Funding: Know What you Want When Seeking Investors

by Barbara Beauregard
9/13/2017 9:36:15 AM

  

Doing Your Homework Can Help You Find the Right Funding Partners

Your business plan is rock-solid, so how do you get the capital that can serve as a the bedrock for your startup? While it can be a bit scary, seeking outside investors doesn’t have to keep you up nights. Nor does it mean you have to blindly beg any and all who have the money to back you. Rather, you can approach it smartly.

First Steps: Preparation is Essential

Preparation is key and will help you win hearts and minds (and financial backing). So the first steps are to look at your business and yourself.

The first order of business is to make sure you’re pitching a business, not an idea. Is your model scalable? Do you have a product or service that has longevity beyond the latest fad? Do you have the team and the talent to serve as a solid infrastructure? Do you know operations and can you demonstrate that knowledge?

Show a cash flow, even if it’s not much, so investors know their money will go toward growing the business (and profits) rather than maintaining the status quo or keeping the lights on.

And make sure you know what you’re asking for. Is the investment for equipment or talent? Do you want a partner? How involved do you want an investor to be? Do you want a mentor? Are you strictly seeking capital?  Knowing these answers before talks begin helps you find investors that align with your needs.

Related to that is having a vision for your business. Make sure you have strategic objectives for your first, second and years beyond included in your business plan. Such vision is the blueprint for where your business is headed and how investors can help you get there. 

Then do your research.

Study the avenue through which you’d like to gain investors. A great place to start, as well as to get your business in front of potential investors, is startups.co, which bills itself as the world’s largest startup platform that helps more than “1 million startup companies find customers, funding, mentors, and world-class education.” 

There is no shortage of avenues for finding financial backing, so which one fits your business best? 

Would an angel network, such as  Angel Capital Association, and Angel Investment Network, be best? In addition to capital, angel networks provide mentorship, advice and contacts. 

What about crowdfunding? These sites, such as Kickstarter and OurCrowd, give you access to many types of investors ranging from the general public to philanthropists to accredited investors.

Or you can get social and tap into professional social networking sites such as Xing or Startup Nation

Maybe an incubator or an accelerator is a better choice. They provide you with investors interested in watching their partners succeed. These are particularly good at helping turn ideas into viable business models, while providing some of the money to make it happen. They also might offer a space for your work, making it easier to work together. 

The International Business Innovation Association is a great place to start exploring incubators and accelerators.   

If you’re looking for a more traditional starting point, the Small Business Administration is an excellent option. The SBA typically offers small loans and grants without taking any stake in your business. 

Private equity firms also are a more traditional route. Such firms give you access to a few thousand to millions in investment and typically focus their investments on businesses in their early states that show great potential for growth. 

Intelligent Office has innovative business solutions that will allow you to focus on growing your business.  Contact us today

Additional Resources to Help Grow your Small Business

White Paper

How Mail Services Help Entrepreneurs Succeed

In today's mobile economy, digital entrepreneurs often work from varying locations. While this can help save money and increase agility, it comes with one big drawback:

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Assistants Provide a Competitive Edge

Countless small business owners rely on remote assistants or offsite receptionists to help with critical organizational duties. While some are content to offload simple tasks to self-employed, stay-at-home support people, others demand more comprehensive services...NULL

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Assistants & Remote Assistants: A Comparison

While the traditional virtual assistant is likely to work from home, an executive-level virtual assistant is part of a greater brick-and-mortar presence. This fundamental difference opens the door for extensive training opportunities that broaden the professional's support capabilities.

Read More >
White Paper

Overview of Virtual Offices, Executive Suites and Co-Working Spaces

Work has changed. In an age of instant communication, cloud-based applications, and workplace versatility, the era of the traditional office culture has come to an end. Providers of virtual offices, executive suites and co-working spaces have effectively liberated the nation’s work culture, adding dynamic and energizing new choices...

Read More >
White Paper

Part 1 of 4: Introducing the SBA

For entrepreneurs and small business owners, navigating the tricky terrain of creating a sound business plan, forecasting for growth and developing an operative growth strategy can be a major challenge. Fortunately, American entrepreneurs and operators have access to one of the most effective resources in the worldwide market...

Read More >
White Paper

Part 2 of 4: Starting a Small Business

Navigating the complex terrain of creating a sound business plan, forecasting for growth and developing an operative growth strategy can be a challenge for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Fortunately, American entrepreneurs have access to one of the most effective resources in the world via the Small Business Administration (SBA).
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Part 3 of 4: Managing a Small Business

Congratulations! You have gotten your small business up and running. Now what? This part of our four-part series on leveraging the Small Business Administration to help you launch and manage a small business will focus on the operational aspects of running a business. Whether you need leadership strategies, day-to-day decision making skills
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Part 4 of 4: Marketing, Sales and Contracting

Understanding marketing and sales as well as the technical complexity of our Internet-driven society gives entrepreneurs a distinct advantage over the competition. This final segment of our four-part report will take a deeper dive into the logistics and philosophy of marketing and sales and their impact on your business success.
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

DIY Marketing Tools

If a business isn’t marketing, its potential customers are not finding it. Small to medium size businesses often struggle with spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing. New DIY marketing tools, however, have eliminated the need to spend astronomical amounts on online and traditional marketing. These tools
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Office for Legal Professionals

Law firms (large and small) and solo legal practitioners alike can use virtual office services and spaces to run their entire legal operations or as a supplement to a home office or traditional brick-and-mortar offices. Virtual office services can be particularly useful during trial preparation
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Finance & Tax Professionals

Finance and tax professionals, whether they work solo or as part of a larger firm, can use virtual office spaces and services to stay on top of their workloads, especially during the busy tax season. Professional virtual office spaces can be particularly useful when back-to-back client meetings are necessary...

Read More >
White Paper

Traveling Entrepreneur

As business people and entrepreneurs continually strive to grow their business, doing so frequently involves traveling around the country to attend networking or tradeshow events, meeting clients and prospects on their own turf, and getting some face-time with colleagues, contractors or employees who may operate in a remote location. Preparation
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Office Eguide

Have you ever wondered why some small businesses are successful and others are not and what do these successful companies do to gain an edge over their competition? Through our years of experience
... Click to read more

Read More >