If you’ve got an idea, or a business but the money isn’t exactly rolling in yet, it’s tough to build a thriving business. Which is why many small businesses and startups look for funding and seek out investors.
Venture capital firms are comprised of private investors who research, negotiate and fund businesses in early stages of development. Even some leaders in business today (think: Starbucks and Google) relied on venture capital in their early stages.
Tips to attract and retain investors in your business
Know your facts and figures
When talking to investors, be prepared with data and projections. Don’t guess your company’s worth without having a real-word numbers analysis first. Your accountant or qualified bookkeeper can guide you through this type of reporting and show you how to run reports via your accounting system like Xero.
Focus on what you’re good at
Focus your efforts in what you’re good at and what you know best. If you don’t know much about one area of business, don’t try to expand just to make a quick buck. Instead, invest your time and money in your own company—it’s what you know best.
Know your scale
Think beyond just getting capital to grow your business. Understand how you’ll grow the business—for you and potential investors. If you’re stuck with no direction, your profit potential is limited.
Think about how scalable your business is: how will you cope with increased demand? A larger-scale operation often means increased costs for facilities, labor and materials. In some cases, this cuts into your profit margins, making your business less viable for the long haul and less appealing to investors.
Investors like experienced, older entrepreneurs who have been around the block. That doesn’t mean to say if you’re a tech genius but only 19, you won’t get an investor, however you may need to hire a more seasoned exec to even out your staff.
Do you know your customer?
Understand innately what compels your customer to buy your product or service, what problems do your products or services solve and what makes you different to your competitors?
Document your systems
From organizational charts to job descriptions and internal systems manuals, investors will be impressed with a well-run and documented business. Generally investors are interested in a concept, but to get them to put their money on the table you need to tick a lot more boxes than just having a good idea.
Face-to-face meetings with venture capitalists don’t happen overnight. If an idea is worth hearing – and luck and timing is on your side – a solid business plan can catch the eye of just the right person.
For help with preparing a detailed business plan and ensuring you have the right corporate governance procedures in place feel free to contact us.
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