While it might seem like coming up with a brilliant, feasible new idea is the toughest part about starting a new company, finding the money to fund your idea can often be the biggest hindrance. However, there are some tried and true tips that can help you attract investors to fund your startup.
Go online to get in-person meetings
First of all, you need to make contacts, and schedule meetings with the potential investors. A key thing to do when attracting investors is to give your startup an online presence. This consists of having a website or blog providing information about your startup, as well as having a social media presence. The website or blog will give your idea an actual space on the Internet, and make it easy for people to share your idea with their contacts simply by sending a link. Becoming active on social media will link you to other people in your field, and give your idea name recognition. These days, making introductions online, getting a write up of your idea on a popular website, and using social media to interact with investors whom otherwise might never take your call, are the keys to getting meetings with those investors who are going to make your idea happen.
Have something to show them
One of the most important aspects of getting funding for your startup is to show something “real” to the investors, for this you will need a prototype of some kind. What exactly this entails will depend on what your startup idea is, but you need to have something to show to investors that is more than just an idea on paper. Whether it is having a beta version of your website, or a product prototype, you need to be able to show investors what you can actually do. This helps you on two levels – one, building the prototype will give you a sense of what kind of funding you need to make your idea a success, and two, having a concrete representation of your idea will get your potential funders much more excited than if they just have to look at words on a paper page or PowerPoint presentation. When you are doing your preparation for the meeting, it is also a good idea to do some research on the investors with whom you are meetings – know their past successes and failures, identify trends within their previous work, and think about how your idea fits into this.
Know what you want, and what you will give up for it
This leads into the next point, which is to determine how much funding you want, what you are going to do with it, and what you are willing to give to the investors in return. Developing a budget will make you look more professional and legitimate to potential investors, and will give them several different ways to get involved with your project. However, you and your team also need to be on the same page as to what you are willing to offer your investors in return for their investment – equity, board positions, etc. You and your team should have an idea of what to offer, but have that idea be more of a range than something specific. You need to leave room for negotiating once you are in the room with your investors.
Of course, there is no one way to guarantee that you will get the funding to make your brilliant idea a reality. But planning, persistence, and going out of your way to make your idea known and getting yourself introduced to potential investors is the only way you will ever have a chance.
The article was written by Mary, an experienced author currently working for Sahipasand.com, one of the most important free classifieds websites in India.