keyboard_arrow_left See all news

Recent News

Daisy Communications / 25 Feb 2020
Unpacking the new Samsung Galaxy S20 Range
Explore and save on the new Samsung S20 Range
Northern Business Expo / 24 Feb 2020
11 steps to get the most out of visiting an expo or trade show
Events and trade shows are great for many reasons, no more so than in this digital age. ...
Huthwaite International / 23 Feb 2020
SPIN® SELLING – stop talking and start listening
Sellers must take care not to get caught up in the excitement of talking about the bells...
Northern Business Expo / 22 Feb 2020
The 7 building blocks for a prosperous consultancy career
Whether you’re unsure how to begin your consulting career, or you’ve already started...
Northern Business Expo / 22 Feb 2020
5 books every small business owner and entrepreneur needs
Here is a list of our top 5 books that every small business owner and entrepreneur shoul...
Northern Business Expo / 21 Feb 2020
How to keep your mind healthy whilst running a small business
One in six people who work in the UK have anxiety, depression or similar every year, and...
YorCyberSec / 20 Feb 2020
IT Support is NOT Information Security
With the many pressures facing smaller businesses, trying to reduce expenditure is alway...
Northern Business Expo / 20 Feb 2020
Invoice scams targeting SME's - how to stay safe
Scammers today are not the same as 5 or 10 years ago. It’s so important to stay vigila...
Northern Business Expo / 18 Feb 2020
The 3 start-up planning basics 
​​​​​​​Your mission statement will be beneficial to you throughout your bu...
Northern Business Expo / 17 Feb 2020
5 simple strategies to improve the quality of your work life
By changing your thinking and being more positive to all aspects of your job then you wi...
YorCyberSec / 16 Feb 2020
Is it safer to be untrusting?
With the rise in scams against the public and organisations is it now safer to be untrus...
Northern Business Expo / 13 Feb 2020
14 compelling reasons to join a business or professional association
Whether local, regional or national an association is a key place to meet your peers and...
DOWO Digital / 12 Feb 2020
Why small businesses should outsource digital marketing
Digital marketing can be a minefield for a beginner or novice and you can’t afford to ...
Northern Business Expo / 10 Feb 2020
Managing a mix of paper and digital
Read this to find the help you need to manage and protect your valuable information and ...
YorCyberSec / 10 Feb 2020
The IT security basics
Sometimes it helps to take a step back from looking at the latest and greatest security ...
Northern Business Expo / 08 Feb 2020
Staggering Sales Statistics: Start Selling Smarter
​​​​​​​Although numbers don’t tell the whole story, they certainly help ...
Northern Business Expo / 07 Feb 2020
How to avoid or overcome sales objections effectively
Remember, objections are inevitable. So instead of trying to sell harder, or simply gett...
Northern Business Expo / 06 Feb 2020
Deal with tough sales questions like a boss.
First make sure you have listened and understand their question. Don’t be scared to cl...
Northern Business Expo / 06 Feb 2020
What makes a great B2B salesperson in the 21st century?
Do you need to take a step back and work on yourself to become an even better b2b salesp...
Northern Business Expo / 05 Feb 2020
How can storytelling increase your sales?
Over 60% of people remember stories but only 5% remember individual stats. With that in ...
Northern Business Expo / 04 Feb 2020
Say less, sell more
Filler words are the meaningless or unnecessary sounds, words or phrases that mark a pau...
Northern Business Expo / 04 Feb 2020
5 easy ways to boost sales in your new business
Right now, you are your business’s best asset, and no one is better placed to take it ...
Northern Business Expo / 03 Feb 2020
5 simple steps to energise your sales team
5 easy steps for you to add some life into your staff and revitalize your team!
Northern Business Expo / 03 Feb 2020
5 easy ways to increase your profit margins
There are some core fundamentals that often flow the same throughout many companies that...
Northern Business Expo / 02 Feb 2020
Easy techniques to quickly close every sale
Every scenario will need a different closing method. Ensure you and your team are well p...
Northern Business Expo / 31 Jan 2020
Nightmare mistakes you can avoid in your new business
As a new start-up, these first few months can be worrying times – especially if its yo...
Northern Business Expo / 30 Jan 2020
12 productivity hacks
Increasing your productivity is a critical step in achieving your personal and professio...
Northern Business Expo / 29 Jan 2020
Start-up to win £5000 funding in March - could it be you?
Not just the £5000, the winning entrepreneur will also receive an exclusive prize packa...
Northern Business Expo / 29 Jan 2020
How to plan for successful self-employment as a female boss
How does your ideal day look in five years time? The important thing here is to focus on...
Northern Business Expo / 28 Jan 2020
Is it the right time to quit your job?
Whatever your reason for considering quitting, remember it's okay to do so. You need to ...
Northern Business Expo / 20 Dec, 2019
keyboard_arrow_left See all news

5 crucial steps to choosing an investor

Many entrepreneurs think that finding an investor is simply a case of finding someone that will give you the capital needed to get off the ground, in return for an appropriate amount of control. 

However, what they should also be thinking about is everything else that the potential investor can offer, and how they can affect the company in the future. Imagine you have five investors that want to pitch in – this guide will help you choose which investor is right for your business, and also highlight what to look out for.

