Once your business plan is ready, the next step is to find investors.
But the reality is it is not that easy to find an investor.
The internet will convince you that the business plan is your magic wand.
But it is not the case always.
Most times, small and medium-sized businesses may toil very hard looking for funds.
Funds are never easy to procure, neither is it simple to spot investors.
In fact, contrary to the popular beliefs, generating business finance is undeniably a tough ask.
Statistics indicate that only a paltry 5% of the internet ideas get funded.
Does it mean that only 5% of the ideas are worth the funding?
In case if you think that creating a great business plan is sufficient to help you, think again.
The business plan surely helps people get a fair idea of your concept.
But there is nothing that assures you will get funding for sure.
In fact, investors can be rather arbitrary in terms of offering financial assistance.
That is why, it becomes extremely necessary to know the right way to find investors.
That is undeniably one of the most important aspects of setting up new business.
Without the right funding plan, the best of business ideas can fall flat.
Remember there is no clear formula or system to evaluate entrepreneurs and their plans.
Moreover, often entrepreneurs are motivated more by the need for funds.
But in reality there is a very fine line between needing funds and being ready for funds.
But an investor who is putting money will evaluate every big and small element of the plan.
In short, investors look for entrepreneurs who have their skin in the game.
How to Find Investors for Your Business
This is exactly why when you set out to find an investor, a clear strategy is essential.
There is no clear formula in this aspect.
Different investors may respond differently to a variety of business plans.
Often entrepreneurs have to meet and discuss with as many as 50-60 investors before making headway.
A quality business plan alone can take you nowhere in terms of generating funds.
This is precisely why you have to go ahead with a clear strategy when you set out to find investors.
That means you have to inevitably complement a good business plan with in-depth research.
That will alone help you formulate a cohesive strategy and meaningful gains over long-term.
Often how you pitch the business plan is also an important element.
Remember you have to create a pitch as per the investor you are approaching.
There will be a meaningful difference as per different individuals.
Remember every investor who decides to put their money, will also calculate the return prospects.
No investor will want to invest if they are not convinced about the rate of return.
It is impossible to know all the right people but here are some ways to undertake a meaningful strategy.
These are some constructive measures to look for the right type of investors.
Most importantly, it will help pitch your plan to the most relevant target audience.
Does it guarantee financing, well, may not always.
But at the same time, it surely improves the chances that you may actually find an investor.
The measures that we are suggesting are not unique in approach but are unique for every type of business idea.
You have to decide on the most appropriate way to ensure that you manage to find investors.
Here are some ways to find investors:
- Contact Networking Groups
- Approach Business Schools
- Approach Friends & Family in the Corporate Circle
- Create a List of Potential Angel Investors
1. Contact Networking Groups
Whether you are targeting angel investors or venture capitalists or even plain bank loans, networking is crucial.
Connecting the right type of network does not just help get investors but also other alternatives.
Most importantly it offers the opportunity to connect more than one investor in one go.
That can often make a huge difference.
You have to remember that investors sometimes can be really arbitrary in terms of their decision.
But when you connect to these networking groups, it is like connecting to multiple opportunities in one go.
Many investor networking groups also organize events and meet-up sessions.
These can instantly help open up a host of opportunities for entrepreneurs in one go.
They allow businesses and concepts to come to light in front of a bigger audience.
Entrepreneurs can also look at pitching their ideas to the local companies.
Apart from connecting to a larger group of investors, you can also get feedback.
An entrepreneur is often blinded by their cognitive bias towards their dream project.
Often they may not be able to see the elements that are lacking in their plan.
But when there is an open pitch in this kind of networking groups, it surely makes the process a lot more fluid.
If you pitch correctly, you may also see many local players join hands.
So when you set out to find investors, the funding is all that you are looking for.
But this is a unique opportunity that offers options to explore crowdfunding possibilities.
That can often be a big bonus.
Needless to mention, it enhances your options in a meaningful way.
It makes sure that you are able to connect to a huge group in one go.
When you are looking to find investors, this can be a major advantage.
2. Approach Business Schools
When you set out to find investors, this may seem like an odd choice.
After all, they train you to run businesses, how can they possibly fund your project?
Well, the truth is that these business schools are often meeting platform for the best investors.
Most times business schools have a strong tie-up with investor networks.
But be careful that you choose business schools that have an active program for entrepreneurs.
Those types of projects attract a lot of willing investors to part with their funds.
Now all you have to do is to tap this latent opportunity full of potential.
There are chances that many of these investors are also alumni of the institute.
That makes the deal even sweeter for you.
The idea is to access a platform that offers maximum exposure to investor groups.
The business schools that way become a fantastic breeding ground for long-term relationships.
Their network of alumni, teachers and guest lecturers make for a commendable force.
The chances are if you ask them, they will be able to guide you to the appropriate source.
What is particularly interesting is different businesses attract different types of investors.
These business schools and the authorities there understand these nuances very well.
They, therefore, don’t just offer help but also the most appropriate ones.
That goes a long way in creating meaningful pitches and worthwhile connects.
Though not a strictly networking group, these business schools have a relatively strong clout.
So if you can approach the right people, the chances of getting investment are much stronger.
