How to find investors for your small business (2023)

Finding Corporate Investors: The Quick List

  1. reliable presentations
  2. strategic networking
  3. Online Investment Platforms
  4. Industry conferences and summits
  5. cold reach
  6. friends and family
  7. universities and incubators

Getting a new small business into accelerated growth mode requires capital, and lots of it. While new small businesses have several optionsfinance your business, Ascommercial loans, it's admittedly difficult to come up with the money you need to grow without a substantial financial history. Some new small businesses also don't want to borrow too soon, preferring to provide capital to small business investors - a process also known asfinancial balance. If you're considering this, you probably want to know how to find investors for your small business.

Fortunately, the good news is that there are investors across the country looking for ways to finance worthy new ventures. According to a recent national study conducted in partnership with the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, 63% of angel investors live outside of New York, Boston and Silicon Valley.[1]

Maybe you've built your business as much as possible, self-funded, or you're just curious about finding investors. We'll review important things to know when starting your search, how to find investors in your industry and what to expect when connecting with them.

Who are potential small business investors?

Small business owners are individuals who specialize in thisFinancing of start-up companies. (Occasionally these are investor groups or syndicates - we'll get to that in a moment.) Compared to the large checks that venture capital firms pay, they provide relatively smaller amounts of capital - usually in the tens of thousands, although sometimes a a little more. Learn more about the difference between in our guideAngel Investors vs. venture capitalists.

If you try to figure out how to find investors, you'll quickly discover that most investors generally specialize in certain types of companies. This could mean companies in a specific industry, a specific business model, or something like funding underrepresented founders.

Investing isn't done out of the goodness of your heart - it's an investment, after all. People who write checks are looking for returns, so they expect something in return. In general, equity. So small business owners understand that if they put their money into early stage companies, they're likely taking a multi-year gamble. But they are usually waiting for some kind of way out so they can make some money too.

Many investors are former entrepreneurs, who can offer good prospects to entrepreneurs. But as early-stage individuals writing relatively small checks, they won't be hugely involved in your day-to-day operations. However, they will be great connections to larger networks and resources across the board.

When seeking funding from small business investors, there are some important definitions to understand:

Angel Financing vs. Seed Financing

When you are trying to figure out how to find investors, you may be asked if you are just looking for a single small business investor or if you areRaising a full round of seeds. This is a question you want to know the answer to.

To fuel their growth with investors, some new companies will seek funding from just one or two angel investors, but forgo raising an entire seed round (which occurs before their Series A). This gives you a deep relationship with your investors and also allows you to hold a significant portion of the equity. Angel investors also rarely, if ever, sit on boards of directors. (More,raise a full round of financingtakes a lot of work.)[2]

However, many companies will launch seed rounds of varying sizes in which angel investors will participate. Make sure you know where you are falling and whether or not you expect to deal with it.Seed Fundsalongside angel investors.

Accredited Investors vs. Non-Accredited Investors

This is a US definition. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It is important to know the difference betweenaccredited and non-accredited investors.

The part you must understand is accreditation at the individual level. As an individual, you must have earned $200,000 alone or $300,000 combined in the last two years with a similar trajectory this year. Alternatively, accredited investors can bypass the income requirement if they have a net worth of more than $1 million. There are also some other rules that I'm sure your lawyer is aware of and can think about.

OSEC requires investors to be accreditedessentially to protect the general public from taking big risks. So your investors really need to be accredited. Savvy small business owners know this - but you should also know this before you talk to someone about investing in their business.

Capital vs. Note Convertible vs. SAFE score

You're probably already familiar with the notion that if you're looking for investors, you'll probably have to forego equity. But the idea of ​​a convertible title could also be on the table, which is a little more nuanced.

A convertible bond is a type of short-term debt instrument common in early-stage corporate finance. Commonchange year, you receive financing, but instead of paying interest with principal, your investor receives equity over the outstanding balance of the loan based on a future valuation of the business. This is a good setup for many new angel and seed stage businesses that need cash but are not necessarily in a place where they are willing to value the business (especially when the whole business is intellectual property as intangible assets are difficult and highly controversial to the price).

