If you are tired of your boss and the entrepreneur in you thinks you have a brilliant idea enough to have a startup, then be your own boss. However, every business requires a capital. Unless you have enough money in the bank, you need investors to make your product and service idea into a reality.
Whatever is the level of your startup, you need cash to kick start and keep the operations going until it grows into a thriving enterprise. Despite approaching a long list of investors, nobody is calling back. What could you be doing wrong?
You lack a market research
You need to prove your startup can earn money and the investments can grow. Despite a visionary idea, you must have an evidence showing your target consumers will actually value your business. Investing is like betting, and investors have to play it safe as much as possible. Make them believe your product is worth it through market research which involves your target consumer’s opinions, reflected research, a systemic interpretation and how these can be applied to your business process and products. A good business strategy makes research an essential part.
There are a lot of research firms in Singapore, here are the top 5 according to Focus Singapore.
- Acorn Marketing and Research Consultants Pte Ltd
ACORN is an independent Asian-based research company operating since 1985 with the purpose to help entrepreneurs understand their target consumers. The company specializes in insightful marketing statistics, brand and product positioning, tracing marketing efficacy, configuration and other related streams.
- Agility Research and Strategy
Agility Research and Strategy is a research and consulting company focusing on Affluent and Luxury Consumer. The company believes that the Affluent consumers have the buying power which can actually affect brands and demands in travel, healthcare, financial services, home and personal technology, and shopping.
- AXANTEUS Research
AXANTEUS Research is a Singapore based information, data and research consultancy service provider in the global market.
- Kadence International Ltd
Founded in 1992, Kadence International Ltd is an independent full service market research company based in Singapore and works with international marketing analytic organizations.
- Asian Strategies Pvt Ltd
Asian Strategies has been in business since 1991 with its firm located in Singapore. Its board members have more than 60 years of experience in market research.
If you use trusted research firms in Singapore, you data will be more credible in the eyes of the investors. However, if you currently lack funds for research, you can do surveys yourself, yet it won’t be easy as it involves various research applications.
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You have no pre-orders
It is understandable if the investors are cynics, yet showing them that you already have consumers interested for your products and services even before you actually launch serves as a proof that you are diligent with your business. How to get pre-orders? Approach your friends and families. Tap into their other circles of friends and they can eve vouch for you. However, do not overdo it or it will seem to be mere fabrication. It is better to back up your list with a marketing research.
You can’t focus in a single product
Even though you possibly have a lot of product ideas, it is better to keep track of just one. You are a startup and you are still building your credibility that you can indeed sell to consumers. You can’t afford to be all over the place. You may not please everybody, but it is more important to please the right target consumers.
No marketing strategy
As previously sighted, it is important to focus in developing your product or service, yet you should not lose sight of your marketing strategy as it will be the key to bring in large number of consumers. Despite having a good product if nobody knows it exist, then you have no market. Let the investors know on how you will reach out to your consumers.
You are talking to the wrong investors
Investors have different fields and they are more likely to invest in the area of their expertise. Investing involves financial risks and to lessen this, they usually fund in industries they are more familiar with.
You are not referred by anybody
The mails and e-mails you send to prospect investors will usually end in trash if they have no idea who you are. Find someone who can refer you to potential investors.
You don’t flash your team’s credentials
There is a reason you have handpicked a team to support your startup. They could have a track record of established reputation, a couple of known successes, awards or valuable skills. Find your team’s credentials and flaunt them to your investors. Investors would rather fund exceptional talents with a still developing idea rather than on a priceless idea backed by a team with questionable skills. If you don’t have any credentials yet to take pride of, you can use your partner’s instead.
The more you show to the investors, the more question they will have as they will see cracks through your business strategies and process. Give them what they need to know about your business but never fabricate just to sound credible.
How to Present your Startup
- Make it clear that you know what the investors exactly expect to acquire.
You should make your investors know that you understand what they want, and that is earning from your business. Show your business strategies in the simplest way and if they ask for a same product, then that is the only time you should show them a prototype.
- Lay out your expenditure to show how their money will be spent.
Show transparency when it comes to finances by showing your budget in details. It is important that the investors can see where their money is going and if you are a wise spender. Identify project milestones and outline the work schedules. Know that they are scrutinizing your specific action plan rather than the actual business idea.
- Think ‘lean.’
Ask for the minimum amount of resources enough to cover the current phase of the action plan to get to the next one. Do not expect the investors to give you cash to cover the whole business operations. Just make sure that you keep the initiative to regularly update them every phase you complete.
After the presentation:
- Get in touch with each investor and ask for feedbacks.
Show that you value your investors by personally asking them for any input. Be ready to accept criticism and show them how you reflect these to your business process.
- Be patient. Give them around a few weeks to think on your proposal.
Some investors spend week to months before they say their decision. Be patient and remember that despite a negative answer, these investors are still watching your progress. If they see positive results, they are more likely to invest the next time you approach them.
Unclear Exit Strategy
There will be a time when investors have to withdraw their investments together with the interest. As early as you can, present your strategic plans on how you can maximize your profits. Lay out your time table and show them that you understand how much time you have to return the investment and how much they are expecting to get from you.
Getting investors takes time. If you want to jump start your startup now, yet you need more capital, Cash Mart can help you out with startup business loans. Drop by Cash Mart’s office at Balestier Road and have a chat with the friendly staff. Cash Mart guarantees to have a loan fit personally for your needs.
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