Women In Business

Grow your network to increase your chances of funding

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Raising capital is a challenge many entrepreneurs face no matter where they are along their journey. It’s an extremely time intensive process and will undoubtedly go on a lot longer than you would ever imagine. There are many intricacies, moving targets and a myriad of different requirements that need to be met.

It takes time for an investor to take a leap of faith

Investors can be a particular bunch, especially during your initial funding rounds. They are extremely risk averse and will look to pick holes in your business at every opportunity to ensure they select a winner. Even trialled and tested solutions can sometimes fail to turn their heads. Investors need everything about the business to be just right and show guaranteed returns. They want a ‘safe’ bet.

However, even if you have everything in order, a killer go-to-market strategy and a wonderful product, many investors will wait for someone else to take the initial ‘leap of faith’ on your business.

And, when investors do decide to take a chance on you, choose those partners strategically. While the initial appeal of a guaranteed cashflow boost may seem appealing, will that investor partnership help your endeavour in twelve months time? Do they have the experience and knowledge to provide you with an unfair advantage? Will their involvement add value, or will it instead stifle innovation? Have the confidence to kindly turn down investors who aren’t the right fit for you and your business.

It’s who you know that counts

The key to securing the initial investment to start the domino effect is tapping into your contacts to find someone who believes in you and your business. Make as many connections as you can, no matter if you’re looking for funding or not. Meet with them regularly and keep them informed on how your business is tracking. You never know when you might need to call on them to kick-start a round.

Once you have created a network of potential investors, use these connections to further introduce you to their networks. You may not meet all of them, but you may get a few friendly contacts pass information on to their circles too. It’s paramount you develop a strong presentation, which can stand alone without you having to walk through it. The chances are, this will be shared around by investors.

Achieving your funding target is all about starting early and creating a network of potential investors before funding is required. If you haven’t done the groundwork before you launch a funding round, the chances are you’re not going to make it.

Funding is never easy. It’s not quick. And, it’s a lot of hard work.

To give yourself the best chance of success, start early, build a network of potential investors and create collateral that can be shared. This will ensure when you do press the button, you already have a solid network of investors who are ready to lend you their ears.

About Elke Keeley

Elke Keeley is an Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of UrbanYou, the easiest way to book reliable household help.

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1 Comment

  1. Kinia

    August 25, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Personalized connection requests increase the chances people will approve your request and give you a better shot at landing a sale.

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