An alternative to the convertible bond is theSAFE Notice, which means "simple arrangement for future equity". In contrast to convertible bonds, these are not debts but are converted into equity. It is usually shorter.

Individuals x groups or unions

Many people invest alone, but there are others who prefer to work in a group.

Why? First, no matter how much money or time you have, investing is expensive and risky, so doing it with other people is less expensive and less risky; and, as a result, it takes less time for one person in the group to do the heavy liftingdue diligencefor each.

There are many nuances to group angel investing that you can (and should) be aware of when looking for union investors. What matters most to you right now is that you can find small business investors from an individual or group, usually led by a lead investor.

Where to find investors for small businesses

The good news is that there is no straightforward approach to finding small business investors. The bad news is that there is no straightforward approach to finding small business investors. Do you know what we mean?

However, you have several options for finding investors. It is a process that takes time, effort, strategy and professionalism. But if your business is ready, one of these approaches to finding investors might work for you:

1. Reliable presentations

First, nothing replaces the support of someone small business owners trust. Find out if your company has someone within your reach that you can connect with and introduce your company to, who also has a direct line to an investor or investor network. YourFinance tells a story, certainly - but there's little better than a direct connection and support.

"The best pitches to potential investors are made by successful entrepreneurs who can vouch for you," says Vanessa Kruze, CPA, CEO and founder of Startup ConsultingKruze Consulting. "Investors prefer to present themselves as other entrepreneurs they respect and have worked with," says Kruze.

If your network with other small businesses isn't strong, think twice. Kruze adds, "Service providers, such as lawyers or accountants experienced in startups, can step forward."

2. Strategic networking

Likewise, think of other ways to channel individuals or groups of investors with networks you already belong to or could easily belong to.

Your alumni network is a great place to start looking for known investors, angel groups or unions, or connections with others who can advise you on how to find investors.

You can also contact industry associations, your local chamber of commerce or a local representative.Small business development center(SBDC). While it may seem odd to have a hyperlocal focus, some of your best and most unique connections can be made locally if you aren't competing for the same funding as other new ventures in big cities.

3. Online Investment Platforms

Or don't stay local - go as far away as possible. Many online platforms allow accredited investors to essentially buy opportunities to support new businesses, allowing small business finance to come to you.

Some of these platforms includeboe,Angel Investment Network, and, perhaps most famously,AngelList. Depending on where you keep your connection, you might be working with an individual or with a union. This depends on how the platform is structured.

Also, we shouldn't have to say it twice, use social media to let people know you're looking for small business investors.

4. Industry Conferences and Summits

If you don't have the network you want - or need - increase it. Samantha Urban, CEO of the San Diego-based services companyurban translations, recommends events that she believes attract hundreds of investors and CEOs. He secured self-financing of the summits after just two meetings. Urban adds this advice on finding investors:

“The key [is] building and nurturing those investor relationships. Find out what kind of companies they're investing in (B2B, B2C, Fintech, Tech, etc.), at what stage, how much revenue they'd like to see, how long it will take for due diligence, and other factors that make them excited about a possible agreement.

She also emphasizes that you build a relationship slowly and steadily. "Never assume you'll be invested right away," says Urban.

5. Cold band

This looks to be the biggest long shot of the bunch. And yes, in a way it is. But it works for some new businesses. When you send an email out of the blue, it's crucial to know who you're contacting.

Boston-based early-stage software startupFairmarkswas able to attract small business investors through cold advertising. Co-founder Tarek Alaruri says he believes budding entrepreneurs can be very successful with cold contact as long as they keep it personal.

Fairmarkit was able to connect with investors via email, LinkedIn as well as the phone. “If you understand the investor thesis and past investments (B2B vs B2C or biotech vs crypto), you can adjust your reach and be more successful,” he says.

6. Friends and family

You may feel uncomfortable asking your friends or family for a loan, but you can offer to make them investors in your business. If you like having a stakeholder that you know as a friend or family member, then this could be a great option for you.

