Here Is What Small Business Owners Should Know about Angel Investors

When you have a small business, and you are serious about its growth and expansion, you have to use every option available to you to get the funds you need. In some cases, venture capitalists are not really a good fit for funding the startup or small businesses. They focus a lot on the returns they get from their investments, and somewhere in that attempt, they forget to pay enough attention to the needs and limitations of small businesses. One of the best solutions for small businesses to get the required funds is angel investors.

What Is an Angel Investor?

The name angel investor should give away why the industry calls them that. Other names for angel investors include angel funders, informal investors, business angels, etc. An angel investor is mostly one person, but may also be a very small group of investors. They invest in startups and small businesses that most venture capitalists would consider too risky for investment. They try to be extra helpful for startup and small business owners by providing the required funding and also helping with advice on matters.

In many cases, the angel investor will put his/her own money on the line to help your business. The reason for their investment in the risky business is that they are independent in their decisions. They might find your product interesting even when others don’t see any scope in it. You would not expect them to invest huge funds compared to those from venture capitalists but with their popularity increasing with time on the internet, angel investors can also invest huge amounts now.

A Detailed View of Angel Investors for Small Business Owners

Types of Investments

The first thing to know about angel investors is the type of investments they are leaning towards usually. The interest and motivational factors are different for angel investors compared to those of venture capitalists.

An angel investor is willing to invest in startups. It is easier to convince an angel investor to invest in a startup than it is to convince a VC. However, even a VC will show interest in a small business in its early stages if they are 100% sure of its potential and future success.

One of the most important things to point out here is that angel investors are highly interested in local businesses. If you run a business in New York, you would want to find investors in New York. Angel investors like to support their local communities and economy. Furthermore, local businesses are easy for them to test for their validity. As for the market type, angels prefer to invest in businesses that are playing against small competitors. If your business is about to become a part of a contemporary market with several giants already monopolizing it, the angel might not show interest.

Their Favorite Places

When looking for investment for your business, you must know where you can possibly find angel investor. There is no specific place that you can say has the best angel investors. However, you can try fundraising advisors to help you find the investors that would be interested in investing in your business. You can search for angel investment groups in your area or on the internet. The good thing about such a group is that you have a higher chance of persuading someone to invest in your idea.

You will be glad to know that angel investors love to be a part of events where they get to see various business owners from around the country pitching their ideas. Their events are more common than VC events. In fact, it is much easy to attend their events because the entry is not expensive and you can find them even in small cities. You can also find angel investors online. There are websites that specifically put small business owners in touch with angel investors. All you have to do is create a compelling pitch, so investors can see how serious you are with your investment needs.

The Way to Compel and Persuade Them

It would be wrong to say that angel investors are interested in ideas alone. In fact, that’s where the angel investors differ entirely from venture capitalists. They don’t focus solely on the business idea and its scope in future. An important part of their decision-making process is to know the entrepreneur and his/her team. It does not matter how unique your business idea is because if you and your team are not convincing enough, they will not invest in you. They love people who like to get to the point, and that comes off as your strength.

For example, you would want your presentation to be not more than five or six slides. Don’t waste too much time trying to convince them that your idea is different. Get to the point, tell them what you want and how you are going to achieve the targets you have set, and that should be enough. When you sit down with angel investors, be sure to value your company reasonably and offer them a sensible share. A crucial thing to remember is that it takes you much more time to find the right angel investors than it takes to convince them. Miss one opportunity and you could end up spending months and years looking for another investor to listen to you. Don’t blow your opportunities away once you get them.

From the information above, it might sound angel investors are much more flexible than VCs, and that’s true to some extent. However, this should not give you the impression that angel investors are non-professional. They expect due diligence from you before finalizing a deal.

Make sure you have protected your unique ideas with patents and proper technology before you present them with your idea. Secondly, have the right permissions, certificates and other documentation on hand to show that you have everything in place. In the end, be on top of your security game, i.e., you must know how new security-related regulations around the world are going to affect your business and how you will tackle them.

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

3 Smart Ways to Expand Your Customer Base in 21  Days

 

What is Customer base?

