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Obtaining funding for your next business venture without going insane
Whenever we get into building our own businesses, we always think about our designs that will help convert all of our traffic into sales, but we don't go over how much money it will take to push ourselves into the spotlight and be the best within our industry. Once we get going, we realize it takes a bit of money to get the right advertising campaigns set up and even to do proper marketing. Sure, you could know how to do all of this on your own, but it will still cost money and if you don't have a bank roll to fall back on, you'll either need to bootstrap everything over the next few years or bring in an investor to help jump start your business on it's path towards success.
Investors will work with companies they trust and know have a high potential to make them money. Remember, an investor will only invest if they think they will make money off of you, so be sure to have something unique that will peak the interest of users. If you're in a saturated market, pushing a very similar system or business plan as your competitors, do you think it's a smart business decision to throw massive amounts of money at a company that doesn't have a high chance at success?
To peak the curiosity of an investor, you need to have a unique idea that shows potential to go big. I'm not talking about making a few hundred thousand dollars, I'm talking about competing on Facebook or Google level. To do this, you need to start off with a few things, and they are:
Start blogging and people will find you, even potential investors
Blogging will build massive amounts of content on your website, which will eventually help you get top rankings within the search engines if you optimize everything just right. People love reading blogs, especially ones that have a lot of helpful information on them, so you should get started blogging if you haven't already
A lot of people see a blog as just a way to help bring in people to boost their sales. An investor sees a blog as sort of a digital imprint of your personality and business sense. If you can peak the curiosity of an investor, simply through blogging, they will likely work with you after you show them you're passionate and dedicated to succeed in your industry. Remember, and investor won't contact you unless they're interested in partnering with you, so if they call or email you then you have a chance at securing a decent amount of funding for the future growth of your business.
Set up an "Investor" page on your website
This actually gets ignored most of the time because people think that investors aren't out there looking for them, they're on big platforms like LinkedIn waiting for people to come to them. I'm here to tell you that investors like looking through the internet, not just LinkedIn, for potential gold mines for them to throw their money at. Sure, you could have a "Contact Us" page on your website and get investors to contact you that way, but if you had an "Investors" page it would look much more professional and let the investor know that you're interested in bringing them on board to boost your business into the stratosphere.
On your investor page you will need to add the basic information, such as:
- Your business name
- Your business address
- Your phone number
- Your goals timeline
- Goals you've already achieved and ones you're striving to hit
- Yearly growth since you've started (add a percentage of growth, such as: 200% annual growth each year)
If you add those little tid-bits of information to your investors page, you will likely get a lot of people contacting you to partner up. You'll have to sift through a lot of emails from people wanting to invest a few hundred bucks, but every once in a while you'll have a whale contacting you and interested to throw a lot of money at you. So wait for that whale to contact you and ignore the little fish
Get on KickStarter even if you're established
Everyone has heard of Kickstarter and knows there have been businesses that have to attribute their riches to successful campaigns. Not every campaign will bring in a drove of potential investors looking to get a small discount on a service, or product, that will come out at a later date. You may not even have a successful campaign when you're pushing your business on Kickstarter, but that's not why you're really posting on there.
You'll be setting up a well put together Kickstarter campaign to draw in the big investors who may be lurking in the shadows. Sure, you'll have to invest some cash into your campaign set up so it stands out, but that's a drop in the bucket compared to what you can get from an investor. You'll need to link to your website within your campaign, or mention your website so investors can find you online, and they will come to luck on your websites pages to see exactly what you're doing. Oh wait, you have an "Investors" page on your website and now they're clicking through to see what that's all about
See what I did there
Big investors won't work with you through a 3rd party platform like Kickstarter because they don't want to give anyone money but you. They're not investing in the Kickstarter platform, so they will try to contact you through your website where you have all of your business information listed.
Talk to successful business owners, if you know any
If you're just starting off online and don't know many successful people, this might not be a viable option for you. Now, if you've been working online for a while, you likely know some people that have been approached by big investors and they can actually refer you to them. Think about it, whenever you get a referral from a client, they tend to close at a much higher rate than if the person were to just land on your pages through their own search. An investor will see you as a potential investment if their previous investee is referring you. Getting a referral from an investors business relationship won't be the only thing that will seal the deal, you'll still have to put together an amazing business and a convincing pitch that will peak their interest.
Finding an investor isn't the most difficult thing to do if you're just thinking outside of the box a bit. You can start writing about your industry and get noticed by investors through top rankings within Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. You'll need to set up an "Investor" page so potential investors know you're seeking out capital to push your business to higher hieghts on a much shorter timeline. After you have your "Investor" page set up on your website, you can now set up a KickStarter campaign and bring in the lurkers, who will likely contact you if they like what you have to offer. If you have access to successful business owners, you can ask them to refer you to any investors they've ever talked to, which will help you get in touch with the people who would likely throw money at you
Remember, you need to have a great business plan as well as have something unique for them to even be interested in the first place.
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