The big bonus here is that they likely have your best interests in mind and want you to be successful with your new business. Make sure they sign aInvestor Agreementand go through all this with a lawyer to formalize the process and ensure that there is no room for disagreement or discord in the future. You must propose your business plan to them, just as you would to any other potential investor.

7. Universities

Many research-oriented universities are developing incubators and accelerators for students and alumni, making it easier for new ventures to find funding within the university system.

You can contact your alma mater or a school that specializes in the type of business you have to see if they have programs or money to invest. While this is a new practice among universities it is becoming more common and there is no harm in contacting a university and asking if they can help you and your business.

Understand what investors are - and what they are not

Before you start making your connections, you need to make sure that your small business investor expectations are realistic when it comes to finding corporate investors.

If you reach out, make sure you have an airtight field. You may not have a full round, but you shouldn't take your search for small business investors any less seriously. You need a presentation; You must know your numbers inside and out. You need a unique business proposition and you need an overview for your business. The investor needs to see a path to growth and a way to make their money back - and much more.

Next, the investor process requires due diligence, which takes time on your part and patience on your part. This process is not instantaneous. In fact, far from it.

And speaking of time, remember that it's rare for investors to hit rock bottom with you. Urban says that while he attracted investors after just a few meetings, others followed after months of dating. "Become friends over time and send updates to investors whenever you have good traction to share," she says.

the end result

As you try to figure out the steps to get your business financed, keep this in mind: not everyone needs small business investors.

For example, e-commerce companieslonely markwere able to use their sales and growth to get credit based on their Shopify numbers. Founder Nick Kinports says the funding “allowed us to quickly leverage without having to involve angel investors. In fact, we recently turned down an offer that we were seriously considering because of the loans.”

If you're wondering if you have the business finances, the acumen or the network, now you do.noBe your moment to find business investors. Don't forget that there are other sources of funding for new businesses; Even a business credit card with an introductory 0% APR can get you started.

Urban offers advice to all businesses, no matter where you are on your funding journey. "In general," she says, "always build your business with revenue in mind, not investment."

Article sources:

  1. „New study sheds light on angel investors in the US economy
  2. Ycombinator. com. „A Guide to Seed Fundraising


How to find investors for your small business? ›

Our advice is to stick to the general rule of 20 to 25% of businesses income. If your investor is more interested in cashing in on equity growth, you can offer 15% of the business or more, depending on how much money the investor provides.

How do I find investors for my established business? ›

Here are our top 5 ways to find prospective investors for your small business:
  1. Family or Friends.
  2. Small Business Loan.
  3. Small Business Grants.
  4. Angel Investors.
  5. Venture Capital.
  6. Connections in Your Field of Work.
  7. Crowdfunding Platforms.

How do I pitch my small business to investors? ›

How to make a pitch for investors
  1. Create a presentation. ...
  2. Practice your pitch. ...
  3. Outline the problem with a story. ...
  4. Your solution. ...
  5. Your target market. ...
  6. Your revenue or business model. ...
  7. Your successes: Early traction and milestones. ...
  8. Customer acquisition: Marketing and sales strategy.

What is a fair percentage for an investor? ›

Our advice is to stick to the general rule of 20 to 25% of businesses income. If your investor is more interested in cashing in on equity growth, you can offer 15% of the business or more, depending on how much money the investor provides.

What to say to convince investors to invest in your business? ›

  • Help your investor like you. ...
  • Make your investors feel comfortable during your pitch. ...
  • Understand that logic alone will not convince investors. ...
  • Convince by giving your investor a simple investment story. ...
  • Speak to your investor using their language. ...
  • To convince investors, be a teacher, not a sales person.
Jul 15, 2022

How does an LLC get investors? ›

An LLC can bring in investors from corporations, and partnerships to raise funds for your firm if you arrange it as a limited liability company. Money managers or money management firms are the vernacular terms for an asset management firm.

How do you connect with investors? ›

To contact an investor for a meeting, send an email request, as it is quick and easy to forward around an investor firm or angel network. Your email should include an articulate elevator pitch telling the investor who you are and what you do.

