Business Angels are successful business men and women wanting to invest their own capital in either startup businesses or struggling businesses in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. They plan to use their expertise to turn businesses into successes so they get a good return on their investment. Business angels do take risks but because of their experience they are very careful where and who they invest with. Generally they invest when the shares are cheap, work with the company, build it up and after a few years when your company is mature, they then sell to other stockbrokers or back to you.
The popular program Dragons Den has investors waiting to invest in your business. If you are planning to go onto the show you should ensure you have a great sales pitch. Preparation is the key. Make sure you have a good clear business plan. The dragons will notice straight away if you haven’t researched your market and target audience enough. Ensure you have accurate sales projections and don’t lie. They will be impressed if you have answers to all their questions as long as they are facts. The dragons are no different from Simon Cowell in the popular X Factor show. Simon tells the truth about their singing ability as do the dragons regarding your businesses likeliness of success. They are not stupid and will not invest in a high risk business idea if they believe it won’t work. If they tell you to stop wasting time on the business as it will never make any money, believe them. It might be hard to hear but they are experts in their field and have millions of pounds in the bank to invest. They didn’t get these millions from a bad business idea.
Before you meet investors have a practice so you are confidence about your pitch. You need to be confident in voice and posture. Sometimes a positive confident attitude can be all more effective than strong logical arguments. You will need to prepare for any questions. Think about what they might ask you. Image you were the investor, what would you ask? Questions like “how much do you expect to make the first year,” and “how do you expect profits to rise over the next decade,” are to be expected. Think about what makes you stand out from your competitors, what is unique and different about your business. If you can prove you are unique you will eliminate any competition.
Business angels like to see you’re committed to making your business work. If you have put some of your own money into your business venture this will impress them more than someone who hasn’t. However if you have put thousands and thousands of pounds into your business but it is still not successful they will see red warning signs. If you can’t make your business work with your own money investors will wonder what their money is likely to achieve. Unless they can see where you’re going wrong they will not invest.
Finding business angels has never been easier with the internet. There are hundreds of sites offering to find you the right investor. Investors tend to join angel groups or angel networks so they can view lots of new business opportunities’ and pick and choose what is right for you.
Carolyn is the webmaster of Angel Startups, experts in finding Business Investors.