Lessons For Raising Business Capital

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There are many steps in business growth and evolution.

  • Starting out new on your own or a seasoned entrepreneur.
  • You’ve been in business for years and are looking for growth.
  • New or replacement software or equipment.

These are many defining moments in business that may require you to have a few investor meetings for raising capital. Here are a few lessons on raising capital I have learned over the years to make this process easier:

Don’t Get Stuck in Your Vision

This may seem contrary to other points in this article. You  may want to spend time to focus and build a strong vision, but you must also be flexible.

Potential investors with many years of experience, may have suggestions or ideas that may vary from your original plan, because they know what sells. You must be willing to listen to their ideas.

Make Every Pitch an Elevator Pitch

Even if you have talked to them at length at a network event for an hour in the conference room, when the time comes to get their interest, do so in a few sentences.

Also wait for them to ask for details before continuing the pitch.

Investors Want a Laser Focus.

This is absolutely critical. You must be able to convey your business/service/product in one or two sentences.  You may need to go back to the drawing board if you cannot do this.

Investors will  will most likely be turned away because they see a lack of clarity as a big red flag. Creating a one page Strategic Business Plan is a good idea to develop focus.

The Most profitable Investor Meetings May be Spontaneous

You must know your plan and pitch in minute detail. Always be prepared to answer questions and go into detail about  pitch/plan at any time. You may never know when you will meet a potential investor.

You may not have your full presentation materials with you but you will have only a little time to make them interested in your pitch and have a meeting with you. It is a good idea to be always well prepared.

Wait to be Asked For Details.

It is understandable to be excited and passionate about your plan, but that excitement can work against you as well.

  • Do not make it a rambling session of details which were never asked.
  • Practice your presentation at a high level.
  • Have a backup of details ready to be given if they ask for it.

This will show that you have the “laser focus” that investors need.

Never Say No to a Pitch Opportunity.

You may have a particular type of investor in mind, but you must never reject the chance to pitch to anyone. Even if you are sure that you are sure that the investors are not a right fit, it will be an excellent practice for you. You can use this experience to pitch to those “high value” investors.

Don’t be Afraid to Discuss Competition

There is an almost zero percentage chance that your business idea is fully unique. Always do a little research on your competitors along with your market research. Think how your approach will be different from your competitors.

You must be careful not to bad mouth competitors or provide marketing slogans.

You must look for innovative ways to stand out from the crowd and serve your customers.

Make Your Pitch/Plan Easily Repeatable

You may not always be able to meet with the person or people who make the investment decisions. Make your pitch easy so that they can take back to their bosses or board and sell your business to them.

Remember laser focus, broad strokes, and straightforward pitch. If you are using a presentation, keep it short and offer a copy for the people you meet so that they can take it along with them.