When you go on a first date, you normally don’t ask the person to marry you. With business angels and venture capitalists, sometimes you simply have to, because if you don’t ask the question, you may never get a second chance. But most of the time, you need to build a relationship with them before they can entertain the idea of investing money into your company, just like in a personal relationship.
Say Thank You
You started a business and now you need funds to grow it. The first financing campaign is crucial, as you will need to be able to convince at least one investor to join in, in order to stabilize the company’s finance and start developing. But it is not the only time you will need to meet with business angels and venture capitalists. In fact, this process should be part of your short- and longer-term strategy, because the bigger your company will grow, the more funding you’ll need.
Let us share a little secret that will go a long way. As you are contacting and meeting with investors, take the time to send them thank you cards. First, it will show them that you are into details and that is something they like in an entrepreneur. Secondly, it has a good chance to remain around them for a little while (on their desk, briefcase…) and will act as a reminder of your endeavour. Finally, it just might be the one thing that makes them pick-up your call the next time, if only to say thank you in return and then it will be another chance for you to seize the opportunity.
Keep Them Informed
There is nothing more exciting for an investor than to see a company grow. The only way they can be aware of your development is if you keep them informed. Of course, this communication needs to be balanced, otherwise, they will shut it down by sending your mails directly into their trash or they simply won’t pick-up your calls anymore.
One good way to go about this, is to keep a monthly newsletter aimed at them. Its content should focus only on your monthly achievements and results from previous ones. They need to see that you are delivering on what you were promising when you originally met with them. You may think they have better things to do, but they don’t. Their job is to find the next Microsoft or Uber of the world, and to do that, they need information. Bringing it to them is almost like a gift… if done right and in moderation.