9 Must-Knows for Attracting Investors

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(DGIwire) — Whether crowd-funding, seeking capital for growth, or even if you’re at the helm of an established public company, for those seeking to raise money during any phase of a company’s cycle, it would be wise to study and live by the following imperatives shared in this article. Studying and taking these insightful tips seriously, while making sure to pick up a copy of the best-selling book, FUNDaMentals: The Corporate Guide to Cultivating Investor Mindshare, by Dian Griesel, will save would-be business leaders from much frustration and disappointment. Read up and answer all the questions posed within the pages of FUNDaMentals. If you do, you’ll be much better positioned to propel yourself towards the head of the pack of the many entrepreneurs, business owners and CEOs seeking money for their current corporate venture.

Asking for the Money? Imperatives To Live By

Besides your immediate staff, a great attorney and fabulous accountant, the professional investor is the most important person to your company. Here’s why:

  • Professional Investors are not solely dependent on your company; you are dependent on them. Work with and provide would-be investors with the appropriate information they need and request to increase the likelihood that they will become enthusiastic advocates for your company’s growth and development.
  • The Professional Investor is not “interrupting” your daily responsibilities. He or she may be essential to the success of your company through the various phases of its growth.
  • Professional Investors do you a favor by listening to your company pitch. Yet– you are also doing them a favor by going to see them. The relationship is symbiotic. This said, the money holds the upper hand. It is likely that the investor has plenty of opportunities to choose where to invest among the thousands of publicly traded companies in the US alone (and many more if worldwide investing possibilities are taken into account) and all the growing, developing companies. It is your responsibility, working with your communications team, to establish clear, concise and factual messaging that articulates your value in such a way that it is able to convince investors that your company should be a part of their portfolio.
  • Don’t try to hide the dirt. Nobody wants to deal with someone who lies by omission. The road to riches is paved with all kinds of challenges. If you’ve had them, address them openly and up front. Remember, the best defense is a good offense. Don’t wait for someone else to uncover the less-favorable aspects of your history. Share a complete corporate history in a forthright and direct manner and you’ll go a long way to earning the respect, and possibly investment of the investor. The Professional Investor did not get into a position of managing their own or other’s money because they are dumb.
  • The Professional Investor is as much a part of your business as anyone or anything else, including the science, technology, research, sales and other departments; corporate partners, if any; employees; offices; etc.
  • The Professional Investor is not a cold statistic. He or she is a person with feelings and emotions. Treat the investor with respect, just as you would want to be treated if the situation were reversed.
  • The Professional Investor is not someone with whom to argue or match wits. If you do, you might find yourself winning the battle but losing the war. If you disagree with the perspective shared by the Investor during a phone call or meeting, this is the time to remember you have two ears and one mouth—so you should be listening twice as much as you are speaking. By listening to any critique, you will get information that may prove to be valuable later, when you’re able to reflect unemotionally. You can always renew the conversation at another time with more factual ammunition at a later time.
  • It’s part of your job to satisfy the needs, wants and expectations of Professional Investors and whenever possible, to unearth their fears or resolve any complaints or reservations that might prevent them from investing in your company. Listen closely and watch body language that displays interest, concern, doubt or maybe even enthusiasm.
  • The Professional Investor deserves the most attentive, courteous and professional treatment you can provide. Respect him or her by arriving or calling at the scheduled time. Turn off your phone before you walk into the meeting.
  • The Professional Investor is the lifeblood of a public company—and possibly a growing private company as well. In fact, without Professional Investors, there would be no public companies, because there would be no analysts writing research reports, no market-makers quoting stocks, no institutional holders providing a steady base for growth, and no retail brokers pitching the opportunities to new public investors. All are the elements necessary for your company’s ultimate success.

The investing relationship is a two-way street. Investors need deals and companies often need investors to help fund their growth. Learn as much as you can about all aspects that contribute to the ultimate rewarding relationship and you’ll succeed. Many times, you will only have one shot to get a potential investor interested. Your first meeting is not a dress rehearsal: It’s show time!