In the digital age, setting up your own business has become easier than ever. In just a few clicks and with the minimum of work, you can make full use of online services that can help you to get in business in minutes. However, many of the challenges faced by traditional businesses still exist in the online world – and ensuring that your shiny new company has enough cash to function and expand is the most important consideration.
In this article, we will take a look at the reasons why securing investment is a good idea for startups and how you can go about it as a small online business owner.
Investment helps you expand
When it comes to setting up a business, everyone wants to grow and expand in some shape or form. You don’t have to want to become the next great international corporation to have dreams of expansion. Your plans for growth could be as simple as getting an office, hiring a new staff member, or launching a website in a different but related niche.
It’s possible to pay for these things without investment, but the trouble is that it takes time. Ideally, you will need to be at a stage where your business is profitable. By getting an investor instead, you can give away a small proportion of ownership over your company in return for a short-term financial boost that will allow you to hire staff, open an office, or pay to redesign your website. It’s a win-win situation!
What’s more, investment cash releases you from doing some of the more mundane day-to-day aspects of running a business and allows you to use your time for something better. For example, you could use the cash to outsource some functions to a virtual assistant while you focus on finding new business leads.
Advisors on hand
Of course, by far the main benefit of having an investor on your company’s side is the financial value that they will bring and the fact that you can access cash without having to be profitable straight away.
However, investors can also help your business in another way by bringing their expertise and knowledge. The vast majority of investors either started at the bottom and built up their businesses (just like you) or even have several successful enterprises under their belt, and this means that they can mentor you and share their advice.
Many entrepreneurs are good at seeing the bigger picture, and can build a vision for you and your startup’s growth. Because they have been through all the stages of startup growth themselves, they can also fill in gaps in your plans with ideas for new products, services, and avenues to follow.
Investors are also useful for self-discipline purposes. If you’re the only person working on a project, you’re more likely to find yourself succumbing to disenchantment and fatigue. However, with a second person on side acting as a part-time boss, you’re much more likely to feel more motivated as you have someone to share the journey with.
How they do it
The investment practices of individual investors vary, but if you’re looking to get an investor, then it’s wise to be seen in the right places online so that you don’t miss out.
Signing up to websites such as AngelList can link you up with people who are looking to take online startups under their wings, while researching investors on more general professional sites such as LinkedIn is a good tip if you want some background information before making a pitch. Sometimes, investors will also come to you. Investors such as David Kiger do this by keeping a close eye on industry developments to ensure that they don’t miss the next big thing, so it’s wise to stay ahead of the curve and make your business attractive.
By having a top-notch website and by doing a little bit of public relations to ensure that your name features on websites, news outlets, and in industry magazines, sooner or later you’re bound to catch the eye of a savvy investor looking for a new opportunity.
Ultimately, it’s clear that having an investor on side when it comes to launching your startup is an ideal situation to be in.
Investors bring with them all sorts of benefits ranging from much-needed immediate cash to that all-important long-running expertise and mentoring. By having an investor on your side, your startup is much more likely to succeed, thrive, and prosper.