Capital is an instrument of production. Production would simply come to a standstill without an adequate supply of capital. To create capital, we need capital and this is where the investors come in. Capital budgeting, in layman terms, is the process through which investors lay out the money on an activity or a project expecting returns and benefits.
However, the most vital part of this whole process is pitching or presenting the idea of your business plan to the investors. One of the most common speed bumps in the way of startup success is the failure to find sufficient financial backing. The most difficult part of finding the same is to find appropriate investors, locating and securing their attention.
Don’t know what you can do to ensure that you are different from your competition? Do you need some ideas to attract investors to put solid money into your startup? Take a look at our suggestions below that have worked for the best of entrepreneurs before you!
Have a strategy.
Investors sit through days and days of “creative” and “interesting” presentations. You need to pitch your idea in a way that is truly and starkly different from all the other ideas out there. And for this, you need to have a proper and well-formed strategy. Rehearse your pitch in advance. Listen to yourself and see if you have the confidence and charisma to stand in front of a critical audience and sell your idea.
In India, it is also a good idea to keep your business plan handy. Have it typed out cleanly in a folder or a binder for your reference while giving the presentation. Information about your startup, your launch plans, your target audience, your sales forecasts, your future plans for the company, should all be accessible to you in case you are asked anything. This will make you look dependable and trustworthy.
In addition to this, make sure your pitch is as immersive as possible. Make sure you do not hurt the prospects of your own idea!
Make your presence known.
This point can be interpreted in a traditional manner by attending conferences hosted by investors looking for opportunities to invest. You can especially make a splash at the events related to your industry and more specifically to your startup topic. In this way you will find for yourself a niche network where you can meet other businessmen, and in the process get different suggestions and ideas.
However, this is a very restricted interpretation. It is also necessary for aspiring businessmen today to establish an online presence. You can find the right websites in the similar way that you found the right events and conferences. LinkedIn, AngelList, etc can only help you get started. Do not forget to make your profile as presentable and memorable to make an impression so that when you pitch your idea, it is not the first time that people are hearing about you.
Study the investors.
Once you have found the networks and groups of the investors that you are going to target and attempt to interest in your startup, make sure to locate them individually and study them. These groups generally keep a low profile apart from the conferences and once you have identified them try to figure out their business character. Which investor or investor groups do you think are most likely to invest in your kind of investment?
Your pitch is much more likely to be successful if you have a customized pitch tailored specifically for the investor group you are addressing at the moment, after having learned and understood everything about them. If you can approach every investor individually in this same way, you will have them lining up to fund you!
Do not be scared to try alternative methods of financing! Crowdfunding is one. Crowdfunding sites are something new that has popped out nowadays; a very interesting concept that allows you to interact with an array of different investors at the same time. It is a vertical slice of the business community who all want to make some money by investing profitably. It is much easier in my opinion to get started with crowdfunding, though some entrepreneurs do not prefer it because of the inexperienced crowd.
The other option is Private Equity Firms. This are generally considered the more traditional path to investor funding, but mixing things up can give you very satisfactory results. Venture Capital (VC), a type of private equity are particularly directed towards small, early-stage, emerging startups that are considered to have high growth potential. Make sure to be very well prepared before going for a VC meeting though!
Consider working with some help.
If you are just starting out and need some help with the fundraising, there are some options you can check out. The first option, of course, is to hire a professional fundraiser. There is nothing to be embarrassed about asking for some help starting out and the services of a professional fundraiser can help to truly turn the tables. They can show you all the inside tricks of the trade, because they already have the necessary connections. But keep in mind that this will lead to a steeper overall cost.
The second and more interesting option is incubators and accelerators. For those of you who do not know, these are companies that help new startup companies to develop by providing services such as management training or office space. You can find a list of these companies in the directory provided by The National Business Incubation Association (NBIA).
Remember that you need to show the investors why they need to invest in you. What have you got that the competition doesn’t have? You can help yourself in this regard by making some very personal efforts for your startup like making a website or an to put the idea out there. And last but not the least, don’t forget to practice your pitch! There is nothing new or novel about this concept, but it is often underestimated just how much it can help you. Pitch your idea to your friends and your family and your colleagues and the person working next to you at your co-working place. Get their inputs. While you do not have to immediately apply each and every advice, it is always good to have sounding board for all your plans. It will also make you more confident. and most of all, it will help you understand your customers more! Exactly what is it they want? What would they be attracted by? Should you offer a free sample to get them interested and have them try out your product?
So these were our ideas to find willing investors for your startup! What are the one-off ideas that have worked for you in the past? Are you planning to launch your own startup? Make sure to tell us in the comments below!