Raising money is one of the hardest things to do for an entrepreneur. It is a challenging task with several ups and downs, investor rejections, and difficult experiences. Most entrepreneurs feel that they can raise capital in their startup the first time they meet with an investor. However, more often than not entrepreneurs are under prepared, or their businesses are simply not attractive enough.
If you’ve ever asked an expert how to raise money, they would have mentioned that it takes a few week months for an investor to establishes trust in you and your working style, analyze your company’s growth metrics and financials, access the total addressable market size and competitive landscape, in effect accessing the risk vs upside, before finally deciding to place a bet on your business or pass.
Startup owners and budding entrepreneurs should be prepared to finance their own expenses for their first six months to give themselves sufficient runway to establish a strong fundraising strategy whilst building out a minimum viable product and establishing market validation.
Pivot Digital Ventures has spearheaded the fundraising journey for many startups and founders. We guide you throughout your capital raise and explain our strategies and best practices for approaching and pitching to investors to increase your chances of raising capital. We help our clients establish clear goals and open doors for them wherever possible. We also prepare a calendar of corporate and investor events so that the right connections can be established.
Before you conduct further research on how to raise money, here are some important aspects that you need to keep in mind:
- Understand your strengths
Qualified founders are aware of their skills and weaknesses. Additionally, a great leader knows when there is a need to hire top tier talent and who can fill the gap to take things forward. Only when the right people are placed in the right roles is it possible to take the business successfully forward in the long term.
- Have a clear vision
A company that does not have a clear vision on how to raise money is bound to fail. Without a concrete vision and goal, top talent will leave, and you will fail to raise a sufficient amount of capital from investors to grow the business.
- Connect on a personal level
You must connect with the investor on a personal level before you discuss business matters in length. For this purpose, it is advised that you research the investor or investment group in detail before meeting. What are their interests? What portfolio companies are performing well? Who have they recently invested in? Where did they work before? Starting the conversation with some casual topics also helps to establish a bond and people like to do business with individuals whose company they enjoy.
- Become a storyteller
Don’t be a visionary from the offset, be a storyteller. The world’s best entrepreneurs know how to share their story, highlight their vision, and showcase their future in a way that captures people’s attention. The art of storytelling will not only attract customers but also investment and will demonstrate to investors that you are capable of clearly explaining a business model, marketing a product or long-term vision. This will ultimately help to build trust and establish a stronger relationship with your co-workers, investors, customers and the outside world. Elon Musk and Steve Jobs are some of the world’s most inspiring storytellers and most successful entrepreneurs. Steve built and scaled Apple and Pixar and Elon built and scaled Paypal followed by Tesla and Space X. Both raised hundreds of millions of pounds over time to do so whilst creating hundreds of billions of pounds in shareholder value.