Finding the right investor for your startup is one of the most important decisions you will make in your business career. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you want someone who can provide the capital to start or grow your company, but isn’t going to interfere with your vision for it. The wrong choice can have devastating consequences, whereas the right investor can help you build a successful company. In this article, we’ll show you seven ways to find an investor that meets both your needs and theirs.
What is an angel investor?
An angel investor is a wealthy individual who provides capital to startup businesses in exchange for equity. Angels have been around since the dawn of time—they were the first people to invest money in startups, back when there was no such thing as venture capital.
Angels are typically high-net-worth individuals who want to contribute their time and knowledge to help young companies grow into successful enterprises. They're passionate about supporting entrepreneurs and helping them build businesses that impact lives every day.
It's important to note that not all angels have vast sums of disposable income at their disposal—some may be business owners themselves, while others might work full-time jobs but still have enough money left over after paying bills each month that they can put toward new ventures they think will pay off someday down the road.
What are the benefits of angel investors?
Angel investors are experts in their field. If you're starting a business, an angel investor can provide you with advice and guidance on how to approach your product or service. If you're looking for funding, they can help get the capital you need. And if you're having trouble marketing your company, they can offer suggestions that could help push it over the edge.
Angel investors are also likely to have connections within their network that could benefit your startup company—in fact, many of them may even be able to introduce you directly to potential customers or partners who could use what it is that your business offers!
How to find the perfect angel investor for your startup
1. Identify what you’re looking for in your angel investor
You might be looking for someone who can help with marketing or operations, or perhaps you want an expert in your specific industry. Maybe the most important thing to you is that they have experience investing in startups like yours before so they can give you some guidance on how to grow and scale your business - whatever it is, be sure to get clear on what you need them for to ensure you find the best fit.
Also, take some time to figure out why this person would be interested in working with you. What do they have to gain by getting involved? Do they see a chance to make money off of their investment? Is there something in particular that excites them about your idea? You need to think about the value the angel investor will also derive from an investment in your business.
2. Create a list of potential angels based on similarities
To start, you need to do some research to find out who the investors are in your area. Look at the websites of local and national investment organizations, as well as newspaper articles about angel investment groups and clubs. Then, create a list of all the local investors that meet your criteria.
You may want to create a separate list of investors who are more likely to invest, based on what you know about them. For example:
- How much money do they typically invest?
- Do they invest in your industry or company size?
- Are they interested in investing in a company like yours?
Afterwards, you should contact them individually and ask for a meeting. You don't need to contact all of them at once - just start with the ones that are closest to you. Once you've made contact, ask if they would be willing to meet with you for coffee or lunch. Tell them about your business and what kind of funding you're looking for and see how the conversation moves from there.
3. Have a marketable idea
A marketable idea is one that is unique and has the potential to be profitable. To determine if your idea is marketable, ask yourself the following questions:
Is there a need for my product? A good way to answer this question is by conducting research on your target market. Look at which products or services are already being offered in that market space and how well they're doing—if you find that similar offerings are popular, then yours will likely do well too! If there aren't many other products available, then your product might stand out even more because consumers may think "wow, this is something I've never seen before!"
Will people be willing to pay for it? Also, consider whether people would be willing to pay what it costs you to produce your goods or services (and don't forget about overhead!). Ideally, you want the price point for your offering to be high enough so that there's room for profit but low enough so as not to discourage early adopters from trying it out; determining this balance can take some time depending on what industry you are working in.
4. Show that you are serious about your company’s success
An angel investor is going to want to see that you have a plan for growth, whether it’s through organic growth or through acquisition. They will also want to know that you are willing to work hard and that you have a good attitude.
5. Tell a story with your business plan
When you write your business plan, don't be afraid to tell a story with it. A list of facts doesn't hold the same power as a narrative that lets an investor see what you've done and where you're going—and it's also easier for other people to read and understand.
One way to do this is by writing in the first person so that investors can get inside your head and see things from your point of view. You should also try using active voice instead of passive voice when describing actions or processes; this will help keep sentences short and sweet—and make them stick with readers!
6. Make sure you both agree on the investment terms
Once you've found your investor, it's important to make sure that they understand the terms of the deal as well. If you're not on the same page about how long they will be invested, when they will exit and if there is a possibility of a future relationship beyond the scope of the business at hand—then it's best to move on. You don't want to waste time with someone who doesn't share your vision or expectations.
Remember, your angel investor is an important part of the success of your startup. The right investor can bring years of experience to the table, as well as connections and a network that will help you grow. Finding them isn’t always easy, but with these tips in mind, you should be able to find one who is willing and able to invest in your company!
If you'd like to learn more about the various funding options available for Black women entrepreneurs, we'd like to invite you to enroll in our self-paced Blaze Business Intensive course! The course is anchored in Business Building, Business Management and Business Excellence for today's Black woman.