The biggest funding challenges facing entrepreneurs
Want to build a great business in Africa? Get ready to woo the investor.
It isn’t easy being an entrepreneur. You’ve got this idea and it just won’t leave you alone. It shakes you along the road to success, demanding that you give it the right amount of attention and inspiring late nights and long hours. However, success isn’t guaranteed, no matter how hard you work or how great your conviction. You need funding, investor interest and support. Here are four steps that your business needs to take to put it in the eye of the investor and, possibly, get their attention.
You need to get traction into your business idea. To do this, you need to find out what investors want, what boxes they expect you to have ticked, and you need to give this to them. One thing that every investor loves is revenue – it’s the oxygen that keeps the business alive – so if you can prove that you’ve got a sustainable model with guaranteed revenue, you’re already on the right track.
2. Team members
The value of a dynamic and reliable management team cannot be understated. If a VC or angel investor isn’t impressed with your management team, then it will be close to impossible for you to get any investment. Start off by preparing a biography of your team members, be prepared to showcase this at your pitch and ensure that every person has experience that is relevant to your industry. These are the qualities that will interest potential investors.
Investors want to see traction in your industry. They want to see revenue and they want to know that you have users or customers. Before an investor puts funds towards your company, they want to be assured of the fact that this is just that – an investment. You should have a minimum viable product with demonstrable capabilities and all the facts, figures and numbers to back it up. Always be prepared with the data and for any question that the investor may throw your way.
While having the right people in management is crucial to gaining investor confidence, so is having good relationships with strategic partners. You need to showcase that you are capable of forging alliances with people and business who can help you further your goals, and that you can sustain these over the long term. It is also advisable to invest in a media presence and to build up a base of media contacts – these tools are essential in helping you to build brand awareness and show investors that you are looking to ways of attracting customer attention.