Many investors, entrepreneurs, and emerging companies are seeking growth to build successful businesses. In order to grow you need resources to be successful and usually these resources for require capital in order to fuel the engine. There are many different funding sources available but regardless of which one you choose, there are basic fundamental requirements that need to be met to be successful in fundraising efforts.
1. To be investable you need to have a unique product or service.
Is your product or service truly unique? Are you evolving a previous product and service, or are you truly revolutionizing an industry? Is what you have to offer creative, forward thinking and innovative? Typically funding sources see hundreds, if not thousands of opportunities to invest in each year. Often they are looking for a unique opportunity. It is no surprise that many angel and venture capital investors are seeking a unicorn. They play in an arena where the game is to invest in something that is truly unique with exponential growth producing sizeable returns. To get funded your product or service needs to stand out and be unique.
2. To be investable you need to know what problem you are solving.
Does your product or service truly solve a problem for a target market? Early on in the ideation of any product or service, it is always important to really ask some critical questions:
- What problem are you solving?
- Who is the specific target market you are solving a problem for?
- Is this a problem that is experienced by a mass group of people?
- Can you make or deliver your product or service for less money than your target market will buy it for?
In your ability to answer these questions, you are able to understand if you are solving a problem. A product or service that solves a problem is attractive to funding sources and most importantly, creates an opportunity for growth.
3. To be investable you need to pay attention to the details.
When you begin fundraising and pitching your product or service, you will need to have your business and investment opportunity figured out. Understanding the terms of your deal and what is in it for the investor is crucial to successfully fundraising. Do you understand how your deal is being structured? Do you understand where the funds from an investment would go? Are you able to explain what will happen after you run out of this round of funding? Do you have an outline of what your exit will look like? Being able to answer, in detail, all of these questions allows you to understand and speak to the mindset of an investor. Without having the legal and financial aspects of your business under control and in a digestible manner, will hinder your fundraising efforts. To get funded you must know the details of the deal.
4. To be investable YOU need to be investable.
Most of the time the individual or organization that is going to make an investment, will have subject matter expertise in your business or industry. They are willing to make an investment because they have knowhow and can bring strategic value to what you are doing. Sometimes investors will fall in love with your idea or business. Most important and above all, any funding source is going to need to know, like and trust you and your team. The ability to demonstrate you and your team have the personality traits and business acumen to be investable is crucial to gaining the interest of an investor. The ability to demonstrate you have investable aspects is an intangible measure which gives the investor a little added certainty. An investor needs to know that despite anything that arises, you and your team have what it takes to make it work and be successful. To get funded who you are must be investable.
5. To be investable you need to build a good story.
It is no surprise that people are drawn to a good story. It is important that you are able to deliver one about you, your team and your product or service. The ability to share why you have your business, explain why you and your team are the right people and why now is the right time all lead to telling a good story. With a good story you can share a vision, an opportunity for growth and attract investors seeking a return. As part of your story, it is important to share the challenges and obstacles you have faced and how you overcame them. Highlighting the positive attributes of you and your team will allow investors to see that you have what it takes to be successful. To get funded you need to be able to build a good story.
Regardless of your funding source, whether it be angel investing, venture capital, family and friends or crowd funding, it will be important that you are able to address each of these five items. While you may be able to gather some great statistics or even design an attractive pitch deck with a very unique and catchy name or brand, the real success lies in your ability to be investable and be able to deliver on these key points.