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Where to find business investors

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business investorsbusiness investors

 

Where to find business investors

Entrepreneurs need money. Well, most of them do because funding your own business is difficult and won’t fast forward your success. As with all things in life, if you lack the funding to progress you stagnate. So, while many entrepreneurs follow a bootstrapping strategy it’s often only partially practised. Some kind of external funding is necessary for the majority of startups.

Where to find this funding though is the next hurdle that entrepreneurs all face. Acquiring funding means you’re in debt from the very start of your enterprise. This is not attractive to startup owners. After all, you entered the startup game to make money not to accrue more debt. But the reality is you are going to need funding to ensure you can fast-track your success.

But you have to be smart about finding funding. There’s no point in securing an investor or injection of capital with no plan on how to use it. You need a viable business plan that’ll outline exactly how you want to proceed – the best way to fatten up your profit margins – and robust exit strategy. These are elements that any bank or investor will want to see before handing you money. And, in most instances, there’s payback involved. Sometimes investors require part ownership of the company and sometimes there’s interest involved when paying back monies. Unless you apply for a government grant you will need to give something back when your entity begins to blossom. So be prepared and don’t overextend yourself by promising payback when you’re unsure of whether it’s possible or not.

You need to do some serious research when looking for investors. You must investigate different avenues and platforms before making any deals.

 

You could work through startup platforms

Startup platforms provide essential information to new business owners. They offer a space to gather information, do research and connect with various types of investors. They’re convenient and an efficient way to discover the funding environment. Often times they include mentoring opportunities too which is an invaluable way to gain the necessary information to become successful.

 

Crowdfunding websites

These sites will offer you access to any kind of investor you seek, including the general public. And these work very well with young, innovative startups that are preparing to launch. Crowdfunding websites work with a strict vetting process which so you can rest assured that the interested investors are legit and you’re not about to be taken for a ride.

 

Consider getting involved in a business incubator or accelerator

These organisations want to take your idea and help it grow. But they do so by playing a big role in your startup. They provide the funding needed to turn your idea into a viable business, they have the money and the infrastructure to ensure it happens. Most often, they provide a workspace too where you can setup your enterprise alongside other entrepreneurs taking part in the programme. But incubators and accelerators want a piece of the pie. They will own part of your startup, so you need to be willing to hand over your baby.

 

You can go the traditional route of networking

With a solid elevator pitch in hand, you can find your own investors by networking like a pro. The two best ways to begin connecting with the right people is by attending conferences and events and being active on professional social media sites such as LinkedIn. In South Africa, there are numerous networking events, conferences and exhibitions that take place each year. At the African conferences, you can often expect to find foreign business people who want to invest in Africa. If you have the personality and you know how to sell yourself then spend some time attending these events as you’ll be able to get some face-to-face time with the investors you need to speak to.  


 

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