Seeking funding for your business? It’s a vital component of any venture, but before you start approaching investors, or embarking on one of the many seeking investment programs that now exist, it’s vital that you get your business investment-ready. Here’s how you can do this:
Seeking Investment Funding? Have all documentation absolutely ready
At the investment stage, you cannot be falling behind on the paperwork. Not only do you need a fully-fledged business plan, but all accounts need to be completely up-to-date and independently verified. These are non-negotiables when it comes to seeking investment, as without these plans and numbers, nobody will be interested.
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Understand the different types of investors
Your approach to seeking investors shouldn’t be scattergun, as you should have performed the necessary research. That means, among other things, knowing what appropriate investment really looks like for a business such as yours in an industry such as yours. It all starts with the amount that you are trying to raise, and how you see yourself paying that back, and in what timeframe. Talk with as many people within your industry as possible, and look at what competitors have done. Don’t block off any options either.
“It’s important to keep an open mind in terms of investment as what you end up getting may not be what you originally envisaged, but that’s okay too,” says Trevor Brennan, a business writer at Brit Student and Write my X.
Create a funding status file
As you embark upon the process of seeking funding, it’s smart to open a file where you keep track of all of the different rounds of funding you are running, and any necessary notes that you need to keep alongside those, as well of the vital numbers and contacts. It can be an intense time, so don’t underestimate your need to be on the ball.
Network like never before
In the time running up to seeking investment, get your business and your face out there more than ever before. All exposure, within reason, is good in the time before embarking on a funding drive, and you should leverage the network that you already have to find potential investors. Start spreading the word regarding what you are looking for, and it’s amazing how frequently something pops up within your network that can be the solution you require. It’s often just a case of asking the right questions, and putting yourself ‘out there’.
What’s your pitch
So you have your business plan, but what’s your pitch? And that doesn’t mean having a PowerPoint presentation which you wheel out in front of formal investors. Often pitching means succinctly wrapping up in a few sentences who you are, what you are looking for, and the competitive advantages that you have.
“You never know when a pitch may arise. In fact, you could be at an informal business event, or even in a bar, and next thing you know you are pitching your business to someone who asked the right questions. That might just be the person you are looking for, so make sure your pitch is at hand, in your mind, every time you need it,” advises Katie Saddlier, a finance blogger at Australia 2 write and 1 day 2 write .
Roll with the 'no's'
Before you get a ‘yes’, be prepared for no’s. And often there can be many. Don’t lose heart at the first hurdle – this is all part of business. And learn from what you did wrong the first time. If an investor says ‘no’, ask them for feedback why they decided that. And never take anything personally. See every ‘no’ as an opportunity to improve, and it means you will be that much closer to a ‘yes’ next time.
Respect the process
Seeking investment is a process that takes time and can have multiple steps. Ensure that you understand all of these, and have respect for the process. Be patient, and make sure that you are consistently learning, asking questions, and improving.
And be prepared for it to be intense. In fact, it may feel like you are doing two jobs concurrently (your normal day-to-day, and seeking investment). That’s often how it feels, so be prepared for that too. And once again, appreciate that it can be a step learning curve. Most businesses are not successful the first time.
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