re asking,” explains Sam Howard, a tech writer for UKWritings and Academic Writing Services.
They need to have the ability to fund you. If you’re not doing your research and they can’t, you’re wasting your time which is so valuable as a startup company.
Think About Your Immediate Network
When you’re starting a business idea, one of the first things you should be doing is telling your friends and family. However, within these circles of people, you may have people you know that are willing to invest in your idea and vision.
Searching for investors within your personal circles can be a great idea because there’s already the element of trust between the people you know and a relationship there, which makes it more likely you’ll be able to secure funding.
Of course, the amount you’ll be able to receive and the terms and conditions for the investment will vary depending on your personal situation, but make sure any interactions and investments are legally binding and agreements are set up to protect both parties.
Investors with Diverse Portfolios
If you’re going to look for traditional investors, you’re going to want to choose the investors who have a diverse range of investments made through their portfolio. Let’s say you own a technology startup where a technology investor is part of your business plan.
However, that investor has 40% of their investment fund in another tech-related company, and that company goes down south. You’ve now got the issue where the investor is less likely to invest in your company, and it can cause problems on you because they’ll be pressuring you to make their money back.
In short, try to diversify your investors and check out their portfolios to make sure they’re not all tied up in one venture that could cause problems for you in the future.
Looking for the Right Cultural Fit
To save any problems coming up down the road, you’re going to want to find an investor who has the same mindset and values as your startup company. For example, if you’re an eco-friendly fashion company, having an investor who’s only interested in making money and doesn’t have environmentally-friendly ethics won’t work well with your business.
“When you’re in the process of negotiating with your potential investors, asking questions to see whether your visions and beliefs are in line is essential if you want a working and worthwhile partnership in the long-term,” shares Nick Delling, a business writer for OXEssays and State Of Writing.
In some cases, working with investors who have a similar mindset to you is even more important than the amount of money you’re going to receive from them. Since they will be investing, and depending on your personal agreements with the contracts, these investors will become your shareholders and may have a huge say in the direction of your company in the future.
Seek Professional and Experienced Advice
Hussein Ahmed from Transpose once said; “Cold calls or emails asking investors to consider your startup generally come off as desperate. Instead, I prefer to seek out the advice from investors that I admire”.
It’s understandable you’ll want the money to fund your startup quickly, but as we’ve already stressed above, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right investors for you. If you’re unsure on what you’re looking for or how you want to proceed, there’s no harm in asking a professional investor for their advice.
Using online searches, you can quickly find respected investors. Take the time to listen to their interviews and read their blog posts for advice and information on what you should be doing and what you should be looking for.
If you have an investor in mind, remember there’s no rush to jump into a contract, but rather asking them for advice and then building up a relationship with them over time is a great way to build trust, iron out any potential issues or obstacles, and can create a partnership that’s built to last.
Accelerate Your Startup
If you’re a first-time startup owner, you might not have any connections that can help you to reach out and connect with potential investors. However, there are what are known as ‘startup accelerators’ that can help you along the way.
These organizations exist depending on where you are in the world, or online, and can help to provide you with mentor programs, which is ideal if you want to learn how to deal with investors, and other opportunities that can boost your startup.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get an investment out of it but joining and partaking in one of these programs is a great way to boost your knowledge and experience of the startup industry and will help new investors feel a lot more comfortable investing in your business.
As with any area of business, maintaining a solid channel of communication with your investors is vital to your success, especially when you’re a startup company. If you’re planning to follow up with your investor on something, you need to make sure you’re following up.
If you have a meeting scheduled, or you need to write an email or send them a file, then you need to make sure you’re doing as a priority. Of course, you’re busy and will have lots of things to do, but your investors will have taken a risk investing in your business, and it’s crucial that you build a trustworthy relationship with them.
When you’re searching for investors, you need to make sure you’re showing this attitude clearly from the moment you meet and to make sure they’re doing the same. Work out which metrics you’re going to be dealing with, and even suggest a communication plan of weekly or monthly meetings.
This way, potential investors can know to trust you, and you know they’ll be there for you. An investor relationship is all about gaining and building trust and honesty.
Make Your Investor Requirements Public
When starting out looking for investors, most startup companies will go out of their way to track down investors that are suitable for them, but there’s no reason why investors won’t approach you while looking for investment opportunities.
However, the only way you’re going to be contacted by a potential investor is if you make it known that you’re looking for them. If they don’t know you exist, how are they going to make the call?
Even if your product or service isn’t ready, there’s no reason why you can’t start making your web presence known. You can do this by guest posting blogs onto websites, having Q&A sessions on platforms like Quora, or in other ways networking in the industry, perhaps by getting a slot on a podcast or web video show.
As you can see, there are plenty of things you’ll need to be thinking about when it comes to finding who wants to invest in your business and why. Make sure you bear all these considerations in mind to ensure you find the right investor for your company.
As a final takeaway, make sure you’re not rushing this process. It’s better to be organized, methodical and builds relationships over time than it is to jump at the first investor and have it all go wrong. Be focused and put your business at the core of the decisions you make.