Are you a new business owner looking for some help with your start-up expenses? If so, then you certainly know how difficult it can be to gather all of the funds that you need in order to start the company of your dreams. It costs a lot more than people think! Fortunately for you, one of the best ways to acquire that money is by securing venture capital, which is an investment made into your company that is repaid at a later time. This is different than taking out a loan from a bank, since you’ll be dealing with an individual investor who will lend you the money, and not a big bank or corporation. But how do you go about finding and acquiring venture capital? Here are a few tips to make the best of it.
First and foremost, you need to realize that venture capital is not just free money that’s given to you without any strings attached. It’s not a gift or a grant of any kind: It’s money that you will have to pay back at some point in the future, and with interest too, unless you find a very benevolent investor. When talking with investors, realize that the money you receive is not yours: It’s the investor’s money, and it will make its way back to him eventually. Be prepared to accept whatever terms of repayment the investor specifies.
Secondly, you need to be transparent and completely honest about what your needs really are. Find actual prices for any hardware that you need to buy, or calculate your actual employee payroll, and so on. Don’t just guess at what you need! Have all of your costs organized and written down for the investor to look at. If you walk in to a meeting and just toss out some abstract of money without any actual data to back it up, prepare to be turned down right away!
You would do well to search the internet thoroughly for networks of investors that would be willing to lend you money to start your business. Such places exist, and using them will save you a lot more time than asking people if they know anyone with a lot of money! You can sign up on these websites, make a posting about what you need, and the group of investors will see if they are interested.
Last of all, make it a point to communicate well with whomever ends up investing in your company. Don’t just take their money and run off, never to speak to them again! When it comes time to pay back the money, always have an open channel of communication with your investor and let him know when you will be making your payments. And if you ever run into a tough spot and are having trouble paying back the money, it’s always a better idea to communicate and let him know of your hardship, than to keep your pride and just struggle through without saying anything. Be ready for a call from a collections agency if you do that.