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You’ve finally got your small business up and running only to find that’s it’s difficult to manage cash flow and get funding. Unfortunately, you’ll often find that potential investors are more interested in you – the founder – than the business or service itself.

In fact, a graduate of Stanford University, Shai Bernstein, conducted a study that looked at the characteristics of start-ups that are most appealing to investors in the early stages. According to the results, investors were most interested in information relating to the founders of a business. What’s more, most successful investors opted to reply only to information specifically related to the founding individuals.

So, here were’ going to look at ways that you can focus on making yourself as attractive as possible to potential investors – and no, we don’t mean taking yourself for a makeover.

Participate in networking events

The age-old adage is true; it’s not always what you know, but who you know. Often, investors will start by looking at you, the entrepreneur, by looking at who you know and what their opinions about you are. The general consensus among many business professionals is that it’s impossible to build a successful start-up without some support, which is why having an extensive network of people around you is beneficial.

Improve your social media presence

Having a strong, well-connected social media presence can be appealing to potential investors who are looking at you and your image. By connecting with them through platforms like Twitter and
LinkedIn, you can showcase your previous experience, successes and personality. What’s more you can also check them out to understand their interests, dislikes and so on, which may help to positively influence your pitches.

Keep your finances clean

Start-ups can be financially draining, but it’s important to keep your finances in order; and that goes for your personal finances as well as your company. Investors want people that can look after their money, while offering growth too. They may look into your credit score, what personal assets you have and even your income to debt ratio to make a decision on whether you’re worth the risk.

Know your potential investors

Before approaching investors, you should carry out research first. What motivates them? What interests do they have? Have they previously invested money into ideas similar to yours?
Understand as much as you can before interacting with them and you’ll have a greater chance of success, especially if you locate potential investors whose values are most closely aligned with your own.