Finding Investors for Your Business

Typically, the hardest thing about raising private capital is that you need to find investors for your business. Initially, the best way to go about doing this is to become a member of your local chamber of commerce. There are typically wealthy individuals and local business leaders that frequently make investments into small businesses that within their geographical area. Most angel investors like to have their small business investments within fifty miles of their homes. If your business is already in operation then you should most definitely seek to find private investors within your local area. If you are able to do so effectively then your ability to retain a significantly amount of control over your business will increase substantially.

One of the other ways that you can locate capital for your business is by beginning your search on the internet. However, finding angel investors on the internet can be a tricky process since there are many sites out there do not provide the results that they promise. As such, you are going to want to focus your searches specifically on angel investor networks that hold themselves out as professional investment groups. These organizations consist of wealthy investors that band together in order to provide substantial amounts of capital to small businesses. Most importantly, these groups can provide you with additional rounds of capital if your business is growing very quickly. There is usually a managing member within an angel investor group that is able to screen deals on behalf of their organization.

Finally, you can directly approach venture capital firms that can provide you with the capital that you need for your business. However, most venture capital firms and private equity groups only seek to make investments with a face value greater than $5,000,000. As such, if … Read more ...

How to Get Funded in Tough Economic Times

Many people ask me if it’s possible to raise capital in the traditional sense these days. Everyone knows and understands that lending practices have tightened and many VC firms have gently (and occasionally not so gently) refused to accept any more submissions. But is it impossible to raise capital? Of course not, it’s just even harder now. That’s not to say that raising capital has ever been easy, it has always been a challenging process. If it was an easy process, there wouldn’t be companies charging money to hunt down investors and business coaches priming you for your journey ahead. Keep this in mind, no one can ever guarantee that you will get funding. It’s an impossible to guarantee, and illegal to make any such claims.

What do investors want to see from you? It’s certainly not 30 pages of a long winded business plan, especially if it’s a poorly written one. It’s not an unsolicited phone call from you to take 45 minutes of their time while you wax poetic about your business or idea. The same logic that says to keep your resume short is the same logic you should take to approach investors with your business. There are a number of questions that investors need answered, and any entrepreneur answering them must now be in even more concise, with verified details supporting your business claims. Some of these questions might surprise you, particularly if you’re not well prepared to face investors.

1.            What is your business pitch? In one sentence.

This sounds easy enough, but too many capital seekers wind up grasping for an answer to this. What is it that you do exactly? Why is it exceptional?

2.            What is your competitive advantage?

So you built a mouse-trap. How is it better than other … Read more ...