The right angel investor should become an impressive advocate for your company. Don’t simply hope to bump shoulders with someone who might be remotely interested in making an investment in your company. Identify individuals you trust to help fulfill your vision.
This requires building a network one person at a time. Potential investors are located in some obvious places that are unfortunately overlooked by many entrepreneurs.
Start-up companies in a garage or suburban office park have greater access to a support system than their physical location indicates. A sophisticated network can be pieced together from sources in plain sight.
Cultivate prospective investor contacts among those who seek value beyond the monetary gain. Most such individuals are acquaintances through business activities. They are the customers and vendors of your company. They are executives at companies that are prospective customers. They are the bosses of your contacts at major suppliers. Make contact with these the leaders of companies that are customers and vendors.
Start by becoming a confidential business acquaintance. Ask about their businesses. People want to converse when they are the topic. You will gain insight about your market plus position yourself to convey information about your company. Slant these discussions to how your plans will benefit them. Eventually, these contacts will value your personal integrity. That’s an essential stage to gaining their confidence as investment sources.
When the time is right to prove your value to the potential investor, you need -apart of forming your llc or corporation- to produce a written marketing plan. Include a prepared financial projection indicating capital requirements to meet your goals. This permits individuals who already have an involvement in your market to visualize themselves as angel investors for your company.
Another avenue for angel investors is among your key employees. The best marketing director or chief technology officer can make introductions to former business associates. This provides new contacts to cultivate as insiders who can provide expertise as well as capital. Over time, prospective investors know others who can help your business grow.
Some simple infrastructure improvements help create the promotional interest that your company needs. Use your website for blogs, message boards, surveys, and feedback pages. Encourage your customers, vendors, and even competitors to use these tools. These are outstanding publicity opportunities for press releases. Services are available on the Internet for submission of well-written press releases. Send copies of the press releases or online links to the investor contact list you cultivate.
A capital acquisition plan doesn’t begin with asking for cash. Rather, it is a process of gradually expanding influence on a list of names. This starts with a compilation of prospective angel investors in close proximity to your company’s operations.