Looking around the business world it is easy to see successful businesses; however, you rarely hear the stories of how all these successful entities struggled to find initial investors. Most companies in the world were at one point just a small startup looking for investors. So how do you go about this initial and vital step? Here are a few tips on how to get investment for your startup business:
Sign up for AngelList
AngelList is a great resource that helps startup businesses get recognized and allows them to connect to many others in related startups. It is a great way to get advice from other successful startups.
Sometimes the first step to finding investors is simply to be in a place where other businesses have been found. AngelList is a great place for this. If you have a great idea, to sign up for AngelList is probably one of the best places to take it.
Make a Strategic List
It will be worthwhile to spend some time researching who has invested in companies like yours in the past; find a similar company to yours and research who it was that initially invested in them. Making this strategic list will narrow down the potential investors; this will save both the investor one you, a lot of time. You will get disheartened and waste a much time if you don’t start with the most likely candidates who can help you.
The first person you ask to invest with you should be the person you consider as having the highest probability of investing in your company.
Things like LinkedIn can really help someone get connected with people that are perhaps searching for someone just like you. Again, sometimes it isn’t about finding an investor, as it is about making sure the investor can find you. Use your website to introduce your company to potential investors. Sometimes it isn’t even introducing your company to investors but just getting your name and brand out there in the eye of the general public.
Find people in the type of business that you are in who really know what they are talking about, and make sure what they are talking about is you.
Make sure your introduction is sincere
At the end of the day investors are human. They want to see your passion and your desire. Don’t construct an introduction that reads like a page out of a business text book. Make it unique to you; truly express who you are and what your company is about. Investors hear the same lines over and over and you need to stand out. Make sure you identify what makes your company not just a great investment opportunity but what makes you unique. Show your personal expertise and passion.
Watch a couple of episodes of, "Shark Tank," and see how many of the pitches that are presented on the show about business are exactly the same as all the rest.
Remember you are helping the investor
It is easy to lose sight of the fact that in the end you are going to make your investor some money. It can come down to a feeling of asking, or ever begging for a hand out. Remember your company is valuable and an investor should feel lucky you came to them. The key to finding investors is often confidence. Be confident about your company and your future, if you exude confidence then investors will find you.
Leverage the internet
Use the internet to its fullest potential. Look all over the world. With the internet, there is no need to confine your searching to a small area. Get your name out there and put it in as many places as possible.
Perhaps the single biggest element that will attract investors is honesty. The investor/startup relationship is a complex one. The investor is putting a lot of faith in a startup to come through for him/her to make them some capital. If you are honest and sincere, people will recognize this and it will go a long way to convincing someone that your company is a good place to put their money.
Be honest not only about your upsides, but also your downsides. Business people are smart; they can see through someone selling something that is too perfect. There is no point in saying your company is something it is not. In the end honesty always pays off and will be to your advantage. Every company has potential flaws and downsides; it is imperative to be forthcoming and honest about these points. At the end of the day finding an investor is more about finding someone that trusts you than anything else.