A successful business cannot just be fueled by a great idea alone. Although reaching into your own savings as well as seeking contributions from friends and family is always a logical first step, you should always aim for an angel investment at the earliest stage possible. Besides the money, angel investors bring years of industry-specific knowledge and expertise that can fast-track your business towards success. However, in the current economic climate investors are more careful than ever before when it comes to making a decision about writing a check. You need not fret however, if you truly believe that you and your team are working on an idea that makes business sense, the following pointers should help you land your first angel investor!
Screen your potential investors
Angel investors are typically former and at times even current entrepreneurs who specialize in a particular field. Reaching out blindly to any angel investor you come across is not the most efficient way to seek an investment. For example, an investor who has a history of investing in bio-technology would not be typically interested in investing in a grocery chain. Angel.co is an excellent platform that connects startups with potential investors. Make a comprehensive profile for your business and then seek out investors who have a history of investing in your domain.
Have a thorough business plan with a clear exit strategy
An angel investor always follows the money and typically looks to make an exit within two to four years. Keep this in mind while you devise you business plan. The internet is filled with resources that will help you make killer presentations and financial models. Do not wing it if you believe that this is not your forte. There are several sites on the internet such as ELance, oDesk, Guru where you can find experienced freelancers specializing in making business presentations and financial models at a reasonable cost. Feel free to shop around and hire someone who is truly competent.
Have a thick skin and master the art of the follow-up
You need to check your ego at the door before you start seeking angel investment. If you are one of the lucky few to gather interest from the first email blast, then congratulation, you may have stumbled upon something really big! However, if you are like the rest of us, you would be typically greeted with stone-cold silence from most of the angel investors you reach out to. Some might be polite enough to communicate their disinterest over written communication. You need to learn being persistent without being a pest. Reach out to the people who have rejected you over written communication. Ask them what they didn’t like and once you get a few responses, tweak your business model accordingly and reach out again!
Seeking an angel investment is one of the most nerve-racking initial hurdles that all successful startup had to face at some point or the other. However, if you stay calm and diligently follow the aforementioned steps, then you will be off to a great start!