Whether you are starting a business from scratch or you have got to the stage where your business requires fresh investment to take it to the next level, attracting investment is a tricky task for even the most hardened entrepreneurs.
The main providers of finance to business start-ups and small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are banks and financial institutions, although Government assistance is also available in some scenarios.
In order to make a good impression to potential investors here are four top tips to make a successful entrepreneurial pitch and breathe new life into your business.
Release products or services early to show potential to investors
This is primarily a tip for lean business start-ups with minimal capital. If you have a product or service ready for launch it may be a good idea to release your offering to the market early. In doing so you can obtain an insight into the credibility and potential value of your product. An early release of your offering also shows a willingness to refine and develop your service to be the best it can be.
Demonstrate expertise in all areas of your business
Before pitching to major investors it is important you have a solid team and support network capable of covering all areas of your business, from production to accounting and administration. It is important to demonstrate your commitment to the business and ensure that money from a potential investor is in safe hands.
Understand your customer base
It is absolutely vital regardless of your offering that you have an excellent understanding of your potential customer base. By getting to know your customers and their demands you can prove to potential investors that you can build long-lasting customer relationships and even tap into new markets.
Prepare counter-arguments for investment pitches
So you’ve got a meeting arranged with a potential investor. Both you and the investor understand the risks involved. It is therefore important to prepare counter-arguments to alleviate fears from investors that are likely to be made at the meeting.
Admittedly it’s highly unlikely you will be able to provide guarantees regarding every single concern, but if an investor sees an entrepreneur who is honest and has their eyes wide open in the marketplace they are far more likely to trust them with their money than someone with delusions of grandeur.
Ultimately, attracting an investor is not all about the bells and whistles of your product or service; it’s about proving it has longevity in the marketplace.
More business advice for SMEs