6 Effective Strategies to Secure Funding

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Securing funding is not a walk in the park. From preparing your pitch to strategizing what happens after taking your chances, it’s sometimes overwhelming. Investors receive countless pitches every minute, making it challenging to get noticed and ultimately secure funding.

Running a business for over two decades now, I have learned so many things in pursuing what I think would work for me versus what actually works for me and my agency.

Just like most first-time business owners, my first thought was, “What do I put in my pitch deck?” That is until I realized building a genuine relationship with these investors was what should’ve been at the top of my checklist.

I’ve found that women entrepreneurs especially need to leverage their unique perspectives and strengths to secure the funding required for growth and innovation. This means highlighting our distinctive insights and showcasing how our diverse approaches can lead to significant market advancements.

With all the trials and tribulations I have gone through to ensure my business thrives and gets recognized, I’ve laid out six strategies for you that have been proven to secure funding effectively.

Related: The 10 Most Reliable Ways to Fund a Startup

1. Simplify your pitch deck

Your pitch deck is your first impression. It must be compelling, concise and easily understood by a diverse audience, a fifth grader even. Avoid using jargon and overly complex terminologies.

Investors don’t have the time to search the dictionary just to understand your message. They are looking for clear, realistic outcomes. Present your solution in straightforward language and highlight its value and potential impact.

2. Align with investors’ portfolios

Ensure you’ve researched the existing portfolio companies of venture capital (VC) investors before approaching them. Similarly, clearly identify how your business can complement their investments.

Let’s say one of their companies has invested in a company that provides restaurant kiosk checkouts, and your business supplies the software for these kiosks; focus on that synergy and highlight your value proposition. The investor will easily see how investing in your company would be a good choice and how you are a potentially good partner.

3. Understand different investor types

Take the time to learn and understand the differences between angel investors, VC investors, family offices and private equity investors. Each type has unique goals and risk tolerances.

An angel investor, for example, may be more inclined to take risks on early-stage startups. On the other hand, private equity firms focus more on seeking established companies. Be honest about yourself when evaluating why it would make sense for them to do business with you.

Related: Here’s the Scoop on Selecting the Right Investors

4. Treat fundraising like sales

Take fundraising with the same rigor as sales. Set daily quotas for reaching out to potential investors via email, LinkedIn and cold calling. Mass and consistent outreach practices increase your chances of finding the right investor. Personal anecdotes can be powerful; for instance, a client who eventually became a unicorn managed to raise their first million dollars primarily through LinkedIn alone.

5. Highlight resilience and learning

Investors want to understand how you handle adversity. Every business, especially startups, has its eyes locked on the end goal — success — and usually overlooks the bumps along the way. But investors don’t care about these hurdles alone; they want to know how you’re able to overcome challenges and the lessons learned.

Be transparent about how you handled extreme stress in the past and what support you may need from them during similar times. Not addressing this leaves the investor with a big question mark, and they may just pass you up because you didn’t have the business acumen to realize how significant that discussion is.

6. Seek experienced and connected investors

Align yourself with investors who bring more than just the money. Approach those with substantial experience and networks in the exact type of business you’re in. When I was raising capital for agency acquisitions, I targeted people who had significant experience in acquiring agencies that were 1000x my size and those who worked with my specific target audience. It may feel like it’s only money you will need at first, but their expertise will be invaluable, and they will be true partners in growth.

Related: More Than Money: How the Right Investor Can Add Lasting Value to Your Startup

Securing funding can be a tedious and sometimes frustrating effort. But when you understand how you can be “shortlisted” in the queue — with the right preparation, clear communication and solid networking — it’s definitely fulfilling.

Do not just randomly throw pitches with long, complicated content. Instead, take the time to understand your audience and the investors, and tailor your pitch to their interests and needs. Remember to prioritize what aligns with your goals.

Ultimately, start by building strong relationships, whether on social media platforms or in person. You’ll see a huge impact on your business. These insights have helped me a lot in scaling, not just in terms of funding but also in my business skills and market position, and I can’t wait to see yours make a breakthrough!

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