So – you have a brilliant idea, you did your research, and you are ready to get your business off the ground: all you are missing is money.
For those unable to bootstrap completely, investors will be an invaluable resource. The real challenge is to convince investors to back your business while it attracts real customers, but only generates sufficient income to cover costs.
We will give you a few tips to help you along your journey:
1.Who Are You!?
As per our interview with Augustin de Cambourg, founding partner at Shift Finance, we found out that one of the main characteristics an investor looks for in a CEO is the “entrepreneurial mindset”.
Emphasize your ambition to create the change you would like to see in the world!
Did you know? Blake Mycoskie of TOMS Shoes attributes his ability to raise a seed round to his commitment to provide a free pair of shoes to the underprivileged for every pair sold.
Include personal experiences that helped you arrive at this idea – childhood initiatives, industry leadership roles, or extracurricular activities. Stand out by showing you are a person on the lookout for new ideas and able to grasp larger implications for market change.
2. Hard Facts
Highlight your ability to follow up those ambitions with strategy. Above all, good business people have to remain practical. Demonstrate a thought-through plan to obtain results.
Do not forget – show your research! Investors do not gamble their money. Investors want to see hard data to back up your idea and show that your project is worth investing in. You can use market research and surveys to back you up.
Questions to address:
- What are the market pains?
- What solutions already exist?
- Why do these solutions not suffice?
Did you know? Investors are focused on the growth, maturity, and profitability horizon of your product or service in the next 2-3 years.
3. Leverage Reputation
You already have people in your life that know you and trust you and can back you up. This could be family members, friends, ex employers, colleagues – you already have an extensive network! This plus a strong personal history (as mentioned in the previous point) automatically adds to your credibility and gives potential investors more confidence in you.
4. Pitch Deck
Invest resources into a proper presentation! Some are of the opinion that visuals and branding are unnecessary. However, a clean and effective presentation deck proves you are serious about this project and have taken steps to legitamize it as much as possible. Plus, visual communication saves time by relaying messages faster.