There are all kinds of reasons for needing investment for your business. Your business can’t get anywhere without the necessary cash to get started. Maybe you want to expand into new markets or make the step up from a local business to a national one. Whatever it is you want to do next, the chances are you’ll need cash to make it happen.
But who in their right mind would invest in your business if you’re not organised and passionate, with a realistic chance of turning a profit? If you don’t have all that and more, nobody’s going to think about investing in you. But, if you turn yourself into an attractive proposition, there’s no reason why you won’t get to where you want to be. These tips and ideas will have investors queuing up outside your offices in no time.
What Kind of Investment do You Want?
Before you start trying to win over investors, you need to know what kind of investment you’re looking for. For a lot of investors and business owners, the best way to go is with an equity investment. This is when an investor gives you an agreed upon amount of money in return for a percentage of the company. They will then take a percentage of future profits, and you will have a lump sum to spend on whatever you need to progress.
There are other kinds of investment too. You could borrow money or try crowdfunding. The possibilities of crowdfunding have exploded with the rise of the internet. You’ll need a passionate customer base to make a success of it though. People need a reason to put money into your project.
Make Your Vision Clear
If anyone is going to invest in your company, they will need to know what you’re going to do with the investment. This means you should draw up detailed plans for what you will do with the money and where you think the investment will lead you. Don’t be vague about your ideas, your vision for the future needs to have clarity and precision if it’s going to inspire passion in an investor.
Let the investor see your passion and excitement for the idea of expanding or making the changes you want to make to your company. If the investor doesn’t feel like you’re passionate about what you want to do, why would they invest in your company?
What Makes Your Business Special?
Investors have people pitching ideas for potential investment at them all the time. You don’t want to be just another face in the crowd throwing spurious ideas at them. Your business has to offer them, and the marketplace as a whole, something uniquely different to the competition. There are a million run of the mill companies operating in every sector of the market, be innovative and stand out in whatever way you can.
One thing you could try is giving your company a social spin. A lot of investors like to feel like they’re doing something good and worthwhile. So, if your company is profitable, interesting and offers a valuable social benefit, you will find it much easier to attract investment.
Work on Your Pitch
As I already mentioned, investors are pitched to all the time, so your pitch needs to be concise, accurate and stand out. Pitching ideas to people can be incredibly intimidating if you’ve never done it before. In fact, it’s intimidating however many times you’ve done it. You need to be able to exude confidence and self-assuredness though, however nervous you might be.
The trick is not to ramble on and on. No investor wants to hear a load of worthless nonsense; they want to hear the important stuff. Your main pitch should give an idea of what your business is, what you want from the investor and what you want to be doing going forward. Don’t let the time drag, the pitch should be an extended elevator pitch, delivered with clarity and confidence.
Get Your Finances in Order
Another thing an investor will want to see is an organised set of company accounts. Think about it, who would be interested in investing in a company that is disorganised and has no real grasp on its finances? I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like the kind of company I’d want to put my money into.
It might be worth getting an external accountant to go over your books and check everything is in order before you even think about talking to any potential investors. If the investor finds problems with your finances, you’ll be in for a great deal of embarrassment. And that’s not good for your chances of securing investment.
Make Sure You Look Professional
Appearances and first impressions can carry a lot of weight when it comes to securing a business investment. If you look sloppy and are running a business out of your parents back bedroom, no is going to take you or your company seriously.
Looking professional ought not be too difficult though. It can be as easy as cleaning up the office and buying a new suit. But if you want to go a step further, go to a car lease company website and hire a set of nice company cars to get your top employees about in. Or you could upgrade to a bigger premises to prove to investors that you’re serious about making a step up.
Not Every Investor is the Right Investor
This might seem like a strange thing to say, but you should be picky when looking for investors. Not everyone who wants to put money into your company will be the right fit for your business. When you’re looking for investment money, you will probably be willing to take it from wherever and whomever you can, but this is a risky mentality.
You should be as sure that you’re getting the right investor as they are sure that they’re investing in the right company. Remember, you’re going to have to be working together closely in the future, so you don’t want to be working with a negative character. This could drag your business down, in the long run, instead of pulling it forwards.