A customer base is considered to be the group of customer who always comes back to buy more product or service provided by any business. It is better to understand your target audience or customers each product or service made or supplied by the business is aimed at the customer base as they are the hopes of revenue generation for future endeavors.

It’s important to understand that it is far more cost-efficient and easier way to retain a customer than to gain new customers as acquiring new customers can sometimes mean an entirely new marketing strategy to be developed and adopted by the whole business, which can add to the expense. Hence, a very dynamic approach must be used to maximize sales, i.e. keep old customers and make new customers.

More two-way communication instead of just one-way communication

Customer must be treated as an asset and their feelings and suggestions towards the product must be taken into account to make it into an even more accessible and easy to use in a better way. As it is expected the old retaining customers can help bring new customers. Retained customers will feel a lot more involved with the company thus pushing their undying loyalty towards an increment.

Customer’s suggestion has helped many companies make slight changes to their product which can even help them set a USP (Unique Selling Point) as they might discover a loophole no one else might have. Some companies stopped themselves from failing miserably just by focusing on what the customer wanted, rather than what the company wanted to make. This has even led some companies that make shampoos to turn into making other products like face wash due to their customer base demand.

Maintain good after sales service and support for the customers

An effective calls support system helps the company outshine other companies. Some companies may have the most innovated product but due to some technical, usability issues and confusions have led to their termination.

A customer will always choose and trust a place that has provided all the necessary information online. Hence, It is critically important to keep fresh new content on the website with all the necessary FAQ already answered with instructions if any.

An even better option is to provide each individual as to their status of their purchased good e.g. if it is processing or has been completed and the product must be on the way with an exact date and time of receiving. This helps the company gain a little trust and patience as they could now see their purchase status. This also helps the customer support team to deal with real customers real problems that are technical.

Promote business through social media and always keep on updating fresh content

Another very innovative technique is to use bloggers on Google and vloggers on YouTube and Facebook and sponsor them to advertise your product for 10-15 seconds with very specific instructions as to what they have to say and a short how to use film. This helps reach a very vast audience with very low cost.  It is not necessary that a product that failed in the USA for technical reasons will also fail in India.

Snapchat is a very useful tool for businesses to get their product out there in the eyes of a wider audience. Snapchat helps these businesses show off different things like how their product is different, the background, production, usability and the office environment showing smiles giving the customer a sense of hard work with more smiles than sweat.

Some companies have even changed their logos and outer appearance for a better impact on the customer. By using brighter colors and short, attractive slogans can help achieve newer customers. Most small start-ups are using YouTube vloggers to introduce their product and even sometimes make them their product activist. This is a much efficient and cost-saving way than using TV advertisements which is very costly.

Some companies have even resorted to no TV advertisements but somewhat social media, e.g. Snapchat, Instagram to promote their products, e.g. Lamborghini Automotive. Newer car companies are also making their own YouTube channels to improve and show off their concept cars and newer models, e.g. Tesla, Koenigsegg .etc.

Other quick adjustments to attract new customers

Another very well known way to gain new customers is to partner up with another company that has already either been in business, is new with innovation or has a considerable following. This allows for the companies to benefit mutually from the partnership either for long-term or temporary. This has been done throughout history and is not a new idea.

It is also very imperative to know your target audience. This will help you target a specific group who will be your customer people from outside your target demographic will be a surplus. This helps the company stick with one line of action as a strategy. This will affect the way you package, color and show the overall aura of your brand, e.g.

Kids will not a buy juice box that is black and white hence, juice packaging that is aimed at kids is mostly bright in color as it catches the attention of the viewer’s eye. Similarly, if you are making extremely sweet nitrogen Ice cream, the primary customers will not cross the age of 35 or 40 at most. Similarly, Ferrari was aimed at young millionaires hence it is spaced and colored accordingly however on the other hand rolls Royce is aimed at much older gentlemen who are now retired. Therefore, it speaks luxury signifying that they made it.

 

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender. Create a crowd funding campaign or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

 

Loans Or Investors: Which Is The Way To Go?

Getting funding for your business is the top priority to getting it going. As you consider your options to procure funding, heading to the bank for a small business loan may seem like an easy solution. While banks can be helpful in their attempts to provide funding for a small business to start or even to grow, it may be remiss in providing the same level of benefits that you can receive from an angel investment.

