Private investors determine the fate of most small businesses. They help it grow or make it harder to survive. Essentially, investors can be your nightmare, or your fairy godmothers. Therefore, the wooing process must create a positive image of you, your brand, and your company. Follow these steps to achieve success at your first meetings with investors.
Step 1: Narrow Down Your Potential Investor Candidates
Compose a list of sites, books, and people who are able to give you names of potential investors. Next, narrow that list to only investors who invest in your type of business.
If this list is still too long, narrow your search even more by focusing on your state or city. Reduce the names until it becomes a manageable list of people that you actually have time to contact.
Spend several days just looking for investor leads and decreasing your list of names.
Step 2: Research
Focus on a few potential investors each day. Find out everything about their past investments, their company partnerships, and the overall mission statement of the investor. Next, get personal: Research their personal interests.
Extensively researching the company’s background helps you establish that you understand the company or investor’s goals and ethics. Researching their personal interests gives you a topic to bond over beyond business things.
Step 3: Contact
The research process should lead to contact information as well. Search to find out the investor’s preferred contact method. Next, call, email, video chat, or mail your potential investor to introduce yourself and set up the first meeting.
Step 4: Develop a Pitch
As the saying goes, ‘Time is money.’ Many investors only have a limited amount of time to devote to a meeting. Therefore, respect their time limits by developing a clear and concise pitch.
Write and revise it until you have it perfect. Next, practice the pitch as much as possible, and make sure to keep it under a minute.
Step 5: Develop Follow-Up Questions
Construct a list of all potential questions that an investor might as you. Next, write and edit your answer to those questions, and then practice and memorize them. You want to sound as professional and prepared as possible.
Additionally, prepare separate questions for you to ask the potential investors. Show that you’re just as engaged as they are in this process.
Step 6: Buy the Right Outfit
Dress as professional and eloquent as possible. Invest in a nice suit or dress that showcases your style and professionalism. A well crafted suit or dress can sometimes be expensive, so use discounts when available.
Groupon’s coupon section offers a wide range of coupons at high-end stores such as Ann Taylor. Buy an outfit that impresses any investor but doesn’t harm your budget.
Remember that decisions to invest in your business may take several meetings, so be calm, and continue to follow our steps until you achieve success.