Fundraising is a tough nut to crack for many startups. But with a growing startup ecosystem, networks connecting the investors and the entrepreneurs are increasing exponentially.
According to a report, 65% of entrepreneurs admit they were not fully confident they had enough money to start their business. Here are some practical tips from various investors and successful entrepreneurs which might help you raise investments to scale your business.
1. Have an Effective Business Plan Ready
An investor is always interested in the business plan apart from an idea. An idea might be unique or innovative but a business plan is what makes it effective. Your business plan must include details about your target audience, sales forecast for coming years, a problem which you are going to solve, go-to-market strategy and your plan for scaling the business. A most important factor to keep in mind is the uniqueness of your product. In other words, how different is your product and what are the existing problems it is catering to?
Presenting your business model through figures and block diagrams might prove fruitful and productive. One suggestion which many people from the ecosystem advice is, to keep things simple and not to complicate them. Keep your business model realistic, logical and rational. You can also take the help of analytics to derive conclusions about specific grey areas where your product can actually bring a positive impact.
2. Make Yourself available on Online Portals
In this age of internet and digital era, having a virtual reach proves to be more productive. Create an account on different social media platforms to maximize your reach. An account on platforms like LinkedIn, Indian Angel network, Quora might also prove useful. If possible maintain a blog, in which your experiences, data, analysis, viewpoints can be published, this would help connect more people with value adding benefits. You can also entertain guest posts from experienced industry people. This might help in attracting investors to your platform. Whenever a potential investor visits your profile and sends you a connection, accept it and take no time to initiate a conversation with him. The biggest advantage of these sites is, you can follow investors who invested in companies similar to yours and can also track your rival companies. On the other side of the coin, if not handled properly, it might deter your image in a few seconds.
3. Establish Your Network
“Your network decides your net worth”, a popular saying in the startup world. Before approaching an investor, it is always advised to note down at least 40-50 potential VCs and AVs. To start this, interact with other fellow entrepreneurs who work in the same domain as yours. Interact with successful businessmen and entrepreneurs to know their strategies, mistakes, and experiences. Discuss your idea briefly, business model and finance with them, if any suggestions come from their side, accept it gracefully. Ask them for further contacts, discuss with those contacts and build a network around you. This type of interaction will surely help you in finding potential customers, partners, co-founders, and investors.
Draft a basic email which can be used for contacting different investors via email. Don’t shy away from emailing or contacting. Don’t depress or demotivate on listening to a ‘NO’, because being an entrepreneur one must be immune to rejections.
Present your business idea to your close friends and family. Let them try out your product (if there) and note down their suggestions and reactions. After launching a product or a service, tell your close acquaintances to refer it in their vicinity. Initially, the conversion rate might be very low but marketing is the key. Generally, mouth to mouth marketing is more effective than door to door. If any consumer mails or messages you, reply to him/her and thank them for using your product. Nowadays, building a virtual network is more important than building a physical one.
4. Present with Confidence
Confidence is one ingredient which defines or defies a person from success. While presenting your idea and business model it is advised to keep cool and calm. Before presenting in front of an investor, do proper research on that investor. Catching up with mutual contacts or acquaintances also might prove useful.
Moreover, check his previous investments for their respective domains and ideas along with the total investment committed and the amount of stake asked in return.
Some points which will contribute to your confidence:
- Emphasizing on why one should invest in your startup along with your short and long term visions will help to grab the attention of investors.
- Always focus on short and crisp PPTs, well illuminated with pictures, diagrams, charts, tables and bullet points. Refrain from copying and focus more on originality.
- Another point to be noted is, always be proud of your idea and never ever doubt yourself, your team or the idea.
- Be more optimistic and don't get panicky.
- Answer all the questions in a simple manner, don't let your one answer counter another. Stick to the basics, your idea, your vision, and your current scenario.
- Don’t bluff or speak unwanted things.
- Keep yourself open to suggestions and don’t be afraid to speak up if any suggestion or advice overlaps with your ideology or ethics.
Also Read: How to Raise Fund for Startup in India
Finding investor is not that tough job if you know about pitching. If you can show better, they will invest better. However, each and every investor have his own way of dealing with entrepreneurs. Some invest in the startup idea, some invest in the business plan whereas some invest in the team. So, you either need to get better in all the aspect or pitch to the investor which suits you the most.