Any business magazine from Success to INC. will tell you why investors are important; what types of investors are out there; and which investment company is on top at the moment. Rarely, though, do magazines tell you exactly how to catch the eye of a top investor. Here are five excellent ways to go about contacting investors.
1. Create an excellent product. This might sound obvious, but it's really the absolute best way to get on a company's radar. If your business is amazing (and you market it right), it won't go unnoticed. Get interviews, spread the word, get journalists to write about you – investors will likely follow.
2. Go the crowd funding route. There are so many different crowd funding sites, you can take your pick. Each site does cater to different types of startups, so keep this in mind – here's some information about creating the perfect pitch for that crowd funding site.
3. Look for opportunities. Venture companies tend to hold pitch events (like the Pitch Rodeo that Podium Ventures based in Calgary hosts). There are also festivals that you can check out (like the International Startup Festival) – these festivals are crawling with investors. Or, set up a good, old fashioned, meeting with an investor. Then, pitch your heart out.
4. Sell yourself. It's not enough to sell your product. You have to sell yourself. We get so wrapped up in business that sometimes we forget to sell ourselves. Remind yourself that you are a person with goals, ideas, and interests. Take all of those great things and wrap them into a nice pitch bundle – should investors that you are worth investing in.
5. Choose the right investor. Warren Buffet is, perhaps, one of the best known investors on the planet. But, until recently, Buffet never invested in technology companies. Don't ask a technology investor to invest in your new cookbook. Unless that person has an interest in cooking (or you are a really great salesperson), it won't be a match made in heaven.
Remember that investors take a gamble when they invest in your startup. They want to be awed, inspired, and amazed at your business. They also want to feel comfortable working with you. And, of course, you have to have a solid business model that shows exactly how you intend to provide a return on investment. No ROI? No investor.
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