So, you’ve got a brilliant business idea, and now you need money to get it off the ground. This is where business investors come in handy. Investors are an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs, providing essential financial support for their projects. However, convincing them to come on board with an endeavor can be a considerable challenge.
Here, you’ll find 12 helpful tips for attracting and engaging the investment your new business needs.
1. Work on extending your network.
Many entrepreneurs dread the hard sell of approaching an investor. Understandably, they find the process intimidating. One way to avoid this kind of interaction is to cultivate a network rich in potential investors.
If you have a pre-existing relationship with potential investors, the dynamic may be different when you approach them. You may even find that interested parties approach you regarding your business ideas.
Remember, investors aren’t just investing in your business; they’re also investing in you. That’s why it pays to have heightened visibility and a positive reputation in relevant circles.
2. Show evidence.
When it comes to large sums of money, investors don’t usually gamble on a hunch. Instead, they want hard data that convinces them of your project’s potential. Unfortunately, this can be difficult to obtain at an early stage: after all, you haven’t received an investment for the work yet!
However, it’s not impossible. For example, the results of a successful small-scale pilot or some focused market research findings demonstrating strong interest could be enough to convince an investor.
4. Personalize your pitch.
If you can, research potential investors prior to approaching them. That way, you’ll be able to save time and work smart by focusing on those who are most likely to be interested in your investment opportunity.
Maybe they already have a portfolio of investments. If so, you should look at the projects that have successfully attracted them and try to find common themes. Ultimately, you want to understand a potential investor’s priorities so that you can tailor your pitch to their tastes.
To attract investors, find the right angle to sell your project directly to them. For example, an investor who consistently funds environmental projects will undoubtedly want to hear about your business’s sustainability measures.
6. Choose co-founders wisely.
Do you have a co-founder? If not, you might want to find one fast. They are a great way to complement your skills and background with anything you might be missing.
For instance, maybe you’re the brains behind an incredible new technology, but you don’t have any business acumen. A co-founder with a background in business will make your project even more attractive to investors. If you’re extremely resistant to the prospect of pitching, you might choose a co-founder that can be a confident spokesperson.
7. Refine your business first.
Before you start selling your company to others, make sure it’s in the best shape possible. One way to do so is to participate in a startup accelerator. A reputable accelerator brings many benefits: you can meet mentors, expand your network, and iron out any difficulties you’ve been experiencing while working on your idea.
Some accelerators have an excellent reputation, which means graduating from those particular programs could impress and attract future investors!
8. Build a strong brand online.
Investors are guaranteed to research your business before they commit to investing in it, so make sure what they find online is positive. If you can build up a community of supporters before you start pitching, that’s proof of interest in your project.
An amateurish web presence won’t inspire faith in your abilities. Your site and social media accounts should be updated and professional to ensure positive first impressions.
9. Think outside the box when it comes to investors.
When you think about business investors, you shouldn’t necessarily visualize rich people in expensive suits. These days, alternative forms of funding are available. Maybe your project lends itself to group funding, for example. There are online platforms designed to facilitate this by matching interested parties with investment opportunities.
Pitching on these platforms is a different experience from the traditional investor pitch. For inspiration on your approach, research other projects on your chosen platform that successfully attracted funding and see how they achieved their goals.
10. Don’t overload potential investors with information.
When you’re trying to convince a would-be backer, it can be tempting to provide every fact and figure available about your project. However, important details that could seal the deal may be lost when you prioritize quantity over relevance.
Rather than flooding investors with information, make the process as easy as possible for them. Provide relevant details in a concise, accessible format. If you overcomplicate matters, you’ll probably struggle to keep their attention.
11. Emphasize your originality.
Investors have likely seen many pitches, which means they’re probably bored of the same-old, same-old. Of course, you shouldn’t build your pitch around cheap gimmicks, but you should lean into what makes your project unique, embracing and emphasizing your originality.
Explain specifically what makes your idea different from others: how will your business conquer its competitors? What does it do that no other business in your sector does? The ultimate goal is to generate excitement. Potential business investors should feel inspired to be part of your project.
12. Spend time on a polished presentation.
A pitch with a potential investor is definitely not the time to wing it. Not only do you risk losing the investment, but you could also damage your reputation, which can have long-term implications for your business.
To avoid this, prepare for your pitch and practice your presentation thoroughly. Ideally, you should practice it in front of a knowledgeable audience that can provide constructive feedback.
Demonstrate that you’re a professional and that you believe the investor’s time is valuable. This will make them much more confident about going into business with you.
Once you’ve absorbed this advice and put it into action, you’ll be more than equipped to start approaching backers. However, don’t be dismayed if you’re not immediately successful. Persistence is key, and with time and hard work, you’re bound to find the perfect investor for your project.