Asset Searches Now responds to the recent article in Entrepreneur, by Allison Engle advising business owners to find the right investor, not just any old investor. Any business owner who is considering a relationship potential investors to hire a professional investigator to fully research the potential investor’s background before making any decisions. Engle counsels that finding the right investor is about finding someone who believes in your vision, understands the challenges ahead of you and has the business acumen to help you succeed.
“The best investors are those who are asking you, ‘What’s the potential here, and what will it take to nail it?’ Rather than, ‘How little capital do you need to execute your plan?’” said Donna Harris, co-founder of 1776, a startup assistance company.
1. Understand the options.
Do you need a bigger network? More expertise? More money? All three?
Different investors can fulfill different goals. When you have taken your business from concept to reality and are now ready for a co-founder, your first and best conversations will likely be with angel investors. Angel investors bring individual expertise and are more lenient on their initial requirements. Your second round of funding should target Venture Capitalists., VCs usually want hard, empirical data before backing you. If your business plan isn’t ironclad and heavily vetted beforemeeting with a VC, your capital won’t come through.
2. Educate yourself on the assets and resources different investors can provide.
Investors are more than just walking checkbooks – they are industry veterans. The right choice can help you manage your capital, your infrastructure and more. Many investors will have seats on your board. You want partners who provide guidance without challenging every decision you make.
For instance, many larger VC firms have marketing departments devoted to handling external messages and portfolios. The strategy can position young startups in front of potential future investors and assist with press releases and other areas a company might not have the bandwidth to properly address.
3. Know where to look.
Finding the best type of investor for your company is a crucial step in realizing its overall vision, but you also need to know how to connect with one. Larger organizations such as Angel Capital Association have chapters all over the U.S., along with an extensive database for entrepreneurs to peruse. Angels Den and AngelList provide other platforms that let new CEOs find and communicate with potential investors.
4. Ensure the investor you choose works well with your company
For startups, company culture is king. Unique cultures distinguish startups from one another and from corporate America in general.
Once you’ve found a potential investor, you need to ensure he or she will mesh with your culture. Consider a couple of key questions: Does this person want to be involved in day-to-day operations or be more hands-off? And how does this investor’s vision for the company differ from yours?
Startup CEOs and founders tend to be on the receiving end of the questions when meeting with potential investors, but founders should start asking more questions such as “What role do you see yourself having in this company?” Knowing your investor’s level of involvement ahead of time prevents conflict in the future.
Above all, remember investors are people, too. Besides a boost to your bank account, what else do you want to get from your partner? Ask questions and do research to determine what kind of investor your company needs. Find someone who can act as both a willing backer and a wise mentor to help your business thrive.
Vetting a potential investor can certainly be confusing and overwhelming.
Being knowledgeable about the specific nuances of the numerous information brokers and their databases is critical for anyone engaged in public record data research. An expert investigator who is adept at accessing this data has a broad range of important information at his or her fingertips. However, one must have both the knowledge and experience required to access the full scope of the public records information network.
Without an experienced investigator, you have no access to that important public record information only he or she has the expertise to provide to you. A company with years of experience makes all the difference, in the service levels and innovative approaches.
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