Running a business is not always a solo endeavor. In many cases, a need exists for funds from the outside – from investors who are able to provide targeted insight and investments that can take a company from the start up or slow growth phase to something more solid, more successful for the long term.
Check out the tips below for encouraging more investors for your company.
1. Encourage Collaboration
A recent Gallup poll indicates that when a relationship between a company and a potential investor is based upon engagement and collaboration, the overall bond and likelihood of the relationship moving forward is stronger.
As a company representative – or owner, whatever your position may be – if you are able to take the time to engage potential investors while sharing that their advice and insight will be critical to the growth of your company, investors are more likely to be confident in your company and in what you have to offer. This encourages investors and makes it easier to find additional funding going forward. In fact, according to the same study, 93 percent of investors who consider themselves to be fully engaged in a specific investment are highly unlikely to discontinue funding or to start investing elsewhere.
2. Ensure Visions are Similar
If an investor has a different vision for the direction of your company, has underlying motives or doesn’t catch on to what you’re trying to do, the effort will fall short. While it may be more difficult, finding potential investors who share your vision and are actively supportive of your ideas is the best path to follow from the start.
Look in the right places. Be sure to search for investors who are familiar with the industry, knowledgeable about the subject and have detailed discussions before any offers or requests are made. When scoping out investor prospects, a good place to start is one the About page on their website. If you feel as though there is a question or something that has the potential to become problematic in the future, it’s best to back out early.
3. Set Expectations from the Start
Just as important as finding investors who share your vision is making expectations clear from day one. Lay out your expectations – how much insight you’d like fro investors, the amount you’re looking for, the frequency, how you expect to obtain additional funding and how you’ll provide updates – from the start in a detailed document. Be open and don’t hide anything; doing so will only lead to trouble going forward.
4. Provide Ongoing Updates
In most cases, investors are not looking to drop a large amount of money only to move on and never hear anything going forward. Investors want to be sure of their investments, to understand that their money is going where it was supposed to and to be kept up to date with regular operations. This is another key part of engaging those who support your vision.
To share updates, reach out regularly, consider setting up regular investor meetings or special events, create a newsletter and make yourself available to answer questions. The more open you remain, the better the relationship will be for the future – encouraging more investors long term.
5. Keep Yourself in Front of Potential Investors
It’s truer in investor situations than anywhere else – out of sight really is out of mind. For this reason, encouraging more investors requires hard work and effort on your part, mostly pertaining to staying in front of them as frequently as possible.
Take the time to learn about the habits and interests of your investors – go to networking events, attend conferences and look for other ways to step up. When you do reach out to a potential investor, don’t assume that a lack of a response or a negative response is forever. Instead, take the time to follow up, to set up a meeting or to otherwise engage. The more you can demonstrate your business acumen and passion, the better.
6. Ask Questions
Taking the time to create a newsletter or to make a phone call to provide a business update isn’t always enough. Some investors need prodding to feel confident enough in providing guidance. This requires a simple step on your part: the task of asking questions.
When you have a key business decision to make, consider asking for guidance. Reach out through an email or phone call, or better yet, set up a lunch meeting. Take the time to lay out the situation, to share how much you value your investor’s insight and to ask how they’d recommend you’d proceed. This doesn’t mean you have to follow what the investor has to say; however, doing so – if it’s in the best interest of your company – is a sign of good faith. Being a willing partner is critical for success.
Encouraging more investors does not need to be a chore or insurmountable task. Instead, a few small steps can make a big difference. Consider the ideas above and get started today.