5 Ways to find business investments
Do you dream about winning the lottery and turning your hobby into a multi-million pound empire? Although there are many other ways to spend your lottery winnings, a sound business investment will most likely top the list.
With a record high of over 650,000 new businesses having been started in the UK in 2016, it’s the right time for entrepreneurs to step up to the plate. And there are more ways than ever before to find business investments – from crowdfunding to angel investing – and the list goes one.
Here are our top five picks …
1. Fund your business venture with your lottery winnings
The saying goes: “When it rains, it pours”. If you are rolling in lottery cash, why not put that windfall into something that will make it grow even bigger? Give your brainchild a healthy cash injection and watch as your business plan comes to life in the marketplace. Being in the fortunate position to fund your business with your lottery winnings does have tremendous benefits. Aside from skipping the time-consuming process of finding and impressing an investor, you get to be the sole shareholder and keep total control of your company – something that not many entrepreneurs get to do. What’s more, investing your personal money will convince future investors and employees of your passion and belief in your business, which leaves you free to boast about putting your money where your mouth is. Although this is an ideal scenario, reality is that you can never be sure if and when such incredible luck will strike. The good news is you don’t have to wait until you win the lottery to fund your business.
2. Angel investors
File name: image-of-business-man-with-angel-wings-looking-at-the-city-on-a-balcony
Image Alt text: Businessman with angel wings looks at the city finance district from a balcony
Angel investing has become one of the most common funding options for up-and-coming businesses. Angel investors – also dubbed informal investors or private investors – are wealthy individuals who help startups take their first steps by providing much-needed injections of capital, in exchange for ownership equity of course. Although your Angel retains some control over your business, you will benefit greatly from their guidance and experience to achieve a good return on investment.
3. Venture Capitalists
Unlike Angel Investors, who use their own money, Venture Capitalists invest with money pooled from well-off investors, like banks or financial institutions. Investments are not always just monetary; they can be provided in the form of technical or managerial expertise. Venture capital is becoming an increasingly popular funding source for new companies with under two years’ operating history; especially startups without access to bank loans but with potential for long-term growth and above-average returns. The main downside to this route is that investors usually get part ownership of the company and therefore have input in company decisions.
4. Professional Networking Sites
While sites like LinkedIn are great for job hunting and connecting with potential employers, they’re also a fantastic place to look for investors. There are numerous professional social networking sites like e-factor, Xing, Plaxo, Startup Nation and Cofoundr that can put you in touch with all types of investors across various industries. Some can even introduce you to overseas investors who may be interested in bringing your product or service to their corner of the globe.
If wearing fancy suits and practicing elevator pitches are not your cup of tea, crowdfunding may be your answer. Crowdfunding is where money is raised from a large number of people who each contribute a relatively small amount, typically via an online platform. Crowdfunding is a great avenue for entrepreneurs with an interesting product or idea that appeals to a wide audience. If the funders like the idea, they’ll invest; and if there’s a large influx of money, it may be an indication that your business idea will be a hit with the public.
If you are not flooded with investment offers from the get-go, don’t let it stop you. Simply do what you’d do when playing online lotteries: If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.