The Business Of Banking

With a small business loan, sure you may be able to start your business quickly, but you will be missing out on the valuable advice, guidance, and experience that a private investor offers. A bank loan is cut and dry. You are on the hook to pay back the loan, plus interest, without any support backing you.

A bank has no involvement in your day-to-day operations. Their main concern is timely payments, so there is no sounding board for your ideas or help to make those big decisions that affect your operations. You are on your own without anyone to lean on when times get tough.

The Advice Of An Investor

An angel investor offers you more. For starters, they will direct their current customer base directly to your business startup, giving you an instant boost in revenue just through your partnership with them. In addition, you’ll gain the expertise of your seed investor as they offer words of wisdom and can help direct you on making those hard decisions that every business owner faces.

Your angel investor has a vested interest in seeing your business startup succeed and will do what it takes to help guide the operations in a positive way. Together as partners, you and your private investor will be able to find solutions, implement new ideas, and find ways to continually increase your customer base as well as your revenue.

Why go it alone when an angel investor can give help your business get the successful start it needs. Banks may seem like a doable option, and for some they are, but the added benefits that come from joining forces with an investor can be more beneficial to make sure your business startup is a resounding success.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com. If you need to access our network of angel investors or a business plan for start-up funding visit  Funded.com

How To Make The Perfect Pitch To An Angel Investor?

The time has come for you to make your pitch to your angel investor. Everything you have invested into your business start-up rides on this moment, and it is up to you to make the best impression possible. While it can be easy to get bogged down in the details of your presentation, you need to consider what is needed to pique the interest of your seed investor and not bore them into submission.

Think about what makes you stand out as a business startup and use your assets to your advantage. Sure, the numbers are important in your pitch, but they should be used judicially. Your private investor is investing in you as much as your business plan, and your performance will set the stage for that all-important funding.

Keep these tips in mind when you are developing the perfect pitch for your angel investor and be sure to keep it light, entertaining, and above all interesting. You only have a few minutes to garner their nod, and you want to make the most of this opportunity.

Be Relatable

Because an angel investor is buying into you as much as the products and services you are looking to market, you need to sell yourself first. Allow them to see inside your world with antidotes that they can relate to. A good story can connect you to your angel investor and allow you to be a reliable source that they wouldn’t mind working with.

Keep It Simple

You may be immersed in the industry and the lingo that it uses, but your seed investor will feel alienated by your use of jargon if they don’t understand. Simplify the message and teach them along the way. Don’t use acronyms and be sure to avoid technical specs if they aren’t necessary.

Incorporate Images

The images that you choose to showcase to your business startup are crucial to helping your private investor see your vision. Most people are visual and need the help of visual aids to get the message across. Keep your images simple and make sure they properly represent your products and services. A typical power point presentation uses 12 slides, nothing more, nothing less.

Invite the Team

You have no doubt selected the best people in the business to work with you. Your angel investor needs to see the whole team to know how valuable they are to your business startup and how they, along with you, can propel the company forward. Invite them to the pitch and introduce them and their strengths.

Show Them How It Works

Let your angel investor see your products up close and personal. Be sure to show them how it works. Provide them customized samples that are geared toward their likes. It’s even better if your product can solve a problem they have right now. They’ll be able to see the merits immediately and invite you into the fold. If it’s a service that you offer, let your angel investor try it out. Make this part of your pitches hands-on and personal as possible, so you stand out.

Tell Them About The Money

Money talks and you need to show your current revenue stream and the impact the new funding will make on your business. If new start up, show the capital disbursements in how the Angel Investors funds will be used. Be ready to provide details on your sales revenue year-to-year as well as all your costs. You should have these numbers memorized, so you look prepared. Also, don’t forget to announce any large orders you have secured that will be coming in the next month or year. The more you can show your private investor that you have the goods to make this work, the more opportunity you have to secure that funding for your business start-up.

Use A Realistic Valuation

When it comes time to provide your valuation, it is key that you are as realistic as possible. A valuation that is too high can show your inexperience while one that is too low can predict your demise. This is the most common error that business startups make, turning off investors before they have even seen the product.