If you haven’t put together your pitch and deck yet to attract investors, you need to read the comprehensive guide on how to create a killer pitch, as there are some really valuable tips in there. Even if you’ve already put yours together, don’t miss out on the priceless tips available to make sure you give yourself the best chance of securing investment. 

So, what should you be considering when looking at investors:


1. What else do you need?

Chances are, there are things beside investment that would be useful to you. Think of things like a bigger network, some specific expertise or simply someone who believes in you. What is slowing your journey to success? Once you’ve secured the money, these are the things you’ll be looking to address, so why not kill two birds with one stone! 

It’s always preferable to find an investor with some knowledge of your industry or business model, because you never know when you’ll need some advice. Particularly if they have a proven track-record of helping businesses like yours, or a positive history of running them, you’ll find their advice invaluable. 

Consider what type of investor suits you best too. Angel investors usually require less from you initially, which is much easier for you as a start-up, but they also tend to have less resources than a venture capital firm. If you can put together a rock solid business plan, with hard facts and data to back up your plans, you may be better off approaching a VC because they have plenty of help to offer you beyond just the money.

2. Find someone you get on with.

When you need to find money to get your business going it can be easy to forget that you are not just taking a cheque, you’re finding a partner. This person will be part of your business and your life for a long time, so it’s important they’re the right fit.

Things to ask yourself when considering if you like an investor:
  • Do they give real, honest and actionable advice?
    If you brush off their advice, or don’t find it useful, they may not be someone you want to align yourself with long term. You might find conflict down the line if you don’t follow their advice.

     
  • How involved and hands on do they want to be with your business?
    They might think that they will be involved in the day to day running of your business, but you see them as more of a ‘behind the scenes’ investor. This can cause some serious clashes, so make sure you know in advance.

     
  • Do they respect you as much as you respect them?
    Usually investors are respected businesspeople with a great track-record, so it’s easy to feel intimidated by their success and forget that they should respect you just as much. When you are making business decisions together, they need to respect your thoughts, vision and ideas as much as theirs.

     
  • What’s their overall vision for your company? Is it different to yours?
    The investor may have an overall vision that is slightly different to yours, which can be a good thing. They have experience and expertise, and as long as you discuss it you’ll be fine. However, if they have a vision that cannot fit with yours, you won’t both be working towards the same goal which can cause major rifts.

     
  • Do they hold similar values to you? Would they fit in with your ‘company culture’
    You see plenty of hipster start-ups today, because it is a world where you can live your values and have a company culture that fits with you – not just what is expected. Your investor doesn’t have to fit exactly, but they should be along the same lines as you, otherwise you may find agreeing and decision making gets tough further down the line.

     
  • And, always a good test: If you were stuck in a lift with this person for hours, would they drive you nuts?
    Quite simply, do you like them? 


3. Realistically, how available will they be to you? 

Investors tend to be busy people! It’s up to you whether you want someone who is a chequebook and not much else, or whether you want someone you can speak to as and when for advice, or even someone who is there every day helping you grow.

The important thing here is to make sure you know in advance what the investor will do for you and decide whether it’s the right level of access for you. They might sit on lots of company boards which could be a sign that they have many other commitments and might not be readily available when you need them.

Confirm whether it will be you who determines how much advice you need from them, rather than the investor demanding weekly meetings and giving you advice when you don’t feel you need it. The onus should be on you to ask for help, advice or a listening ear whenever you need it, and to be left to get on with it when you don’t.

4. Do your due diligence, and then some.

Speak to as many people as you can who have worked with the investor. You can ask the investor for some names, but realistically they’re only going to give you details of contacts who will say good things. Do your own research on who they’ve worked with and find out if there are any red flags. 

Obviously, you’ll want to know about any deals that went sideways, agreements that didn’t turn out as expected and any other ‘traditional’ issues. But red flags don’t have to be ‘bad’ thing about the investor, they could just be things that don’t marry up with what they say. 

For example, past levels of involvement in the business. An investor might say that they don’t want to be hands on and that they will let the entrepreneur get on with it, but in reality they may have found it hard to stay away and ended up being far more involved than they said. Not necessarily a bad thing, but worth knowing in advance.

5. Think about your future

Particularly if this is your first funding round, think about your future ones. It can be really valuable to find an investor now that has a history of participating in future funding rounds for businesses that they invest in. Then, rather than sharing ownership out with lots of investors you can keep it simple, and save time and money finding new investors each time. This is not only easier but can also make your company more attractive for investors/buyers in the future.

Of course, if you are hoping to find any other investors in the future, you’ll need to consider the impact your current choice of investor will have. Will having this investor on board now make your company more attractive to your ideal investors in the future? Often, having a proven, recognised person as an investor in the early stages signals that you’re a good investment and will make your business more appealing to others.

Conclusion

There’s a lot to think about when choosing an investor, but it’s worth taking time to make sure you’re making the right decision. For even more advice on the types of funding available and how to get them, come along for free to the Northern Business Expo at Manchester Central on 17th & 18th March. 

You’ll also be able to meet funding companies and make valuable connections in the networking areas. There’s even a chance to try out your pitch and enter to win £5000 cash for your business! All you need to do is get your free ticket online now, then come along for free!

 
Processing. Please wait.
Loading...