Creating a fundraising strategy
You have a great startup. Now you need to raise money to grow. There are tons of fundraising options such as competitions, grants, crowdfunding, VC or family/friends. Since raising money is a full time job, here are three tips to determine the right fundraising strategy for you.
- Rank your priorities. Ask yourself these questions about your company to determine your fundraising strategy:
- What will the money be used for?
- What do you already have access to?
- What are you willing to “give up”?
- What are you NOT willing to “give up”?
- What are your current commitments, both financially and time wise?
2. Identifying what success looks like. Think about what success for your company looks like in 5 years and work backwards. If you want a lifestyle business, you may not want to pursue VC money which will take equity and requires meeting tight deadlines. Remember, a startup is usually at least a 7–10 year journey so determine your priorities accordingly.
3. Build your dream list of funders. Depending on your strategy, start building your dream list of funders that align with your values. Ask your network (entrepreneurs, advisors, mentors) for ideas. If you don’t have a network, start building one from events, online communities and LinkedIn connections. If you are raising from investors, perform due diligence by checking their recent investments. Make sure your strategy reflects your values and priorities and remember your money source is someone you want to be with for the next 10+ years.
Once you determine your strategy, execute and raise money!