2021 was great for startups. With record-breaking investments, every entrepreneur is watching closely for those unicorn opportunities — and so are investors. Of course, having a plan that attracts those investors will always be a challenge.
Every startup needs cash, and even for those bootstrapping to begin with, investors are vital for longevity. It’s a simple fact, but to make money, you need money. That means knowing how to attract those inventors to your business using every tool at your disposal. Here are the clever strategies that startup owners are using to attract those all-important investors in 2023.
Perfect Your Pitch Deck
It might seem like common sense, but you won’t get far if your pitch deck is vague or not backed by data. You present your pitch deck to potential investors so they can find out more about you and your business. It’s one of the integral components of any startup, but it’s often treated as little more than a business plan in presentation form.
There are lots of pitch deck tips available for new entrepreneurs who don’t know where to start. Ideally, you want your presentation to an investor to cover (at the very least) the following info:
- Introducing the problem that your startup/product will solve
- How you plan to solve that problem
- Why right now is the perfect time for your product
- Highlighting the team you’ve gathered, with their credentials front and center
- Any identifiable and measurable milestones
- Data-backed financial estimates, with clear statements of financial needs and where that money will be going.
When you pitch to investors, you want them to have all of the information they could need to decide in your favor. However, don’t overwhelm your audience with too many details. Stick to the core facts, and ensure that you use design elements to make your pitch deck stand out.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that the search for investors meant getting out and about. Meetings in different parts of the country, and even the time spent organizing those meetings, can all be largely avoided these days. With the rapid acceleration of remote working over the last few years, all fundraising can now be managed online.
Smart entrepreneurs are using that fact to their advantage. They’re simply having more meetings with more investors. What’s even better is that they’re no longer limited by geographical constraints. If you have a potential investor based in another city (or even another country), that’s no longer the barrier to a partnership that it once was.
There are almost no downsides to the virtual approach. It saves you travel costs (and time) and makes it easier to meet with multiple potential investors in a single day. In most cases, you will be able to meet with, pitch, and sign contracts completely online, with no stumbling blocks to your forward momentum.
While online communication has made the concept of the office a non-essential startup resource, it’s still an absolute must-have for plenty of startup ventures. That’s partly because having a dedicated workspace for your team speaks volumes about your commitment and professionalism.
That professionalism can be used to attract more investors. Having an office space shows investors that you’re thinking long-term and that you’re not afraid to put your money where your mouth is. However, your office space still has to be right, even if you’re planning on negotiating and impressing investors online.
From the investors who want to meet in person to the clients who wish to negotiate face-to-face, an office space that looks unprofessional will not be of value to you. Spend some time optimizing your office — from implementing a dress code to transforming your reception space, there are plenty of ways to make sure that you and your team look as professional as possible. That professionalism will help you stand out when it comes to pitching.
Investors will be happy if a short-term investment pays off, but what they’re looking for is long-term profits. If your startup is designed for scalability, it will dramatically improve your chances of finding investment. Startups focusing on the now rather than the future will rarely gain the necessary traction.
Planning for scalability means thinking ahead. Don’t fall for the common mistake of only thinking about how technology can be used to scale. You will need to think about your entire company structure and how it will change as you need more employees and larger product numbers. So you need to have a plan in place for a larger HR team, marketing strategies ready to launch when you hit milestones, and automation to ensure that nobody is overwhelmed by the workload.
The key is to keep everything as simple as possible while earning that growth. Mismanagement of brand growth is one of the fastest ways to see your startup fail. So if you want to attract investors, you need to show them that not only are you ready to scale, you’re also ready to approach that growth sustainably. Play the long game, and your startup will immediately look more appealing.
You can be 100% certain that any investor interested in your startup will spend some time checking you and your team out. That means ensuring your brand has a strong, easily identifiable, and positive online presence. This can be tricky to build, especially in the early days of your pre-launch.
The goal should be to get as many supporters as possible before you launch. Build that supportive community, and investors will be far more likely to part with their cash. So don’t launch your website prematurely, and always strive for that professional look in everything you do online. From your website to your social media pages, a startup that seems amateur will not inspire confidence. That leads to investors shaking their heads and walking out of the door.
How Are You Going to Attract Startup Investors in 2023?
While spending time on your potential investors can be hard work, it’s also one of the most exciting parts of launching a startup. The buzz of pulling in a big player who’s as enthusiastic about your future as you are can never be anything other than a thrill.
So take your time, build the right foundation, and always have one eye on the future. Conduct yourself professionally, and create a workspace that reflects that. Get it right, and those investors will seek you out.