Agony Lance: Incessant barrage

Agony Lance: Incessant barrage
How do you get your awesome idea in front of investors?

 I’d like to get my awesome idea in front of Sam Morgan – I am sure he is going to invest. Can you help? – Samantha, Dunedin

No.

Then what should I do? – Samantha, Dunedin

The usual suspects – and I’m not going to make it worse by naming them here – get inundated with requests for help and money. They are good people, smart people, but struggle with the incessant barrage. I know you think your idea is wonderful, but please do your homework first.

Firstly, are you really sure that you need money? Have you been resourceful and creative enough to start the business using the legendary Kiwi attributes of just doing it and improvising?

Secondly, have you truly exhausted the easier sources of help and money?

Ideally you want to raise money from the best source of all – customers – but have you really tapped all of your own funds, and funds from friends and family? Thirdly, are you approaching only the right people with the right offer for what you need?

Every investor or fund has a sweet spot, an industry and deal stage where they often invest and in turn offer excellent advice, so stick to that. Make sure that you are very generous to the investors, showing them that they can multiply their money by many times, but also that they won’t lose it. The more funds that someone has to invest (look at their investment track history, not their supposed net worth), the more advanced your business needs and the more secure their investment need to be.

Finally, are you really ready for involvement from an external investor? Raising capital means sharing ownership, so are you ready to listen and change your behaviour? Are you prepared for the loss of control, and even the prospect of later getting removed as CEO?

Once all of that is done, then simply get in touch with them, which is easy in this connected age.

Lance Wiggs is a business consultant and acts as agony aunt for distressed Idealog readers. Get inside his head at www.lancewiggs.com or ask him a question @lancewiggs.