How do I get a stranger to invest in my business? ›

11 Foolproof Ways to Attract Investors
  1. Try the “soft sell” via networking. ...
  2. Show results first. ...
  3. Ask for advice. ...
  4. Have co-founders. ...
  5. Pitch a return on investment. ...
  6. Find an investor that is also a partner, not just a check. ...
  7. Join a startup accelerator. ...
  8. Follow through.

How do I become a silent investor for my small business? ›

If you want to be a silent partner in a business, you only need to invest money in the business, while staying uninvolved in management activities. Typically, your name will be in the partnership agreement, but you will have no say in the business's operation.

What is the investors 70% rule? ›

The 70% rule can help flippers when they're scouring real estate listings for potential investment opportunities. Basically, the rule says real estate investors should pay no more than 70% of a property's after-repair value (ARV) minus the cost of the repairs necessary to renovate the home.

What is the 7% investment rule? ›

Let's say you have an investment balance of $100,000, and you want to know how long it will take to get it to $200,000 without adding any more funds. With an estimated annual return of 7%, you'd divide 72 by 7 to see that your investment will double every 10.29 years.

Do investors get paid back? ›

Equity investors are not paid back by the company. Instead, equity investors own a percentage of the company and have the opportunity to sell their shares at a later time, either on the public stock market, to other investors or to an acquiring company during an acquisition.

What not to say to investors? ›

10 Things Entrepreneurs Should Never Say To Investors
  • You Need to Sign This NDA. ...
  • We Have No Competition. ...
  • We Don't Really Know Our Unique Selling Proposition Yet. ...
  • We Have No Weaknesses. ...
  • This is Such a Sure Thing it Can't Fail. ...
  • I Don't Have an Exit Strategy Yet. ...
  • We Really Need the Money.
Feb 23, 2019

What do investors want to see? ›

Investors will want to see information that indicates the current financial status of the business. Usually they will expect to see current reports such as a profit and loss statement, a balance sheet and a cash flow statement as well as projections for the next two or three years.

How do you approach an investor for funding? ›

How to Ask Investors for Funding
  1. Keep your pitch concise and easy for the average person to understand.
  2. Stay away from industry buzzwords the investors may not be familiar with.
  3. Don't ramble. ...
  4. Be specific about your products, services, and pricing.
  5. Emphasize why the market needs your business.

Why do investors not like LLCs? ›

Typically, venture capitalists (and sometimes angel investors) will not fund LLCs. There are several reasons for this. One is because an LLC is taxed as a partnership (pass-through taxation) and will complicate an investor's personal tax situation.

How do I pay myself profits from an LLC? ›

4 Ways To Pay Yourself From an LLC
  1. Pay Yourself as a W-2 Employee. For many LLC owners, the most advantageous way to receive payment is to treat yourself as an employee. ...
  2. Earn Profit Distributions. ...
  3. Pay Yourself as a 1099 Independent Contractor. ...
  4. Keep the Money in the Business.
Sep 30, 2022

What are investors in an LLC called? ›

The term member refers to the individual(s) or entity(ies) holding a membership interest in a limited liability company. The members are the owners of an LLC, like shareholders are the owners of a corporation.

What is the best way to reach out to investors? ›

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Reach Out to Investors (Email Templates Included)
  1. Find the investor's contact info.
  2. Keep your message short.
  3. Focus on them.
  4. Give proof of traction.
  5. Ask their permission to send them more info.
Sep 4, 2021

How do I talk investors? ›

Skip the small talk.

Avoid talking about the latest viral video, your favorite food, the weather, and other random topics. Instead, get into the main reasons for your conversation. Most investors want to know about your business and why it's great. They also want to know how your business will help them.

What is the best way to communicate with investors? ›

We interviewed three Toptal investor relations consultants and distilled their best advice into simple guidelines that can help you establish and maintain this connection.
  1. Make Time to Connect. ...
  2. Establish a Rhythm. ...
  3. Keep It Concise. ...
  4. Ask for Help If You Need It. ...
  5. Communicate Bad News Promptly. ...
  6. Paint a Complete Picture.

