Everything You Need To Know About Successfully Funding a Start-Up

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Finding funding for a start-up is no easy task. You know you believe in your concept, but getting others to see your vision in the same light is not always that simple — especially when you ask them to get financially involved. 

Today, we will cover some of the things you need to consider when finding funding for your start-up. 

Be Persistent 

This should go without saying, but you must be persistent if you want your start-up to succeed. There is a great chance that you will be rejected at some point in your journey to find funding. Don’t let these rejections end your vision. 

“Rejection builds character and prepares you for success. All you can do is keep trying and make sure you’re ready when things start to take off for the better,” advises Asker A Ahmed, Director of iProcess Global Research.

If you fail, try and try again. Most successes began with more than one failure. We just don’t get to see failures as often as we see success. Rest assured that all successful businesses have walked your path before becoming profitable. 

Know the Concept 

If you are looking for funding for a start-up, you must ensure that your product or service is worth funding. You need to offer investors something unique. You have to be prepared to answer questions like “What sets you apart?” or “Why this product?” 

“I like to say it’s an attitude of not just thinking outside the box, but not even seeing the box,” says Safra A. Catz, CEO of Oracle.

You have to bring something fresh to investors. This starts with a killer concept and ends with knowing how to market it. 

Find Problems 

Is there an issue with an existing product that you’re looking to fix? Or is there a gap in the market that you are seeking to address? As a startup, you need to offer something that is different from other products of its kind, especially if your market is already over-saturated.

“There is no such thing as a perfect product or service. Find those imperfect features, and use them to your advantage by making a new product or service that addresses the issue,” suggests Christy Pyrz, Chief Marketing Officer of Paradigm Peptides.

Investors would have a hard time justifying funding you if there are already a dozen other successful brands doing the same thing you are. The key is to find the issue with these brands and then provide a solution.

Offer Solutions

Speaking of solutions, once you have identified issues with similar products or services, you can start to address these shortcomings. What you want to do is offer investors solutions to existing problems. This is what will set your company apart from others.

“A good business person finds solutions; a good business owner uses those solutions to create something new. Be a business person and a business owner, and see how far you’ll go,” encourages Max Schwartzapfel, CMO of Fighting For You.

If you can offer a solution to a well-known issue, you will be far more appealing to investors. As you market yourself to these investors, make sure to highlight the issues you are addressing. This will help you to let them know that your product is valuable. 

Address a Niche

Another way you can set your start-up apart from existing companies is by addressing a niche. Even oversaturated industries have niches that need to be better addressed. If you can find your niche, make sure to express it to investors. 

“Niche marketing is one of the most successful advertising methods, so you should play up any niche you have whenever possible. Market, market, market!” encourages Max Ade, CEO of Pickleheads.

A great example of this is Rare Beauty Cosmetics. The beauty industry is one of the most oversaturated industries on the planet. Still, Rare Beauty addressed a niche often ignored in the beauty industry: Many of its products are accessible to people with disabilities. 

Choose a Name and Logo

Investors are going to want to know what your company is called. In fact, this is probably the first thing they will ask. Choose a name that is clever, concise, and gives people a look at what you do. 

“Your branding should be intentional. After all, it is your first impression to consumers and the outward face of your brand. After all, you know what they say about first impressions …” explains Maegan Griffin, Founder, CEO and nurse practitioner at Skin Pharm.

You should also come up with your logo for branding and social media purposes. If you can, work with a graphic designer to help choose imagery that will work well in marketing. 

Build Your Online Presence 

It is never too late (or too soon) to start curating your online presence as a business. You need to first start by building a website that your investors can look to for further information. If you are already operating with your product or service, your website should also direct people to purchase what you sell. 

“If you want to be relevant in modern marketing, you need to be present on all of the major social media platforms, especially if your target audience includes the younger generations,” says Joshua Host, CEO of Thrivelab.

You need to set up all of the relevant social media accounts as soon as you have settled on a name. This will help legitimize you and give you better visibility. It will also help potential investors take you more seriously. 

Have a Detailed Business Plan 

Your name, logo, and online presence will help you look more legit as a business, but what will help you actually be legitimate is your business plan. You need to have a plan that includes the cost of operations, which suppliers you will use for the product, and what benefits you will offer your investors. 

“Don’t approach investors until you have a detailed plan explaining how operations will work in your business. If a bank wouldn’t take you seriously, don’t expect an investor to do so,” cautions Daniel Osman, Head of Sales and Operations at Balance.

If you want to be taken seriously when looking for funding, you must have a detailed business plan ready. You will also be asked to provide this by the bank should you decide to take out a business loan.

Perfect Your Pitch

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Your perfect pitch should be concise, compelling, and informative. Your pitch is your opportunity to present yourself to investors and introduce your business. You need to convey the purpose of your company in a positive way while also engaging your audience. 

“If the people you pitch your concept to have questions, you need to be able to answer them. If you seem confused or unprepared, it can turn away interested investors and break down any trust you’ve already built,” says Cody Candee, Founder and CEO of Bounce.

You should be able to alter your pitch based on who you are communicating with. Make slight modifications when presenting to investors, customers, employees, or business partners. Know your audience and always leave room for them to ask questions. 

Don’t Wait Around for Capital

If you are struggling to find funding for your start-up, don’t wait too long. Plenty of successful start-ups didn’t receive funding until further down the line, if at all. 

“Sometimes, all you need to succeed is confidence. Bug investors rejected many well-studied business people before finding other ways to reach success. You are your own greatest advocate,” explains Susan Kim Shaffer, President and Co-Founder of Pneuma Nitric Oxide.

Don’t bankrupt yourself by putting your entire life savings into your business, but do what you can to get things moving on your own. The initiative you show during this time may ultimately bring you funding. A go-getter is always going to be more attractive to investors than someone who only has a concept. 

Know When To Pivot

While you shouldn’t be completely put out by rejection, it is also smart to know when you need to pivot. If you have a concept that you truly believe in, then you’ll want to fight for that. However, if you are starting to see the shortcomings in your product or if you’ve received new, eye-opening information during the process, it may be time to reevaluate. 

“It is important to be objective if you want to make positive changes — and staying stagnant just isn’t an option. If you know deep down that things aren’t working, you need to address the issues,” warns Sanford Mann, CEO of American Hartford Gold, a company offering individuals the opportunity to invest in retirements account such as a Gold IRA.

Pivoting means tweaking or adjusting some part of your process without throwing the entire concept away. If you decide to do this for the good of your product, you should commend yourself for being objective and doing what’s best to get ahead. 

Successfully Funding Your Start-Up

Being a part of a start-up is not for the faint of heart. You are likely to experience rejection, failures, and frustrations galore. But all you need is one person to help get you going. 

The best part of success is that you only have to get it right once. Even if you fail repeatedly, one win is all you need to achieve greatness. If you are looking to fund your start-up, don’t get discouraged. All it takes is one person believing in you for things to really take off. 

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Lee Clarke
Lee Clarke
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