how to find investors

How to Find Investors: The Essential Guide to Find Investors


Jan 27, 2022

As an entrepreneur, you’ve probably heard the adage, “It takes money to make money.” 

Well, it’s kind of true—especially if you have a time-sensitive opportunity to enter a new market or introduce a new product. If you’re in need of capital, why not consider using an investor (or several)? Depending on how much money you need and how comfortable you are with involving others in business decisions and operations, there are many ways to raise money. You may be familiar with some of them, like asking your network to invest in your business. Others—like crowdfunding—may be new to you.

The challenge is finding investors or an investment group you trust to help you grow your business. 

Once you’ve decided on the type of investor you need, you’ll want to update your business plan and prepare a short elevator pitch on what makes your business or product unique. When you only have a minute to make a first impression, you’ll be prepared to deliver your best pitch. 

Finding investors also requires you to get online. Today’s business investors have a presence on social media, attend virtual events, and participate in online networking and fundraising. A mix of traditional and tech-enabled connections will maximize your chances of meeting the right people. 

So, if you’re asking yourself, “How to find investors for my business,” here are five places to start:

1. Crowdfunding Platforms

Crowdfunding websites make it easy to find investors, as they are filled with investors looking for entrepreneurs. Such sites typically carry fees, and some put a cap on how much you can raise. 
 
To optimize your crowdfunding page, you need to tell a compelling story and plan how you’re going to reward investors. Will it be with a free or early-release product? Or maybe you’ll offer them an equity stake? 

Remember: Even if you don’t raise all of the money you need, being on crowdfunding sites brings your company or product to the attention of investors and customers. 

2. Events

Networking and industry events are a great place to find investors and demonstrate your product or service. You can look up local-to-global events online and through professional organizations, chambers of commerce, and business groups. 

Since the pandemic’s onset in 2020, many events have moved entirely online using sophisticated virtual platforms that let you join general sessions, move to breakout sessions, and enter private chat areas to meet one-on-one.

Here are some tips for making the most of online events:

  • Block the needed time out on your calendar to avoid distractions
  • Create a great attendee profile and introduce yourself
  • Research the presenters online and be interactive when it’s time to ask questions
  • Follow up with attendees and presenters you’ve interacted with, especially if they’re a good fit for investing in your business

3. Marketing: Social media/blog/email

If you want to find investors for your business, your marketing efforts should work hand-in-hand. You should promote your thought leadership through your social media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your emails should amplify the same messages to drive investors to your blog or website to contact you.

If you’re attending an industry event, make a post announcing that you’ll be there and how to contact you (via a booth number or your email address, for instance). During the event, post photos of people you meet and tag everyone whose social media handle you have. We all like a little free publicity!

4. Accelerators

Accelerator programs can help your proven business grow quickly, typically over a few months. An accelerator invests resources, funds, and mentorship in your business in return for an equity stake or fee. During the acceleration period, you’ll learn from people who have niche expertise in your industry. You’ll also network with your peers and potential investors, so have your pitch and prototype ready!

There are thousands of accelerators in the U.S. An online search will help you locate and contact accelerators in your region or industry.

While accelerators can provide valuable resources, these programs are often competitive. Only about 1% to 3% of applications are accepted. However, more than 90% of entrepreneurs find accelerators to be valuable.

5. Your Network

Your family, friends, and professional network probably already know about your business—but they may not understand its revenue potential. To safeguard your relationship, decide if you want a loan or an ongoing investment before approaching them. Then, agree to their professional involvement and loan repayment or equity terms in writing.

Something to keep in mind: Even if your friend or family member can’t fund you directly, they may know of someone who can. Don’t discount the power of social networking and a warm introduction. 

How to Start Finding Investors

Now that you understand the basics of how to make connections online, all that’s left to do is refine that knowledge and put it into action. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with your social media or website—there are many resources available to entrepreneurs today, so get out there and take advantage of them. 

It’s going to take some time to build your online presence and become well-versed in how to find investors using social media, networking hubs, and online events. But remember: You’re not trying to cast a wide net—just one large enough to catch investors that will help kickstart your growth. You’re looking for money to help you make money.

You could also stay on as an investor in the company. While you still have some say in its future as a board member, you will have the time and freedom to engage in new pursuits as well as the ability to fund your retirement with dividends and other passive income. Some business owners take advantage of the tax benefits that come from gifting the business to your heirs in exchange for drawing a lifetime income from the firm. 

If your company’s assets include real estate, consider renting these holdings to the new owners when you retire. This provides an income stream without the need to take part in day-to-day operations, which could be a benefit if your children decide not to manage the company when you step aside.

  1. About the Author:

  2. About the Author:

    Jack Sadden is a Partner and co-founder of Valesco Industries and is primarily focused on various initiatives around strategic leadership of the firm, portfolio company performance, and investment origination. He is a graduate of the Florida State University School of Business and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.

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