How to start investing with no money? ›

12 Clever Ways to Start Investing if You Don't Have Much Money
  1. 12 ways to start investing if you don't have much money. ...
  2. Open a retirement account. ...
  3. Invest in an index fund. ...
  4. Diversify with an ETF. ...
  5. Purchase fractional shares of stock. ...
  6. Get started in real estate. ...
  7. Put your money in a CD account.
Feb 6, 2023

What do investors get in return? ›

Distributions received by an investor depend on the type of investment or venture but may include dividends, interest, rents, rights, benefits, or other cash flows received by an investor.

How to find an angel investor for free? ›

8 Ways To Find Angel Investors
  1. AngelList. AngelList is a popular website where startups can go to hire as well as look for investors to partner with for funding. ...
  2. Angel Capital Association. ...
  3. Gust. ...
  4. Angel Forum. ...
  5. Angel Investment Network. ...
  6. Social Media. ...
  7. Networking Events. ...
  8. Friends & Family.
Oct 25, 2021

Can an LLC have silent investors? ›

Silent partners are investors. A silent partner is any individual who provides funding to a business as his only contribution. Partnerships and LLCs can have silent partners. Silent partners can also be referred to as limited partners (LPs).

Is it hard to get an investor? ›

Here's the reality: the process of finding the right investors is often longer and more difficult than you might expect. It takes time to vet and build relationships with angels. So, even if you're not quite ready to attract funding, it's never too early to start making connections.

What is a fair percentage for a silent investor? ›

Once your business turns a profit, the silent partner receives 20% of the net profit.

What are 5 tips to beginner investors? ›

  1. Buy the right investment. Buying the right stock is so much easier said than done. ...
  2. Avoid individual stocks if you're a beginner. ...
  3. Create a diversified portfolio. ...
  4. Be prepared for a downturn. ...
  5. Try a stock market simulator before investing real money. ...
  6. Stay committed to your long-term portfolio. ...
  7. Start now. ...
  8. Avoid short-term trading.
Nov 10, 2022

How much should a beginner investor start with? ›

You Need Enough Money to Buy a Single Share of Stock

In order to start investing, you need enough money to afford at least a single share — which could range from $1 — $300,000.

What are the three golden rules for investors? ›

Make sure you know things like the level of risk you're taking, the factors that might affect how your investment performs and how easy it is to get your money out when you need to. Before you invest, take time to do some research of your own – and never invest in a rush or in anything you don't fully understand.

What are the four golden rule in investing? ›

They are: (1) Use specialist products; (2) Diversify manager research risk; (3) Diversify investment styles; and, (4) Rebalance to asset mix policy. All boringly straightforward and logical.

What is the 1 investment rule? ›

The 1% rule of real estate investing measures the price of the investment property against the gross income it will generate. For a potential investment to pass the 1% rule, its monthly rent must be equal to or no less than 1% of the purchase price.

What will $5000 be worth in 20 years? ›

Answer and Explanation: The calculated present worth of $5,000 due in 20 years is $1,884.45.

What is the rule 69? ›

A Rule 69 agreement is a partial or complete settlement between the parties in a family law case. Once you've entered into the agreement, the Court will treat the agreement as valid and binding.

What is rule 69 in investment? ›

The Rule of 69 is used to estimate the amount of time it will take for an investment to double, assuming continuously compounded interest. The calculation is to divide 69 by the rate of return for an investment and then add 0.35 to the result.

How long do you pay an investor? ›

They are typically paid out quarterly, although some companies pay them monthly or annually. Another way companies repay investors is through share repurchases.

How do you pay out an investor? ›

There are two main ways that companies can distribute earnings to investors: dividends and share buybacks. With dividends, payouts are made by corporations to their investors and can be in the form of cash dividends or stock dividends.

Do investors get paid monthly? ›

It is far more common for dividends to be paid quarterly or annually, but some stocks and other types of investments pay dividends monthly to their shareholders. Only about 50 public companies pay dividends monthly out of some 3,000 that pay dividends on a regular basis.

