If you have a million-dollar business idea but just don’t have the funding to make it possible, you need to figure out a way to make your dream idea a reality. Getting funding for a business is much more difficult than it sounds. The Cinderella stories of small startups getting millions of dollars of instant funding are not very common. It’s important to get to work if you are committed to your startup’s success and seek the right investor. Here are some practical ways you can get an investor to help your business idea start to come together.
Start With Venture Capitalist Associations
The first place to seek funding is through the different venture capitalist associations. You may want to start with the National Venture Capitalist Association to get an idea of the number of potential investors in your local area. Organizations like this host different events throughout the year to connect investors with startups. Research their list of members to find the right investor for your industry and funding needs.
Today, there is also the option of using crowdfunding to get your initial startup costs covered. Crowdfunding doesn’t work for every situation, and it does require a lot of legwork on your end to publicize your funding campaign and attract potential small-time investors from the general public. If you have a prototype product that offers some genuine benefits for people around the world, this can be a great option to get some fast cash for your startup costs.
Ask Friends or Family
Next, try seeking potential investors from your current network of friends and family members. Not everyone feels comfortable asking people they know for money, but if you believe in your business idea and you see the potential for an investor to make money, it’s worth a shot to ask. It’s tricky managing a relationship with someone close to you while also doing business with them, so be careful about your intentions.
Network With Others in the Industry
After you’ve tried raising capital from crowdfunding and friends and family, the next step is to go out into the world and network with other industry professionals. If you have some career experience in your field, connect with former bosses or higher-ups to get some ideas for funding. Reach out to your former employers and organizations to see if they can help support your dream and work with you.
Use Social Media
Now, it’s easier than ever to use the internet to connect with people all over the world. Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, give you access to some of the most successful venture capitalists in history, such as Matthew Ocko. You can start following these noteworthy venture capitalists on social media and see what kind of investments they’re looking for. Then, try reaching out through their social media page to make a pitch about your company.
Attend Conventions and Industry Events
While social media is important, there’s nothing that makes a better impression than getting out there and meeting people in person. Stay informed about industry events and conventions where people get together and talk business. Show up to events in your area and be ready with documents about your business idea and your elevator pitch about your plan. Make sure you dress for success and make a great impression.
Read and Interact With Bloggers
Another way to impress potential investors is to be a regular reader of their blog. Many successful venture capitalists also operate and author websites and blogs where they share their thoughts and ideas about their industry. It’s smart to subscribe to the most important bloggers in your field so you can make a name for yourself. Start commenting with well-researched information to show you have what it takes to be successful. Over time, you’ll be able to reach out and pitch your ideas.
Get on LinkedIn
The most important social media platform for those seeking investors is LinkedIn. Most people in the business world have LinkedIn profiles, so if you aren’t on this site, start with creating a profile. Make sure you have a solid resume and an engaging write up on the site and start reaching out to potential investors who have an interest in your industry.
Check Out Advertisements
Finally, always be on the lookout for venture capitalists reaching out through various advertisements, such as Craigslist or other message boards. It’s worth a shot to investigate a potential investor who is looking for opportunities through this method. Be careful of getting involved in scams if you go this route. Never send anyone any money and do diligent research on individuals you plan to do business with.
It’s possible to get the required funding for your venture if you are proactive and working to expand your business network. Use the internet, industry events, and your network of business associates to raise the capital your company needs.