I am often asked how to find the right investor to invest in an entrepreneurial business. The question often comes from an entrepreneur who is about to run out of money and wants me to introduce them to someone that is going to write them a check by the end of the week. For the investor/entrepreneur relationship to work effectively, a relationship of trust and understanding has to be cultivated during the pitch and due diligence process.
Would you ask a friend of yours on Monday to introduce you to a spouse you can marry on Saturday? I hope not! So why would you think an investor relationship would work that way? The message you are sending is essentially, “I’m a poor planner and waited until I was in trouble to take action.” Not a good way to start a relationship involving asking for money, is it?
Getting ready to find an investor begins long before you think you will need the money. Preparations include thinking through how to build a business that investors will want to invest in, that they can identify with. You have to maintain credible data on your financials and your potential client base so that each time you meet with an investor you can definitely and consistently communicate your position.
How confident are you that if the right investor comes along, you are prepared with accurate historical and projected financials? Can you show the investor you have thorough knowledge of the financials, cash flow, burn rate, use of proceeds and return on investment? You have to know your product inside and out as well as the financial numbers behind it. You will get drilled on it when you meet with investors and it will feel like the worst spelling bee you ever participated in if you are not prepared. Do you feel confident?
If the answer is, “Not confident…” make the investment in your business to prepare. Let’s schedule some time together to dive in to gain financial clarity and understanding. Let’s talk. Contact me at email@example.com to set up a no-obligation 30 minute discovery call to see how we might work together to prepare you to meet with potential investors.