Whether you are just starting your business or are looking to expand an existing concern, it is very rare that you will be able to become bigger and more successful without some level of investment. The degree that you allow outside investors to help grow your company is down to you of course, but there are several things you should know about investors – and how to go about finding them – before you set out.
Unless you are happy with the size of your business and do not have the ambition to try to expand then raising money to help that process will be in the forefront of your mind. You may be looking to take your company to the next level in your chosen field. Although you have the ambition and expertise to do that you will not have the necessary funds (unless you are very lucky).
Spending more money is no guarantee of making extra money, however, with expert knowledge and a good business sense an investment could transform your working life in ways you could never have imagined.
You could also be at the start of your business journey and looking for the money to turn your dreams into reality. Getting sound investors on board at this stage is crucial so you will need to know how to go about it. The obvious advantage of successfully procuring investment at this juncture is that it will give you the chance to make your business idea a reality.
Where there’s a will
You have a great plan to move your business to the next level – or a revolutionary idea to transform your chosen sector – but you don’t have the funds. That is where investors come in. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to attract investment but with all of them you will need to put in the hard work.
- There are a variety of investment specific platforms these days where you can get noticed. It is not quite a reversal of the old routine of going out to find the right people to give you money, but it does make life slightly easier if you are in a place where investors are actively looking in the first place. With all digital ventures it is unsurprising that start-ups are particularly fond of this route and startups.co is a perfect example of this kind of site.
- For smaller operations there are the general crowdfunding sites that you will have already heard about such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo. There are also others more focused on investors looking for an opportunity – such as OurCrowd. Being able to put across a compelling business plan can put you in a really strong position to attract some serious investment.
- There is, of course, the relatively old-fashioned way of getting money – by asking your bank for a loan. A more traditional method than the digital examples already given, but if your business plan is convincing a bank might help. Unlike direct investment there will of course be charges involved.
Have a plan
At the end of the day investors are looking to make money. Your business may be your lifelong dream but for experienced investors it is a way of working to get a good return on investment through the success of your business. A very successful investor is Sigurður Bollason who bought into Karen Millen in 2001. It is this kind of invaluable expertise in investment that you are searching for.
You should make sure that you have done your homework before approaching any potential investors. It is you that needs the funds – not them. You should be able to answer any questions they ask with confidence. After all, this is your business idea you are selling.
The most important piece of advice that can be given is to have an extensive business plan. That may seem obvious but a detailed account of where your company is – and more importantly where it is intended to be – should be able to be relayed in easy to understand, but detail heavy terms.
Work hard to live the dream
By attracting investors, you can turn your ideas and a potential business into a real success. You will need to understand that you are giving a part of your business away (for money) and that is sometimes hard to get used to if you have been working without major investment but if you are serious about your work then attracting investment is the right move to make.