Whether you’re making revenue or needing capital to scale, financing is crucial to giving your SME a longer runway. Follow our tips below to make finding that funding a little bit easier.
Network, network, network
It’s never too early to get out there and meet the key people in your startup ecosystem. We can’t overstate the value of personal relationships, especially in the early stages of business development. Attend networking events in a variety of industries, because you never know who knows whom. Your most significant investor could be one handshake away.
Practice makes perfect
Practice your pitch. A well-practiced pitch shows potential investors that you know your business and industry well – from the issues you’re solving, to the people you’re selling your solution to, and the market in which you’re operating. Investors recognize when founders know their business inside and out and can show the value of their company. A chance to share your elevator pitch could come up at any time, so be ready and don’t stop practicing until it comes as easily as breathing. (Read our earlier blog post, “Pitch Like a Pro”, here.)
Do your research
From venture capital and angel investors, to government grants and business incubators – there are lots of ways to receive funding. It’s important to know what types of funding you want and are eligible for, as well as what types of investors will be interested in your business.
Many entrepreneurs end up pitching to the wrong investors or miss out on equity or non-dilutive financing opportunities because they didn’t know about them. Take the time to conduct thorough research; you’ll save a lot of time, create good will, and pursue the opportunities that are best for your SME.
Keep track of grants and opportunities in a spreadsheet, even if they’re not right for you at the present – when the moment is right you’ll have all the information at the ready.
Likewise, tracking your investor leads will help you create and maintain strong relationships. Just because someone you’ve pitched to or met didn’t or couldn’t invest in you in the past doesn’t mean they won’t be able to help in other ways. You might look more appealing to them once you’ve grown a little too. Learn to keep in touch!
Finding funding may seem daunting, but if you act on these tips, you may be surprised how manageable (and even exciting) it can be. Our team at OKR Financial may be able to help you navigate the funding universe. Reach out to us at [email protected] to learn more!