No matter how big or small your business is, you won’t get very far without cash and plenty of it. This is why raising investment is the most important and often the most challenging part of getting any promising business off the ground.
According to PitchBook, while businesses in America attracted a record-breaking $130 billion in venture capital investment in 2021, this money was not spread equally. Competition is fierce, and for every business that secures its seed funding, there are several that never secured the cash to really get off the ground.
To ensure that your small business gets the funding it needs, you must ensure that your operation appeals to investors of all stripes.
With that in mind, here are some tried-and-tested ways to make your small business attractive to investors.
Have Clear Goals
This is usually the least talked-about but most important thing on investors’ minds. What is the goal of your company? What specific problem does your business aim to solve? Where does your business fit in the market, and why would your target consumers choose you over a rival?
You must be able to answer these questions quickly, concisely, and consistently. If your business has a clear mission statement and value proposition, investors will have a clear understanding of what you’re trying to do, and as a result, may be more inclined to invest.
Build Your Network
If you are courting VCs and angel investors, you should know that the first thing they will do is check who you know and how you know them. Networks are absolutely everything in business.
If investors see that you know the right people and have a good reputation within your industry, they will feel more confident in giving you the cash injection that you seek.
Before you take your pitch deck out into the world, make sure you have carefully cultivated your network and can answer honestly about who you know and who you already have on board. You can also use your network for feedback before approaching investors.
Know Your Targets
While your investors will be digging into you, you can also start digging into them. Your entire team should be invested in learning as much as possible about your potential investors.
You need to learn what they are like as individuals, in order to better understand the most persuasive and compelling lines to take.
You will also need to find out if they have ever invested in ideas such as yours in the past, and if they gave any indication as to why they made that investment. This is essential information that will empower you to push those investors over the finish line.
Use the Right Online Resources
Especially if you are a first-time founder, you should be making use of the online resources that have allowed people like you in the past to develop compelling and industry-standard pitches that investors will pay attention to.
For example, you can use the free digital Pitch suite at SeedLegals to construct a perfect pitch, with the ability to automatically enter key information about investors and financials.
In addition, you can develop your slide deck with presentation tools such as Apple Keynote or Haiku, which are commonly used by startups around the world.
Build Solid Financials
Before any investor will give you a penny, they will need assurances that you won’t waste that money. It is essential to prove that you are fiscally prudent and capable of managing cash flow and budgeting correctly.
The first thing you need to do is take a microscope to your own business finances. Make sure there are no discrepancies and do whatever you can to put your house in order before you make your pitch to investors.
You must prove that you can meet any debt obligations, have good credit, and are able to stay on top of all of your incomings and outgoings. If you cannot demonstrate this, it is very unlikely that anyone will be willing to invest in your company.
Have a Great Team Around You
At the end of the day, your greatest resource is your team. Investors will be taking the time to assess your team, as well as your product and your business model.
As Business News Daily acknowledge, they will want to see that you can make the right choices when it comes to hiring. They will also want to see that you do not try to manage everything yourself, as this rarely inspires confidence.
They may even speak to your team members individually, to see if they share your vision for the company and feel equipped to deliver on that vision. This is also why hiring is such a crucial part of startup success.
Even the best product idea in the world will not be enough to convince investors. What matters more is being able to show that you can manage your company and direct its growth to deliver returns for those investors.