At times I hear entrepreneurs say they can’t find money to start or grow their businesses. I don’t buy it. There is always money available for great business ideas.
Of course, there are a number of reasons why investors might shy away from your golden opportunity, making funding appear scarce.
If you’re having trouble landing the funds to kick-start your next mousetrap, consider the following possibilities.
- No business plan. A business plan is your opportunity to learn about your business, and then to share it with others. It is a communication tool to show the banker or investor that you know your stuff and that your business case is real.
- Low or no owner equity. If you’re putting less than 20 to 25% of your own equity into the deal, you risk turning away all but the hardiest investors.
- Weak background experience. This might be a lack of needed credentials or skills, or the absence of general business experience.
- Business idea stinks. While there are lots of ideas, very few become successful enterprises. Investors aren’t going to warm up to every idea. A negative response might indicate your idea is a dud, or it might mean you have some homework to do.
- Ineffective presentation. When creating your business plan, your main focus must be on your customer’s needs. When presenting to an investor, don’t forget to include investors’ needs such as return on investment, payback timelines and exit plan.
- Business doesn’t fit the funders mandate or criteria. If you want to provide a service and the bank funds manufacturing facilities, you might be wasting your time. Research to find the right fit for your business concept.
- Personal or business financial track record sucks. What can I say? The credit report speaks. The time to nurture it is long before shopping around for a business loan.
- You’re not coachable. Are you curious? Can you learn? If you’re hardwired to transmit but not able to listen or take directions, don’t expect investors to throw down the red carpet.
On the other hand, investors and gatekeepers can be your strongest allies. Remember, the gatekeeper that appears to be throwing roadblocks in your path is assessing you and your business idea to determine the level of risk. If you meet his or her requirements, you might just win the opportunity of your life!
If you’ve done a thorough scan of the possibilities above and believe you’ve got your bases covered, here are some suggestions to help you locate the right agency or investor:
- Search the Internet to identify potential funding sources and loan or funding criteria.
- Network with bankers, investors and other entrepreneurs.
- When you’ve narrowed your list to a few likely candidates, call to introduce yourself and ask for an appointment.
There is always money available for the right business ideas. It’s just a matter of doing your homework and shopping around until you hit a home run with the right investor.