Let Your Passion Shine

You certainly should show your passionate side when it comes to expressing why you need funding from your angel investor. If they see the motivation and excitement you have, they will be more willing to fund you as they know you will give it your all to succeed.

Propose An Exit Strategy

During your pitch, you need to show your investor how they will recoup the funding that they are offering up. Remember they don’t want to be a lifetime partner. They want to earn as much as they can and get out. Propose a payback strategy as well as an estimated timeline. This will allow them to see the ROI of funding your startup business and the potential for their investment.

Don’t Forget The Follow-Up

Once you have privately pitched an investor. You still need to seal the deal and ask for the sale. Follow up with persistence to get your funding as your investor may move quickly to a new startup opportunity. You’ll also have to hammer out the details through negotiations that could be tedious to agree on. Get the process going immediately so your startup business can move forward too.

 

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com. If you need to access our network of angel investors or a business plan for start-up funding visit  Funded.com

5 Details Angel Investors Look For In A Business Plan

As a business startup, you have no doubt developed a business plan that outlines your need for funding to get your company off the ground. While you may have a clear purpose and objective, angel investors are looking for specific details that let them know that your business start-up has what it takes to make it in the marketplace.

With a seed investor seeing hundreds of business plan proposals each year, you need to make sure yours hits the high notes and resonates with them. This means that you have to hone in on what is important to them and help them see why they need to put their funding dollars into your business. Use these tips to enhance your business plan and garner the attention of an angel investor for your business start-up.

Industry Experience

Angel investors are savvy when it comes to industry experience, and they want to see that you have what it takes to make it in the marketplace. They want entrepreneurs that have intimate knowledge of the industry they are looking to break into and have even worked in a similar business for a time or two. This can help your business plan sing as you are able to relate your experience to what your business should and shouldn’t do to succeed.

Market Need

Using your business plan to show that there is a definite market need for your product or service can help your angel investor see the potential of your business start-up. They will easily understand the consumer problem you are looking to solve and see how your offerings fit the bill. Be detailed in your references and be sure to show how the market will respond to the availability of your product or service.

Competitor Knowledge

Knowing your competitors is key to understanding where you will stand out and separate yourself from the pack. Remember that your private investor may not be as fluent in your competitors as you are and you need to break it down in your business plan for them to grasp as fully as you. This can prove to be beneficial in gaining the funding your need to grow your business.

Business Traction

Showing what your business startup has done so far to generate revenues is a boon for potential angel investors to see. This lets them know you are on the right track and that your company has traction. Be sure to detail all your revenue streams as well as any upcoming deals you have secured to ensure they see the big picture of your business’ potential.

 

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender. Create a crowd funding campaign or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

4 Ways to Impress an Angel Investor with Your Business Startup?

Gaining the attention of an angel investor takes plenty of wit and charisma, but getting them to sign the dotted line to fund your business takes a little more effort and preparedness. Knowing what will garner their focus and impress them to the fullest can make securing the funding you need to start your business easier and, of course, less stressful. Start with the following to get the nod of that angle investor you are looking to partner with.

Impressive Revenue Stats

Knowing the numbers is imperative to swaying an angel investor your way. You need to come to the table prepared to win them over not only with your knowledge but also with your impressive financials. You should have a revenue stream ready to go and know your overhead costs as well as your product costs and markup.

Industry Knowledge and Experience

Being a newbie to a market can be a challenge in itself, but if you have a strong background that shows you know what you are doing in this arena, you may have a leg up. Angel investors will take notice of your potential and see that your expertise is valuable to the market you are looking to serve and be more willing to fund your business startup as a result.

Sound Business Plan

It goes without saying that you should have a business plan for your startup ready to go. Angel investors want to know how you plan to operate once you open your doors and a business plan can help provide the details to many of their questions. Give your business plan some time and effort as it can be the defining factor for an angel investor saying ‘yes’ to funding your business start-up.

