Well, yes and no.
It just depends on where you look. Finding private investors is a tricky process, because the right investor might be half way across the country, or might even be your next door neighbor. There’s just no way to tell. Unfortunately, you can’t just pick up the phone book and do a quick search for private investors. If only life were that simple!
Be Realistic About Your Time Frame
Many entrepreneurs feel like they should be able to find business startup funding in a few weeks. Worse yet, some expect to find it in a matter of days! If this is your expectation, all we have to say is “good luck”.
Realistically, your funding search may take months and sometimes even years! So if you anticipate that you’ll need business startup funding anywhere in the near future, you’d better start the search now. There are several complicating factors that you’ll encounter on your search for business startup funding. After all, convincing an investor to hand over a million bucks isn’t quite like a casual stroll through the park!
Hold Your Horses
To avoid burning your bridges, take a moment to analyze your business before contacting any potential investors. The first thing to consider is how fundable your business truly is. It may turn out that you’re not actually ready for capital due to a number of reasons. Have you exhausted all other growth avenues and do you absolutely need funding in order to scale your business? Is your business fundable–Do you have a proven business model with paying customers? Many investors will want to see this before even thinking about funding your venture. These are just a couple of the many factors to consider before beginning your investment search.
When you have established that your business is indeed fundable, then you’re ready to begin the hunt for a suitable investor.
You’ll need to find an investor that makes a great match for your company. This new relationship is crucial to the success of your business. Just because they can provide you with money, doesn’t mean that you want to take it. Are they able to help you in any other way such as offering advice and direction supported by previous experience in your industry?
Once you’ve found the ideal investor, then the negotiation process begins. This can take several iterations to get right and may ultimately never work out. You have to prepare the financials (and do them over and over) before your meeting. This step can be worked on while you are still making your initial search for potential investors. Once you meet the investor in person, you’ll need to negotiate the amount of funding required. This may take several meetings. When this is settled, you’ll get the term sheet. The term sheet will ultimately need approval from both parties–this will take some “massaging” before it finally goes through.
If all goes well, you’ve successfully landed funding. Unfortunately, most of these meetings don’t result in a successful match. You may have to go through this process dozens of times before the ideal partnership occurs.
Private investors aren’t impossible to find. First make sure that your business is indeed “fundable”, then begin your hunt for potential investors. Finally, be realistic about how long it may take to land any funding.
By Go Big Media, LLC.