So you’ve got this great business idea and you’ve done your research and come up with your business plan. At this point, you probably need money right? You gather your savings and if you’re lucky, you’re able to get a little extra cash from friends and family. All is going well and you start implementing and executing. Then you realise this business can’t move forward in the way you want it to without a substantial amount of money. You need an investor. And you need to be prepared for when you eventually meet that potential investor. If you can’t sell your business and sell it right, you may not make much headway. So, let’s help you with that, shall we?
Research the Investor
What interests does this potential investor have? What type of businesses have they invested in? Better still, what are their sectors of interest and how much turn over do investors in this sector cash in, of course, depending on the scale of investment they are to make. Are they angel investors or do they prefer to be more participatory? These may sound far fetched but it is information you should find out. The point is to come out with some heavy details. If people will trust you with their money, then you have to prove that you understand the numbers. Your preparation not only gives you a conversational advantage, but they also give you an edge on areas to polish in your business plan or how to package an offer they will find difficult to resist.
Sell your story
The secret is not why people will order doughnuts, it is why they would order doughnuts from your bakery, out of the hundreds of bakeries in their cities. Think of it this way. Why you? What is it about your editing or teaching or sewing skills that make you stand out from your competition? Remember, people don’t buy based on logic or even common sense, they spend based on how your business or product makes them feel. So what is that unique, extra thing your business offers? Is it a sense of belonging or history, is it an experience they cannot find elsewhere? Is it a brand promise, or perhaps just your thoroughness? Once you identify the why, it is your job to pitch it to your investor. Pitching that extra why essentially tells them that you are not a complete gamble, that your success has a track record. Or at least, there is something they can look forward to.
Go with Details
Know your numbers. How much do you need? What type of participation do you want? What exactly are you offering? Be clear and appointed about such aspects of the agreement. Don’t get to a pitch with a Dangote and stutter through the details. Keep in mind that nothing spells confidence like specificity. So, go with the details.
You may end up getting the money or not. If you do, plan, even more. Justify that investment. And if you don’t, don’t take it personally. You may not be the right fit for what they’re looking to invest in and vice versa. With meetings like this, it’s not always about getting the money. You may get some great feedback, or wisdom based on their experiences or even pointers on how better to pitch to your next potential investor.
So look out for these things as well. Good luck! 😉