Do you have a vision for your business for global impact? Is the funding to get your product to the masses coming in? Perhaps, you want to know how to find an investor who believes in your vision.
You aren’t the only one. To find an investor that believes in your vision, believe in your vision first. Investors love to see having the vision and a plan to scale for years to come.
Forbes recently featured 8 types of investors that may surprise you. If you are in the early stages of your business, have you thought about friend and family? In the beginning, when there is little to no proof of the effectiveness of your ideas, they may be your best bet. If they believe in you, they may invest in your vision.
Finding an investor may sometimes be similar to getting married. If you want an investor, know why you want one, your boundaries, and what you’ll use the funding for. Keep reading to learn how to find an investor who’s right for your idea.
You love entrepreneurship and start-up life. Your vision for your company is your baby and you don’t want to hand it over to just anyone. Too many times founders want to get funding fast without thinking.
As a founder, it’s important to think about your vision, the business and where you want it to go. When you start thinking about investors, the same level of care should be given. At the same time, don’t wait to focus on delivering results now.
Why do you want an investor? Do you really need one? Have you thought about guidelines? What type of investors do you want? Is Christopher Sarofim a great fit? Why or why not? This will help you start to think about what works for you and your business. These are a few things to think about before you go to your next pitch event.
1. Outline vision
Take the time to outline the vision. Showcase where you are now and where your business is headed. It is a great idea to do this for yourself regardless of whether or not you will get an investor. Put in the GPS with the address of where you want your business to go.
For an investor, this will help them see you are a serious founder. Do you want extra credit in the classroom or better yet with the investor? If you do, show where your funding will be used and the results.
2. Set guidelines
If you have decided you want and need investors, set guidelines. What are you willing to give up? What percentage? How much control? Have you thought about the structure? What investor involvement works for you and your business?
Before you start searching for investors, it is important to know these guidelines as it will impact the investors you look for.
3. Get prepared
Promotion meets preparation. Don’t wait to be in a room of investors before you start getting prepared. Make time to start practicing your elevator pitch now. Maybe you do it with friends and family? Who knows they may be your first investors.
You wouldn’t show up to a job interview without being prepared right? The same goes for preparing for investment. A great idea is looking up local pitch events to practice in person.
The key things to be prepared with and practice include your elevator pitch, pitch deck, emails to send out, and answers to FAQs. This will help you find the right investor faster by being able to talk about and show your vision.
4. Investor list
Now, you are ready to make a list. Evaluate where your business is and think about what type of investor is best. Is it friends and family? Have you considered an accelerator? They are a great way to get mentorship and present to investor groups as well.
Perhaps, you are at the seed round. Knowing where you are in the life cycle of your start-up, will help save time in finding the right investors. However, at the same time, anything is possible. There are stories of napkin pitches winning millions as well.
5. Create relationships
Focus on creating relationships. It’s a whole different feeling when you ask someone for money that you’ve known for quite some time. There is also a different level of respect and trust.
We suggest researching local chambers and tech villages to meet investors in person. This will help you start creating relationships. Keep in mind investors know other investors. So, don’t be shy to ask for introductions to an investor that may be the right fit for you.
6. Powerful pitch
Create a powerful pitch and update it periodically. Make sure you ask for feedback for anything that may make your pitch better.
Is there any area you haven’t addressed? How is your communication? Do you have 1 pitch deck to email (more text) and one to present (more pictures)?
Is your pitch showing problem solving, scalability, and return? Make it is as clear as possible for your ideal investor to see that.
Last, but definitely not least are follow-ups. As a rule of thumb, we suggest following up at least two times. Investors are busy, especially active ones.
Make sure you communicate gracefully with professionalism. As Jim Rohn said, there are pennies in the sale and fortune in the follow-up.
Some start-ups get investments overnight. However, those stories are few and far in between. The majority of founders persisted through pitch presentations, investors, and persistent follow-up. Don’t give up hope just yet.
Being a founder is one of the most humbling things a human may do. Even more so is sharing your vision for constant opinions, rejection or acceptance. It takes tough skin in every way.
Take in the feedback with a grain of salt. Evaluate it against who you are, who you want to become, and the vision. Most importantly, take action in every way.
There are new skills required to learn. A new level of leadership is required in each and every way. The choice to rise up is yours. Take the next step.
What action will you take next on how to find an investor who believes in your vision?