Seeking and winning investment is the most difficult part of any entrepreneur’s journey. You’ve got a great product or service and a terrific pitch, but you can’t seem to secure investment. Don’t get demoralised, this happens to many brilliant businesses. There are plenty of reasons it’s not working yet, and we’re going to show you a different approach.
First things first, how much time are you putting into raising investment? When a company is in its infancy, the founders are likely to be covering many different roles – from marketing to receptionist to product development. But raising investment is a full-time job and needs to be treated as such. You need to adjust your mindset and focus all your attention on securing the funds you need to move to the next stage. Without it, all your hard work in these different areas is for nothing.
At Robot Mascot, we work with entrepreneurs every day who are on their Fundraising Journey, and we’ll tell you the same thing we tell them: you have permission to stop everything else and concentrate solely on getting investment.
Why raising investment is a full-time job
When you asked the question, ‘My investment campaign isn’t working – what am I doing wrong?’ you wanted an answer. But we’re betting that you feel slightly uncomfortable at being told to leave everything else to put all your effort into this one task. We get it, you’ve spent a good while doing all kinds of things to get to this stage and you might feel worried about stopping. However, it’s the singular focus on raising investment that sets you up for success.
From this point on, you need to treat your investment campaign like a sales funnel. In this instance, it’s a B2B sales funnel as you are selling equity to investors as part of a business transaction. Think of the investment materials you’ve created – like your pitch deck, financial projections, etc – as sales materials. When you hand them over to your potential investors, you are showcasing what they can expect from your business now and in the future. As such, your investment campaign becomes a marketing campaign, so think of it as an exchange of value like any other.
Understanding the decision-making process for investors
You may be one of the lucky entrepreneurs who meets with an investor a couple of times and then wins their funding. But the reality for many founders is that it’s a lengthy process. If we consider that our investment campaign needs to apply the same approach as a B2B sales funnel, you can understand why it takes time to get to that all-important final transaction.
It’s useful to look at the stages of a B2B sales funnel side by side with the different stages a potential investor will go through to illustrate the similarities.
As you can see, it’s almost identical, and that’s why you need to apply the same principles to your investment campaign. You need to build a workflow that allows you to get as many potential investors into this sales funnel as possible to give yourself the greatest chance of success.
At stage 3, when the investor is receiving up to 10 pitches a week, yours needs to stand out. Like you would with any potential client, you’ll need to provide something powerful enough to grab their attention and get them to part with their money. You need to put yourself inside the mind of an investor and satisfy their criteria.
In an ideal world, you’ll nail this straight away. However, it’s good to remember that it takes an average of six months to close an investment round. When you are planning your campaign, you need to keep this in mind so you can ensure you don’t run out of money before you’ve got investors on board.
Once you focus only on investment, you can book more meetings with investors, manage your leads and pitch at more events. Remember, it’s just a marketing campaign, really. You are simply swapping the thing you sell from a product or service to shares. In reframing your approach and working it like a sales campaign, you’ll create opportunities you might miss if you are stretching yourself too thin.
So, it’s now over to you to take the first step into supercharging your investment campaign activities. Are you ready to put your whole focus on it now? Good luck.
If you’d like to learn more about securing investment and working with investors, download my best-selling book ‘Investable Entrepreneur’ for free here.