With a great deal of preparation, funding will come your way.
It is hard nowadays to build your company from the ground up even if we’re just discussing funding. Whether you have a brilliant idea placed in a slow cooker and waiting for money or whether you wish to invest in something that will bring in revenue, acquiring the funds necessary to jumpstart your business is essential.
There are many ways you can get the necessary funds such as bank loans, asking friends and family to support you, finding investors or creating partnerships. However, in my opinion, the best way to go, if you do not possess the necessary resources, is to find angel investors. We all know that business angels are extremely busy and they tend to have multiple options to choose from. So don’t be naive into thinking that they will leave all their prospects on stand-by just because you want to pitch them a business opportunity. The most common mistake that takes place is when a young entrepreneur or a future businessowner asks them to drop whatever they may be doing and focus their attention on you. This, will almost surely be a dealbreaker.
First of all, business angels want to be sure that they are part of the best team possible of investors and that will take time. Some angel investors prefer to bring in colleagues that may be interested in investing. If this is good enough for startups, it should also be good enough for you. Business angels will always have one eye on the big picture and one on assessing all the possible scenarios that may result as a consequence of the investment.
Here are five tips that will help you impress and consequently attract business angels:
1. First of all, give it your best and be as creative as you can with your term sheet. It will allow you to present the main aspects of your business and also all the needs and requirements within a partnership with a future potential investor. Uniqueness goes a long way. Try and not fall prey to the influence of what you see other colleagues or friends do in this particular instance. The reason behind this is that two companies will never be identical, just like in the case of two drops of water.
Angels will always ensure they are protected. Moreover, they will scrutinize your term sheet to make sure that you are who you say you are, beyond the shadow of a doubt. All the basic components of a term sheet should be transparent and convey the reality as accurate as it actually is. Also, you should never assume that the terms imposed by another firm will be compatible with yours.
2. Secondly, all numbers should be included in the term sheet. In some terms, a term sheet is like an equation with several variables such as the interest rate, the discount and others. Don’t rush and create a term sheet on the fly, but rather take your time and figure out how these variables can be implemented as a whole. Moreover, if you want to gain an extra bit of confidence you can run several possible scenarios regarding the impact of interest rate on discount and viceversa. Each scenario should be given time periods.
3. Numbers may be important for business angels, but they do not mean everything. Every serious and well-respected angel investor wants to know how you deal with things when they go wrong. Aspects such as the existence of a board position, the manner and the amount of disclosed information will prove crucial. Take into account multiple scenarios and determine the best solutions that will help you get of a tight spot without risking to lose your business angels. Ask yourself questions such as: How long will it take to cover all the invested capital? What is the best way to convert your product or service into money? Will the investors receive a multiple of their invested money? Some may consider this to be far reaching, I consider this smart planning. Also, follow up on all the unanswered questions because this will prove a great way to establish a business relationship.
4. There is no “I” in Team, especially in the case of business angels, so make sure you are aware of this before you even decide to pitch someone your business idea. There is something very unique about business angels and that is that they are a cross-section of industry and domain expertise. Each angel will ask a specific set of questions when reviewing potential group investments. On a larger scale, the investment of only one business angel may not prove to be substantial. However, the founders should consider all the perspectives each angel is able to bring to the table. After doing this you should account for those interests in the term sheet and exploit that expertise to the fullest. While an investor may focus on numbers and possible outcomes, another one may focus on the declarations that may or may not be included in the term sheet. A term sheet with omitted or misrepresented data will only further you from landing investors.
5. The decision-making process requires time. Yes, momentul is extremely important when you are trying to acquire funds, but business angels will never rush to make a decision and make it rain with money over you. Usually, entrepreneurs who display a false sense of urgency will turn off almost any investor. So before you rush an investor into making a decision make sure you learn the ropes of fundraising and plan your timing and deadline accordingly.