December 28, 2010
Most people with great new ideas for business ventures have creative plans but not enough money to fund their entire project. One option to solve this dilemma is to turn to private investors. The question most entrepreneurs are faced with at this point is how to find investors. Investors will generally differ from a lending institution such as a bank because in addition to interest on the money they invest they will also require a percentage of the business or stock.
Before you can even begin to consider how to find investors you need to write a business plan. If you aren’t experienced in this arena you can find many professional business plan templates online. A business plan is the first thing an investor will want to see before he even considers discussing a loan with you. The plan needs to be well laid out showing all your corporate information, mission statement, start-up costs, operating expenses, marketing strategy and long term projections. A good business plan should contain answers to most of the questions the investors would ask and should be clear and organized not to cause any confusion.
Once you have written an impressive business plan you can investigate options for how to find investors. A great place to start is to make a list of people you or your business associates know who have the means and would be willing to take a risk on a new start-up project. Friends and family often invest in opportunities that personally benefit everyone. The Internet and advertising publications are filled with people looking for opportunities to invest in new business start-ups. There are also networks sometimes referred to as angel networks that specialize in putting investors and entrepreneurs together.
The final step in how to find investors is the formal presentation. The investor has already seen your business plan and was impressed enough to request a meeting. This can be done as a conference call, an online meeting in a venue such as Go to Meeting or Skype or might be in person. What they need to hear is your confidence and passion. You need to successfully sell yourself and your business concept to make them want to be your partner. New business start-ups are high risk, they need to know how committed you are to see the job through as well as how well their investment is collateralized. Practice your speech and be prepared with all the information they might request. Your future depends on it.