We at Vivolution aim for these blogs to help inform our audience of various aspects of the business world. We have already covered the ‘Top 10 Tips To Attract Investors’ so to carry on from that we’ve decided to put together a Top Ten list of ways to get investors to take you seriously. Here they are:
1. Be realistic. When it comes to raising funding in 2014, in Scotland or indeed in pretty much any other part of the world, it is essential to be realistic. Investors will only take you seriously if you’re clear on exactly what you’re seeking funding for and on what terms as well as why investors should even consider handing their hard-earned cash over to you. And finally, if they do, precisely what you’re going to do with it.
2. Have a solid and credible plan. In the current economic climate, any investor, bank, angel, VC, or even your friends and family are likely to be looking for a solid and credible plan before signing any cheques. The fact is that (possibly apart from friends and family), before anyone will even consider backing your idea, you need to be able to demonstrate a clear and justifiable route to profitability. This involves investing the time required to create solid and credible business and marketing plans with sensible cashflow forecasts.
3. Get your house in order. Before you go to speak to any investor, grill yourself and get every difficult person around you to grill you to find out what’s different and what’s unique about your idea and why people should buy into it. The more objectionable your ‘grillers’ are the better. Bear in mind, early grilling will stand you in good stead for the real grilling you’ll get from potential investors later. Make sure you’ve established the key elements of your brand or concept as well as having its production, marketing and sales processes thought out, otherwise you stand no chance of being taken seriously.
4. Demonstrate commitment. You must be able to show real passion and a desire and willingness to go the distance; otherwise potential investors will run a mile. Getting any innovation to market today is tough and investors know that. Any innovator or entrepreneur who isn’t 150% committed is likely to be sniffed out PDQ by the holder of the purse strings.
5. Be able to prove engagement. Knowing your target audience intimately is a great place to start when it comes to engagement, but in order to be taken seriously by investors, you need to go further than that. You need to show that you know exactly how to reach out to these people, as well as gaining their attention and making it clear why they should choose your solution rather than any other on the market. Ideally you should be looking to have a steady and improving traffic flow of your target market to your website, either ready to convert or being converted already.
6. Get yourself a mentor. Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely and challenging role, and a great way to avoid dark moments is to have an experienced person on side who’s willing to take you under their wing. More than this though, a good mentor will know how to steer you towards investors, how to make the right connections for you and will be no end of help in preparing you for the tough road ahead.
7. Network. Arguably at no point in history has networking been more important. Whether you choose to use social media or physical networking opportunities, moving in the right circles and having the right followers (physical and virtual) will help immensely when it comes to being taken seriously by investors.
8. Publicize yourself and your brand. Publicity comes in all shapes and forms and, much in the same way as networking might be physical or virtual, and will ideally be both. Being seen by the right people and presenting the right image of yourself and your brand will go a long way to satisfying potential investors curiosity when it comes to how serious you are about success.
9. Be flexible. No two investors are exactly the same, so try to respect that when pitching. Think of your pitch as a sales meeting and take the time to find out what your investors needs and desires are before you present the benefits of choosing your investment opportunity over another. At all costs, avoid a one-size fits all pitch for investment. It also often pays off to have some flexibility on how funding might be structured, or even your business direction if you get the right investment opportunity.
10. Have a ‘team’ attitude. Having a strong team will help reassure any investor that you’ve got your entrepreneurial ducks in a row, but more than that, having an appropriate place on your team for the investor you’re pitching to will help make your pitch more logical and appealing.
Vivolution is a management consultancy in Glasgow with focus being placed on supporting companies who have aspirations of revolutionising the healthtech, fintech and digital industry. Read more about what type of businesses we work with on our sectors page.