When it comes to getting a small business off the ground, any entrepreneur will be able to tell you that courting investors is an important part of the process. Few of us have the luxury of a lump sum of cash that can be used to bring a business, product, or idea to the market, so getting other people involved is vital from the get-go.
Some of us might have seen the popular BBC show Dragon’s Den, where budding entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a group of investors. It’s entertaining television for sure, but also gives us a couple of lessons in how to prepare for the sometimes daunting practice of courting investors.
Know Your Business Inside Out
While you’re in the process of bringing a business pitch together, you need to put yourself in the position of the person you’re going to be talking to. The key thing is to address the things that could potentially put them off investing. Nothing throws up warning signs more than being pitched to by a person who doesn’t know their business.
It’s all very well being able to concisely describe the nature of your business, but you need to have an astute knowledge of the figures to back up your proposition. The people you are talking to need to know that you have a plan in place for their hard earned money. Working up a business plan is key, but also have some idea of spending figures for years to come because you will be asked about this.
Being Personable but Professional
When it comes to meeting with people and trying to establish a relationship, you need to think about how you come across in those first few moments. First impressions are important in the world of investment, and you need to sell yourself effectively in a short space of time. There’s plenty of guides out there to help you establish a good relationship from the get-go, so remember to do your research!
There is a balance to meet between being friendly and serious about what you want to achieve. If you focus on the business side of things too heavily, mumbling about stats and figures, people might not warm to you. Too far in the other direction, and they won’t take you seriously. Practice your pitch with friends and family to gauge the right mix.
It is no mean feat to get a small business off the ground, and it requires the full effort of the entrepreneur to bring it to life and to sell their visions to others, be they investors or otherwise. The people you’ll be working with will likely be accumulating money with savings plans, so understanding how to tap into this line of investing is key.
Sharing your own enthusiasm for your business will bring people on board and ideally convince them to put their own money into helping you achieve the next level of growth. At the end of the day, these are the people who will decide how quickly your business grows and what heights it can achieve in the broader marketplace.