I’ve been working in and around startups for over ten years, and the biggest headache they face is generally finance.
Most startups don’t have the resources to “bootstrap” for very long, and the world of funding can often seem daunting and complex – especially if you’re a first-time entrepreneur.
Below are my tips on some of the most effective and time-efficient techniques to secure external finance:
1. Do your research
Before embarking on the funding journey, make sure you know what type of support will be the most useful, depending on what stage your business is in terms of growth and development and the amount of money you need.
Check whether you qualify for any of the government’s grants, as this could be a good way to start out without having to give up any equity.
Bear in mind that with investors and accelerator programmes you will also gain valuable mentorship, but be clear on your priorities and only apply to people and programmes where you fit their criteria, and they fit yours.
Whatever method of funding you’re after, be it a grant, crowdfunding campaign, angel investor or even a business loan, you absolutely must nail your one-minute elevator pitch.
You need to convey your story, vision and USP succinctly and powerfully to any potential investor, and thorough preparation is the key to success.
Know and be able to describe your market and competitors, your plan for growth, your marketing and customer acquisition strategies.
Rehearse until you know it through and through – this will not only ensure you remember the key facts and figures but will also calm those inevitable nerves when you enter the room.
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