Startup written by: JamieFin
A coworking space
is now seen as the ideal location for new companies to grow their startups, and we've seen a lot of them utilizing our facilities at Sbrubbles. It's given us a great insight into the problems these new companies are facing, with the biggest one being fundraising. We're desperate to help entrepreneurs succeed, so we'd like to address this issue head-on. If you need extra funds to help your startup flourish you'll need to know a few things, so here are 10 tips to help you master fundraising on your way to growing a large empire.
1 - You Need To Build An Amazing Team
This is perhaps one of the main benefits
of a coworking space, because you'll meet lots of other entrepreneurs you can bring onto the team. You've got to realize potential investors are pitched great ideas every day, so they'll not care about your one. What they will care about is your team, and they'll want to invest in people they know will be able to execute on the idea. If you don't have a top-quality team at the moment, it would be wise to start building one now.
2 - Master Sales And Marketing First
As I'm sure you already know, new companies are a dime a dozen at the moment. It seems like everyone is building a startup these days, but it's a lot less common to see startups with real paying customers. Maybe you're already a master of sales and marketing, but you'll need to prove it. A coworking space is the perfect place to knuckle down until you're bringing in revenue. Investors will want to see you're on an upwards trajectory before releasing any funds.
3 - Networking Is Of The Utmost Importance
We've talked about how a coworking space can help you build out the perfect team, but what about all the connections you'll be able to make with established entrepreneurs? It's also a good idea to attend conferences around the country, even if they're nowhere near Orlando. Connecting with people online is perfectly fine, as long as you keep building out your network. You never know who you'll meet, and more importantly, who those people will know.
4 - Find A Mentor In Your Local Area
Luckily this is a lot easier in Orlando compared to other cities around the country. As soon as fundraising is mentioned, everyone envisions standing in front of angel investors pitching their idea. They aren't the only ones with money, and they're certainly not the only ones prepared to invest in new companies. Not only will a successful businessperson be able to help guide you, but they'll also have successful friends they can put you in contact with.
5 - Take Important People Out To Lunch
This is likely the last thing founders think about, yet it makes complete sense once you understand how it works. When we're talking about important people it's those in professions like accounting and law, because they'll deal with wealthy individuals on a regular basis and they can put you in contact with them. You will have to fire off lots of emails from your coworking space, but you'll eventually find a few people willing to take you up on your offer.
6 - Ask All Your Friends And Family
If bootstrapping your startup with your own money is too difficult, you can always turn to friends and family for help. Between you and your team, you'll have a decent amount of people to reach out to. You'll also work much harder to succeed, because these are the people you won't want to let down more than all your other investors combined. I know you'll want to generate more money than they'll be able to give you, so think of their investment as a stepping stone to bigger fundraising opportunities further down the line.
7 - Build Up Confidence Asking For Money
What do you think will happen if you get lucky and someone from your coworking space hooks you up with a potential investor? If it's your first time asking a stranger for money, they'll be able to smell it from a mile away. You want people to keep rejecting you until you've built up the confidence to walk into a meeting to deliver your pitch without flinching. In order to do that, you'll need to repeatedly put yourself into positions where you're going to get turned away. Remember, you've got nothing to lose.
8 - Learn To Deliver The Perfect Pitch
You'll obviously need to learn how to deliver the perfect pitch
anyway, but it's crucial you dial it in as soon as possible. We talked about needing proof before anyone will invest in your new company, but that was geared more towards seasoned investors. Some people will be hooked on your idea if you can make it sound appealing enough, plus if you've not been in business for too long there isn't much that can be disproved. If anyone from your coworking space has raised money before, let them teach you how it's done.
9 - You Have To Be Willing To Put In The Time
Would you invest in a new company if they only showed up at their coworking space on weekends to work on the business? You would turn around and run away, which is why some startups find fundraising almost impossible. Potential investors want to know you eat, sleep, and breathe your idea. It might mean your team will have to leave their jobs to dedicate their lives to your startup until it gains traction, so it's best to start thinking about saving up enough money to rough it for a few years before you begin fundraising.
10 - Figure Out The Right Time To Look For Funding
Fundraising might not be the best idea for new companies depending on what stage they're at. There will be times when it's obvious you need money, for example, when you're trying to stop someone else from capitalizing on your idea. At other times, it's better holding off if you don't know what you'll do with a sudden influx of money. When you're more established you won't have to give away as much equity, so it's important to know the exact time to lean on your network and begin fundraising.
Building An Empire From Your Coworking Space
If you do want to eventually build an empire from your coworking space, you will need these 10 tips to help you master fundraising. There is more money available today than ever before, and it doesn't look like it's going to change any time soon. Don't let fundraising distract you from the most important job of them all, which is working as hard as possible on your startup to grow it while you're waiting for the money to come rolling in.