Niche Products and Services

If your product serves a niche in the market that is not currently being serviced, the interest of your angel investor will certainly be peaked by what you have to offer. Finding where your business fits into the marketplace can help separate you from the pack and make your product stand out from other “me too” offerings. Angel investors want in on these opportunities, and you are sure to impress them with you savvy and entrepreneurial spirit.

Finding the right angel investor doesn’t have to be a challenge as Funded.com provides a bevy of resources and helpful advice right at your fingertips. Visit Funded.com to access our network of angel investors or for assistance with the development of your business plan.

 

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com. If you need to access our network of angel investors or a business plan for start-up funding visit  Funded.com

4 Reasons Why Your Angel Investor Says, “NO” To Your Business Startup

It’s no secret that angel investors prefer a sure thing when it comes investing in a business startup. But, that doesn’t always mean they won’t take risks when it comes to funding a business that shows great promise. If you your business startup has all the makings of a successful operation, but you keep striking out when it comes to getting the nod from a seed investor you need to consider the reasons they keep saying “no” to you.

Here are four reasons why an angel funder may be hesitant to fund your business startup. 

You Need A Business Plan That Works

 It is imperative to have a business plan in place when you seek out funding from a private investor. An undetailed business plan can raise eyebrows and have seed investors cooling off to your ideas. Take the time to develop your business plan, marketing plan, and short- and long-term goals for the business before you approach an angel investor for business funding as they will be more receptive to your proposal and help you avoid that resounding “no” for no good reason.

It Needs To Be The Right Time And Place

They say that timing is everything in business. It may be true of your angel investor as well. While you may have a stellar idea, sales coming in already, and a strong business plan to back you up, if your investor isn’t ready to make the leap, the chances of you getting funding may soon walk out the door. Don’t take these rejections personally. Realize that when the time comes, and an angel investor is ready, you’ll reap the rewards of waiting until the time was right.

They Don’t Understand The Market

Some markets require a steep learning curve to understand and recognize who the competition is. Your private investor may not be able to grasp who your target customer is and what your business brings that is new. Finding an investor that sees your vision is imperative as you look to propel your business forward. You want an investor that backs you and without a clear understanding of the market, you may face rejection from an angel investor that wasn’t right, to begin with.

They Are Just Not The Right Investor

Sometimes hearing a “no” from a business investor is a blessing in disguise. They may not have complimented your business in the way that you needed them to or they may not have given you the support you needed to soldier on. Finding the right angel partner can help your business to thrive, but waiting for them to come along can be a challenge. With a little patience, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender. Create a crowd funding campaign or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

4 Ways An Angel Investor Can Benefit Your Startup

If your startup business needs a boost to propel it forward and into the market, an angel investor may be able to give you the financial help you need to make your dream a reality. While it will take effort, a great pitch, and a stellar business plan to garner their attention, once you do, you have much to gain from their knowledge and experience besides just financial capital for your company.

Consider your angel investor the sounding board for the big decisions you have to make. They will help you keep your business on a path to success and give you the confidence as well as accountability every step of the way. Your startup business could benefit in a big way from an angel investor as you’ll find they have much to offer in relation to running a solid business.

Advice and Guidance

Angel investors are a wealth of knowledge and can provide that guidance you need to steer your startup business in the right direction. While their business funding may allow you to open your doors, their continual advice will help you maintain your operations for the long haul. They most likely have assisted others in their business ventures and can help you avoid mistakes that might be costly to yours.

Networking Connections

Having a partnership with an angel investor immediately gives you access to a flurry of network connections that can help you accelerate your business. They know other investors as well as individuals that may be interested in joining forces to help get your business off the ground, giving you the opportunity to advance in the market.

Marketplace Awareness

Along with their industry network, you’ll also be able to take advantage of your angel investor’s expertise when it comes to knowing the market. They most likely will have intimate knowledge about your competitors and what trends are making waves this season. They can allow you an inside look at how your startup business can reap the rewards of similar strategies and gain you valuable market share in the process.

Creditability

Attaching your startup business to an angel investor can work wonders for your reputation. It can add instant creditability and make others stop and take notice. Angel investors are well known in their community, and you will be too as you attach your business to their name.

Working with an angel investor can allow your startup business to flourish beyond just business funding with them. You’ll have access to them, their contacts, and their generousity, making you a little wiser about the market and how you can succeed in it.

