Nowadays that Government support for young people with innovative ideas are almost nonexistence, entrepreneurs virtually have to depend on angel investors and venture Capitalists for needed support and investment in their innovative business ideas. Realistically, only less than 10% of start-up companies would eventually be fortunate enough to have investors key into their business ideas and invest in them. This is because no matter how innovative or potentially huge your start-up market is, angel investors hardly easily part with their capital for other people’s new businesses. And the few ones who would really want to invest in any early start-up business set high standards that they expect entrepreneurs to meet before considering such entrepreneurs.
So, entrepreneurs considering enlisting an investor’s support must know exactly what those standards are and at least meet up, if not exceed them. Here are some of such expectations and how you can actually attract investors to your start-up business.
1) First things first. Before you make any move to present your business idea to a potential investor, you must have developed your business idea to a level where it cannot be easily replicated (or stolen) by someone else who has the wherewithal – that you don’t. For example, before meeting an investor; buy your domain, register your company name and make sure your business has all the required legal bindings. This may help you minimize the possibility of any misadventure which may come from even a supposed investor.
2) Whatever your business idea is, it must be believable. You may need to ask yourself these questions: If I were an investor, would I be willing to put my money in such a business? Do I have so much passion for this business that an investor would find me believable? You must be 100% certain that your line of business would interest a potential investor. An Angel Investors expects a high level of commitment, passion and integrity from you and all these qualities must be visible to him before he can have anything serious to do with your business.
3) Before meeting with a potential investor, make sure to have researched very extensively into your business; you must have a thorough understanding of what your business entails: the market for your business, your competition, your marketing strategies, the risks, your strengths and weaknesses etc. Draw out a five year business plan that is detailed, clear and explicit. State what you would have achieved in the next five years – your financial projection. This must be believable in order to convince potential investor. Have all these documents prepared and get ready to answer any questions on them.
4) By now, you should have your own company Identification cards handy; your company website should be functioning, your company social media accounts should be very active. No investor has the patience, time or money to spoon fed any entrepreneur; they want you to have made most of the efforts on your own, theirs is to support you with the capital or link you with who or what you need to take your start-up to the next level.
5) So, do you have any customers or adopters yet? Investors would really want to see that people
or companies – depending on what your start-up is – are already patronizing your business. So if you still have zero patronage, please go back to the drawing board.
6) Before your first meeting with an investor, make sure your investor has heard of your business somewhere, somehow earlier. Don’t be the first to tell him about your company! This means he already has an idea of what exactly your start-up is all about do and for that, he would likely take you more seriously. He would sense your seriousness and hard work –factors which would eventually determine whether he would invest in your business or not- and he would feel relatively secure working with you knowing that your company is already known to the public.
7) Now, this is for your own advantage. Before meeting an investor, make sure your first client has issued your first cheque. There is this excitement and satisfaction that comes with knowing that your business has started to generate proceeds. Such feeling would boost your morale and you would be able to advocate your business more zealously to an investor.
8) Make sure you have a team of intellectuals or professionals. I am not saying you should already be an employer of hundreds of people, No; for a start you only need to have a team of three to four guys each of whom contributes meaningfully to the business. An investor wants to know that you are already investing in your business. He wants to meet know your team; he is not satisfied with knowing that the CEO does everything.
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