It's no secret that raising capital to grow your business or invest in property has become harder. Traditional lenders are requiring you to jump through more hoops, and they are applying less attractive terms after all the jumping is over. Private lenders and investors are more cautious and have upped their standards, as well. What's a businesswoman to do?
1) A Great Story
When you explain your opportunity to people they should say ‘Wow!, I like that, let me know when you get it moving”. Building an “elevator pitch” is a great discipline as it gets you focussed on building a great jargon free story. Resource
2) A Great Team
In the beginning there may be just you. However start building a team of people that support you in legals, accounts, IP, marketing and any areas you need support in. Find a grey hair to mentor you. If you are a grey hair find another! Resource
3) Great Credibility
The innovation or idea is one part, the other part is actually having the capability to bring the product successfully to market. Meaning … you will use investors funds well and responsibly. This involves building distribution, showing your track record, getting your IP secure, good advisory board or directors, milestones achieved etc. Resource
4) Storytelling: Lots of compliant ways to tell your story
An Elevator Pitch is a good start. A two page summary helps. A short business plan. An offer document eventually. A video script. If you are seeking capital you cannot blog about this fact to the public but you can blog so people get engaged in your story as you move from an idea to prototype to market. Along the way you will attract followers. If you dont believe this works go to kickstarter.com and put nano in the search field! Resource
5) Followers: Lots of suitable people to tell your story to
You can have a great story but you need people to tell it to. Start building lists now.
Starting with a pen and paper, make a list of the people who are impressed by your business. Every good business has fans! Afterwards they often are very grateful that you thought of them as part of your company’s future.
Friends and family typically provide smaller amounts of capital on the basis of relationship rather than on the basis of financial rewards. Larger amounts though depend on many of the pointers in this article.
In addition to Friends, Family and Fans, look outside your business sphere of influence to people such as prominent identities and professionals to develop an idea of who might be interested in investing in your business