New businesses and business growth in the SME sector are something we hear about every day. It seems we are in an era where start ups and entrepreneurial opportunities are plenty if you are looking in the right places. With so much knowledge and expertise sharing online it has become easier to find resources required to either grow already established businesses or start new ones through external investment.

More and more people are branching out and taking on new businesses, with the trend for start-ups at a high. This is valuable for creativity and the growth of entrepreneurship but in turn drives competition for financial backers. Businesses all work differently and have varying needs but basic practice for gaining business investment remains the same. As a result of more new business looking for financial input, this results in more competition for investment, so founders need up their game when pitching to potential inventors.

Here are some top tips on gaining business investment and how to make it work for you:

  1. Business owners can work out who the perfect investor to pitch to by asking, what stage are you and your business at?
  2. You can also speculate who the right people to invest may be by considering how much you want to raise.
  3.  There are a few good starting points for getting in front of investors and going about contacting them. Most investors are pretty active in terms of getting out to conferences and networking events. Try to attend these and start to get that informal introduction that could lead to a relationship.
  4. Some people have the misconception that pitching is different when looking for initial investment to an established company looking to expand but my opinion differs. I’m not sure there is a massive difference in the way you would pitch; I think both would follow the advice given above.
  5. When pitching think more about whom you are pitching to rather than what you are pitching for.
  6. My advice is to not worry about pitching with more than one founder. I would be very surprised if it was a negative thing, in fact, more than one founder lowers the investment risk.
  7. Don’t make claims or exaggerate facts that you can’t back up – it is very easy to destroy your credibility very quickly.
  8. If you are in a high growth business, with lots of potential and clear USPs then it will often be ‘the market of investors’ that decides on price.
  9. The important thing is to get a number of investors interested so you can make sure you are maximising your value.
  10. Enjoy the pitching process, however nervous you may be. If you are excited and show drive in your pitch delivery this will enhance your business offering.

These tips and ideas are seeded in years of experience, but different things work for different people. Businesses are as unique as the people that found them and it is key that you carefully consider your options when starting a business and begin to source investment.