Entrepreneurs often have a tough time finding someone to fund their venture—many fail to do so but go ahead with the launch anyway, and then they run out of cash. Finding a reliable source of start-up capital is likely to be fundamental to your business's success. If you can fund it yourself, that's terrific. If a partner is able to provide funding, then that can work
Calculate your need long before you need the money. Asking for just enough to incorporate, produce the first product line and rent a building is extremely risky. Seek enough funding to get you through the major development stages of your company where you anticipate seeing revenues covering costs.
Write a business plan that differentiates you from existing companies. Investors want to see what makes you special and why your management team is the group for the job. Complete your business plan with financials projecting not only revenues, but an exit strategy for investors -- how investors get out their money back with earnings -- that doesn't hurt the bottom line.
Talk to friends and family members. People close to home know you and may have more confidence in your idea or your ability to work and develop the idea. Make sure any money coming from family is well-defined legally to ensure that you are keeping the investment as a business relationship.
Meet with bankers, investment advisers and accountants. Explain your program and what you are doing. Some banks may provide loans, but these professionals may also have other clients who might be interested in your business.
Identify angel investors and venture capitalists through networking at Small Business Association functions, industry events and online research. Professional investors are often very specific in what they invest in based on personal experience and expertise: technology, medical, services.
Ask investors what parameters, if any, they have regarding capital investment. If you meet their criteria, ask to present your idea and business plan. If you don't meet their criteria, ask if they know someone who you are a good fit with. Investors tend to know other investors and will refer you if you are professional, have a good plan and demonstrate an understanding of the investing process.
Develop relationships with those who have succeeded ahead of you. Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim invested $100,000 into Google before the company was officially incorporated, according to CNN.Money, "How to Find Your Angel Investor." Those who have succeeded through startup avenues can become strategic alliances, mentors and possibly investors. Even if they don't become investors, strategic alliances and corporate mentors strengthen your status with investors.