The whole funding procedure also becomes a lot faster.
Who knows, there are possibilities where your project may become a case study.
So contacting a business school can help you find investors in many ways in a constructive fashion.
3. Approach Friends & Family in the Corporate Circle
Whether you like it or not, friends and family are still the most dependable source of funding.
We all know that the business plan is only a medium to take forward your plea.
The main idea is to convince the investor that your business can help them realize decent returns.
So this is where a personal rapport and connect can go a long way in seeking a meaningful help.
In this case, the first hurdle which is convincing investors is already done.
All that will be left is analyzing the mettle of your business plan.
So when you set out to find investors, research for friends and family in the industry.
It is an added bonus if they have also followed the entrepreneurship route.
This will mean they are already aware of the challenges and potential therein
The first option is undeniably them coming ahead and helping you.
But even if that is not an option, they can help you to find an investor.
Being in the industry gives them access to different types of corporates and funding institutions.
They can easily pass on the contacts to you and help you in looking for help.
When you contact the business through these references, it surely adds credibility to your case.
Investors will be more than willing to hear your case when they know you have been referred by someone who has a skin in the game.
Supposing your friends or family who are in business agree to be guarantors, you can get conventional bank loans a lot easier.
Therefore the bottom line is these contacts help you approach a greater number of potential investors.
The chances are when you use these references, you may be able to get a much better deal too.
4. Create a List of Potential Angel Investors
This is one of the most effective ways to find investors.
What is particularly interesting is profiling the angel investors often helps you learn a lot about your own business.
Of course, this step involves a lot of hard work and painstaking research.
Slowly and steadily you create profiles of all the possible angel investors you may want to meet.
Not just that, you also have to jot down how you want to pitch your business to them.
That helps a lot in highlighting elements of your own business too.
You have to detail out your team members, your business elements and the company info.
This kind of documentation can help in driving a meaningful investment campaign.
You can also undertake this type of exercise online.
The advantage, in that case, is you can share your profile with your friends who can also share in their network.
So the number of potential investors you may meet or approach for help increases.
That surely helps you create a constructive database of contacts too.
You can also look at sending personalized notes to each one.
Often that can help you a long way in creating strong contact base.
This is another popular way to find investors.
See when you find an investor, they may be convinced about your cause.
But at the same time, they need the kind of money that you need.
This is where crowdfunding can make a meaningful impact.
This is a platform where multiple investors and multiple resources can be pooled in.
There are specifically targeted platforms for specific industries.
You have to look out for the right option for you.
That will make sure that you get the access to the most relevant opportunities.
So whether you are getting money from angel investors or venture networks, you can contact these.
Moreover, this can help you spread out your capital requirement over an extended period.
This will always help you get better results when you set out to find investors.
Why Should Investors Reach out to You?
But even when you have created a list of strategic and angel investors, will they respond to you?
Why should they reach out to you is a cardinal question when you set out to find investors?
This is what will help you strengthen your pitch, presentation and business plan.
Needless to mention that always enhances the possibilities to get more and better funding.
Remember just like you are looking for a great investor, investors are also looking for great companies.
So it is a two-way street.
The need and necessity are there on both sides of the story.
The trick is how well you can convince the investors that they need you.
So you have to spend quality time in creating that sense of unique and indispensable in your pitch.
Your concepts, mission statement, drive and leadership skills should convince the investor.
They have to be certain that when the product is launched, it will make a great business.
Try writing about your concepts and ideas in popular journals and investor magazines.
If your idea is indeed radical and replete with potential, investors may start calling you up on their own.
But remember your 100% conviction is important.
You will never get a Yes in the first instance.
Be mentally prepared to hear a lot of Nos before any Yes comes your way.
But that should not deter you or temper down your drive
That is the only meaningful way that you can look at seeking long-term assistance.
Your drive and conviction should convince the investor.
Often investors judge an entrepreneur more than a plan.
A plan is often as good as the leader makes it.
So remember you are the biggest ambassador for your business.
Make sure the investors understand.
– Investors Are Looking For Your Drive
When you set out to find investors, make sure what investors are looking for.
The easiest way for it will be thinking of how you will create an ad campaign.
You are inevitably going to highlight the benefits and strong points.
Most importantly, you will tell your target audience why they need the product.
But when the product is just being launched in the market, there is no previous track record.
So how do you market it?
Well, the best way is to explain to them why they need it.
Remember, the investors are looking for the same from you.
They are always looking for entrepreneurs who are willing to put everything at stake for their business.
They should also be ready to part with the last bit of money they can spend on their own.
That demonstrates how keen the entrepreneur is about the business.
Just like the entrepreneur is looking for investors who are enthusiastic about the business, the investors also want the same.
They are constantly on the lookout for players who are dedicated and persevering.
That is often the recipe for success for any kind of endeavor that you start.
Therefore, we can conclude that when you set out to find investors, it is always an uphill task.
Your perseverance, enthusiasm and conviction are never adequate.
Neither is it sufficient to have a great business plan.
What you really need is to access the right network of investors and project your story in the right light.
That exercise alone will help you find investors.
Without the right investors, even the best of business plans can suffer.
So you have to carefully calibrate your requirements to find an investor.