 

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com. If you need to access our network of angel investors or a business plan for start-up funding visit  Funded.com

Secret to Finding Angels Investors: Great Business Plan

One of the most daunting tasks for business startup owners is finding an angel investor who would be willing to finance the bulk of the company’s expenses. And while there are a lot of possible investors out there, the number of people competing for these opportunities is also huge.

In fact, some information regarding investments showed that less than 10 percent of business startups in the United States get the nod of the most sought after angel investors in the land. This figure, however, should not discourage business owners who are competing for some financial support from investors. After all, one in every ten applicants gets the nod of an angel investor.

The question, therefore, is how will business owners ensure that they will be the one who will get the coveted nod of an angel investor? The answer is simple – a good business plan!

While angel investors take into consideration a number of things, one of the most important criteria that they look at is the business plan. Thus, having a well-polished plan is something that business startups need to have, especially if they want to secure the support of an angel investor.

There are a number ways to come up with an investor-ready business plan. But one of the first things that the entrepreneur must look at is the actual idea for the business.

Ideas should not be the one-paragraph description of what the entrepreneur wants the business to be. Rather, it should be as detailed as possible so that it covers items such as the target market, marketing strategy, capital allocation, and return of investment for possible business partners.

Having a detailed business idea is a good start into coming up with a business plan. This will assure possible investors that you are serious about the business and are not just toying around with the idea.

Ideas are one thing, but a detailed understanding of the things that would have to be done to make the idea a real thing is another. Angel investors prefer the latter.

Once, would-be business owners have a detailed idea regarding the comings and goings of the proposed business, then this is the good to time come up with a good business plan.

Business plans are actual documents that detail a number of things that angel investors want to see. In addition to the description of the proposed business, the plan should also include a step-by-step process on how the objectives and vision of the company will achieve.

It is necessary for the business plan to be detailed, but not long enough to bore the angel investors to death. Moreover, it should be written in a way that the investors will understand its contents.

Having a good business plan is a good way to attract angel investors. Therefore, business owners must thrive to come up with something that will entice possible partners to enter into an agreement with the company.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com. If you need to access our network of angel investors or a business plan for start-up funding visit  Funded.com

Four ways to secure the nod of angel investors

Securing an investment from an angel investor is considered as one of the most difficult aspects of establishing a business startup. For many, this is even harder than coming up with a good idea for a successful business venture.

Fortunately, there are numerous angel investors out there who can provide financial support to business startups that have potential to make it big in the market. But for entrepreneurs, the common problem is not finding them. Rather, they have a hard time securing the nod of these angel investors. Here are some ways to improve an entrepreneur’s pitch in order to be able to secure investments from angel investors:

Know the audience

A business pitch should vary depending on the character of the potential angel investor. Entrepreneurs should not rely heavily on a “standard pitch” and develop something that could connect more to the possible partners. A pitch should vary depending on various factors such as age, gender, background, and knowledge on the specific market, among others.

Be in charge

Business owners must show to their potential angel investors that they are the ones in charge of the startup. One can get the trust – and later on the deal – by showing that he or she can effectively manage the business to make it successful. In order to do this, business owners must show their expertise on the market as well as exude confidence that the venture will succeed.

Entrepreneurs, however, are cautioned not to show too much confidence on the business. After all, potential angel investors prefer realistic figures over imaginary ones.

Present relevant information

During presentation of business pitches, a number of business owners often start by presenting too much information as regards the market and the business operations itself. Most of the time, this approach is seen as a move that often ends the potential deal. Rather than presenting too much information, entrepreneurs must stick to basic data that will inform angel investors about the market and keep them interested.

Among these data include the current status of the market, as well as the basic figures concerning the business such as the capital and potential revenue in a matter of years.

Be practical

Finally, business owners must keep it practical when presenting before potential angel investors. While it is necessary to inform them of the business operations, going through every single detail of the business is not an appropriate content for a pitch. Instead, entrepreneurs should just highlight the said information and ask the potential partners if they want to know more about this.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Funded.com. If you need to access our network of angel investors or a business plan for start-up funding visit  Funded.com