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But you may be wondering how to go about connecting with individual and institutional investors through a business community. This article lays out 7 steps you can take to do that.
Connect with MembersThe first thing you’ll want to do after joining a business community is to get familiar with its members. Don’t just dive straight in with requests to link up with investors. That’d be the wrong way to go about it. Instead, learn how the community works, familiarize yourself with at least a few people in it, and try to expand your network of professional contacts. The founders and executives you meet may point you in the direction of the opportunities you’re seeking later on.
Take Advantage of Coaching and Mentorship OpportunitiesAre you really ready to receive substantial financial support? By ‘ready’, we mean ‘knowledgeable enough about external financing and financial management’. If you need to get up to speed with this and related matters, you should definitely seek coaching and mentorship offered by the community you’re in. In most cases, the coaches and mentors you learn from may also be aware of investor funding opportunities, and they’d gladly let you know if you’re on good terms with them.
Let People Know You’re Looking for InvestorsHaving built your relationships with fellow members, it’ll be time to mention to them that you’re searching for investors. As we’ve already mentioned, they could know a few figures or programs that currently fund businesses like yours. Sometimes, they (members) may even be willing to invest in your venture themselves. This is true for larger companies that want to increase their profit by investing in high-growth startups. So there are multiple ways that club members could help you in this respect.
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Look Out for Opportunities Announced by the ClubSometimes, business communities will announce equity financing opportunities that have recently become available. Be on the lookout for such announcements. It’s not unusual for business communities to have privileged access to information of this kind. Be quick to take advantage of them, but only do so after you’ve done your due diligence. Ascertain that the financing party actually wants to take a stake in a company or startup like yours, as investors are often not industry-agnostic.
Get Your Documents ReadyEven as you ask for an audience with potential investors, be sure that you already have all the documents they may ask for. Have your business plan and financial statements in an accessible location and/or file (hard and electronic copies), so you can present them whenever they’re requested. Ideally, you will have gotten some tips from mentors and coaches about how to prepare and share those items.
Prepare Your PitchAt some point on the journey to securing an investment, you will have to pitch directly to your potential investors. Your pitch may be a physical or virtual presentation, one or a series of emails, or all of these. Whatever form it takes, make sure it’s tailored for purpose. Your introduction should be designed to capture your audience’s attention. Emphasize your business’s strong points, especially its profitability and risk profile. And, where you can, refer to accurate data that support the points you’re making.
Seal the DealIf your presentations and subsequent discussions with potential investors go well, they will fund your business. Being a member of a respected business community will increase your chances of closing a deal with investors, as it indicates that yours is a legitimate venture.
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Final Words: A Business Cub that Connects You to Investment OpportunitiesA good business community can close the gap between your business and the funding that it needs to access. If you are looking for just such a club in Nigeria, you should check out Club Connect. It’s a community of forward-looking startups and companies which offer exclusive benefits to its members. Upon joining, you’ll have access to funding opportunities, business resources, tens of thousands of potential customers, mentorship and coaching, and an audience with regulators. Find out more about Club Connect HERE.
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