Fundraising for a campaign takes time, however, entrepreneurs who wish to attract investors should start strategizing early, VC4Africa says.
Moreover, the Africa platform for startup funding says that building a network of trusted business contacts as well as creating visibility for one’s company allows prospective partners to progressively follow and learn about the venture, and who knows, they might even want in at some point.
How then do you prepare your campaign to appeal to investors?
Before embarking on fundraising, you should register your company with startup funding platforms like VC4Africa among other crowdfunding organizations across the world.
After creating a venture profile with the relevant platforms, then use the following strategies to raise funds for your campaign.
Appeal to your target investors instantaneously
You have very few minutes to capture the attention of the prospective partners and even fewer to keep them glued to your idea. That being the case, presenting a ‘selling’ story for your campaign should be of great priority. No compromise. Make sure your business story is easy to understand for investors to see the opportunity in the venture.
Investors love companies that have more than one member. Remember to list your partners and advisors. For more information about your business, include well labeled and structured documents.
“The more professional and complete your profile, the better impression you make,” VC4Africa advises.
Maintain an updated profile
Since you are running your campaign online, potential investors require constant update about your venture as this is the only way for them to keep tabs with your business. In case of deals that have been closed, or a new employee that has come on board, ensure you update them. Simple things like sending them a link of your business being featured in a publication can make a whole difference to your venture.
Apart from creating curiosity among the people, this also cultivates trust towards you and your business.
Attract a following and engage other people
Having the right following in your venture ensures that your initiative is noticed by many more people. To attract a following, promote your company and hearten people to like it. Be kind enough to show your gratitude once they do by sending a thank you note. It means a lot to people and for your business.
You also, do not want to be enclosed in your own cocoon. Go out and socialize and engage with other entrepreneurs within your field and elsewhere. This will help you acquire knowledge and skills that can transform your business positively.
By socializing, you could get yourself an investor or an advisor.
Media also plays a great role in putting your venture out there. With social media, this should not be very difficult. Share your story on different social media platforms. This sharing could even attract mainstream media into your business for coverage. Ask intriguing questions that will cause a discussion over the type of business you are engaged in.
Feedback not only tells you what you are doing right but also points you to things that you might be doing wrong. Additionally, investors want to know if you are open to critical feedback. During a “Crowdfunding” training at a University in Nairobi last year, Sherwood Neiss, Principal Crowdfund Capital Advisors, said that feedback is essential for entrepreneurs as “consumers will tell you how they use your product and how they like it”.
With such information, you can then decide on how to transform your business to appeal to your customers and investors as well.
In case there are any queries and points that need clarification, address them promptly and be ready to provide more information whenever needed. You can even set-up a meeting or a call to further discuss the matter.
Get a mentor or a coach
A mentor will ensure that you know the do’s and don’ts of business you are venturing into. Sometimes mentors have vast knowledge in the field you are undertaking or some form of business management skills that will be of importance to you.
A coach on the other hand, is one who keeps you on the track. He/she will help you meet your objectives and is your main cheerleader. The networking platform you are registered with could provide these essentials for you and your business.
Conduct due diligence
Not every investor or mentor out there is good for you. Seek opinions from other credible people to know which individual is good for your venture. Doing a little research on such people as well asking for references from the prospective investors should help you get the right information on them.
Ask yourself: “How will these individuals add value to my business?”
Starting and running a business comes with its own set of challenges just like anything else in life. But with so many business hubs, accelerator programs as well as fundraising platforms emerging every day, pick one that will work for you and get the necessary support you need to take your business to the next level.