4 simple ways to find investors

Whether you are looking for someone to buy your investment grade wine or invest in your tech start up, how do you go about finding investors?

We get asked this question a lot and so after a little research, here are four key tips that you can use to help find that elusive set of investors:

1) Take time to understand who your potential investors are

Your investors are customers of your business, very important customers who with their funds allow you to service many other customers. Every business should have a well thought-out and carefully researched marketing strategy. In that strategy, you would consider who you customers are, where you would find them, what messages you would create, what channels you would use to do so and so on. Perhaps it is worth a day of your time doing the same for

your investors.

Tip — Create investor personas to understand what motivates and excites the people who may invest in your business. Research the types of publications they might read, the events they might go to and what messages might attract them.

2) Create visibility for your brand

To have created a business or product that is worthy of investment, you will know a lot about what you are selling. Therefore, you have become an expert. As an expert, you have knowledge that other people may be interested in. Industry magazines are a great place to share your story or expertise. A great example of this has been done by Tochka on the VentureBeat platform: http://venturebeat.com/2016/09/13/why-banks-need-chatbots-eventually/

Tip — Make a list of publications that you can write an article for, contact the publication and learn what it might take to submit an article. If writing is not your strength, you can always find a freelance writer to support you.

3) Network, network and network some more

Networking can be simply defined as making a conscious effort to meet new people, largely relating to benefitting your career. Two phrases come to mind when it comes to networking, a) 6 degrees of separation and b) it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. If you have not come across these phrases, check out these links for more:

a) 6 degrees of separation (link to external site provided by Techtarget)

Someone you know may know a suitable investor, or at worst someone you know who may know someone who may know a potential investor (We call these introducers). Tip — Start telling people what you are looking for and asking if they can help with an introduction.

b) Who you know matters more than what you know (link to an article by John Bingham in The Telegraph)

According to the article, 65% of Britains agreed that who you know matters more than what you know. Tip — Go out and meet people at relevant industry events, not once or twice, regularly and consistently because you never know who you might meet or how they can help you, especially with an introduction to an investor. Remember to build the network before you need it.

Tip — when networking, you will be far more likely to succeed if you look to help and support people with their goals with as much passion as you put into sourcing help for your own.

4) Create a great teaser document to share with investors

Investors tend to be busy people, who often receive dozens of opportunities throughout the year. If you would like to meet investors, ensure you have a well thought-out teaser document to share with your introducers. What is a teaser document? It is a one or two page summary of the investment opportunity with just enough information to generate interest in meeting with you where you can go through the proposal in more detail.

Tips — Remember that investors look for people, product (or service) and size of the market. Investors get lots of proposal put their way so ensure you are very attractive in their eyes in each of these areas.

Also make it very clear what look for, e.g. an investment of £250,000 into Product X with an expected return of 15 times the investment in 4–6 years.

Raising investment can be hard work.

Finding investors is a difficult task, however with an exciting team and a successful product working in a large enough market, following the tips above should provide access to meeting the right kinds of investors which takes you more than half way there.

Alternatively you can go along to a wine or two tastings held in the city and try your luck there!

Mrinal Madina

Director at The Ad Store UK.

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