What are 3 mistakes investors make? ›

Chasing performance, fear of missing out, and focusing on the negatives are three common mistakes many investors may make. History shows investors who overreact to near-term market events typically end up doing worse than if they stuck to their long-term plan.

What is the biggest mistake an investor can make? ›

Here are the seven biggest investing mistakes they say are the most common.
  • Constantly watching the markets.
  • Chasing the trends.
  • Following bad advice from social media.
  • Not giving your investments time to grow.
  • Investing money you'll soon need.
  • Having unclear investing goals.
  • Delaying investing altogether.

What are the 5 mistakes investors make? ›

Mallouk defines the five most common investment missteps—market timing, active trading, misunderstanding performance and financial information, letting yourself get in the way, and working with the wrong investment advisor—and includes detailed information on how to dodge the most common investing pitfalls.

What questions do investors ask? ›

Potential questions from investors
  • How does your company fit into the industry?
  • What are the major obstacles to your success?
  • How did you calculate the size of your market and its growth rate?
  • What makes your company different?
  • What value do you provide that is not already available to your customers?

What accounts do investors look at? ›

The financial statements used in investment analysis are the balance sheet, the income statement, and the cash flow statement with additional analysis of a company's shareholders' equity and retained earnings.

How do you know if an investor is interested? ›

Signs that an investor is interested in your startup
  1. They re always asking about your business.
  2. They want to know how you're doing.
  3. They re interested in your long term plans.
  4. They want to see you succeed.
  5. They believe in your vision.
  6. They re excited about your product.
  7. They re supportive of your team.

How do small businesses find private investors? ›

Here are our top 5 ways to find prospective investors for your small business:
  • Family or Friends.
  • Small Business Loan.
  • Small Business Grants.
  • Angel Investors.
  • Venture Capital.
  • Connections in Your Field of Work.
  • Crowdfunding Platforms.

How much money should I ask for investors? ›

If your company is early stage and has a valuation under $1M, don't ask for a $5M investment. The investor would be buying your company five times over, and he doesn't want it. If your valuation is around $1M, you can validly ask for $200K–$300K, and offer 20–30% of your company in exchange.

Does LLC have investors? ›

LLCs do not have shareholders. They have members who share in the profits of the business. The members' share of the profits is taxable as income. The company itself has no tax liability.

What happens when you get investors for your business? ›

By way of background, when someone invests in your business they are actually buying shares in your business in exchange for money. They can buy common shares or preferred shares. If your investor only gets common shares, then that means you are on equal footing.

How does getting investors for a business work? ›

There are three main ways investors can provide funding to your small business: debt investment, equity investment or convertible debt. With equity investment, an investor will buy a “piece of the pie,” or ownership stake in your business.

How many investors can an LLC have? ›

LLCs can have an unlimited number of members; S corps can have no more than 100 shareholders (owners).

What is a good offer for an investor? ›

“A good offer from an investor leaves plenty of equity in the hands of the founders – preferably with little or no vesting,” Toomey Davis said. Angel investors typically take between 20 and 25% ownership, whereas venture capitalists may take 40%.

How long do investors get paid back? ›

The bigger the better. In general, angel investors expect to get their money back within 5 to 7 years with an annualized internal rate of return (“IRR”) of 20% to 40%. Venture capital funds strive for the higher end of this range or more.

Where is the best place to meet investors? ›

Attend Startup Events Near And Far

A great way to meet potential investors and VCs is to attend startup events—industry conferences, pitch competitions, meetups, etc. These events give you a chance to network with other startups, learn from successful founders, and meet investors face to face.

Is there a website to find investors? ›

At StartEngine you can simply apply and find investors that will help you raise capital to succeed your business journey. It is one of the worlds biggest investment and funding platforms, and they support almost all industries you can think of. This is for you if you want more than just capital.

What is the minimum amount an angel investor can invest? ›

The minimum investment amount for any given fund or deal is set by the lead. Investment minimums may be as low as $1K or much higher, depending on the lead and deal. When you visit the deal page, you'll see the minimum amount listed next to the Invest button.

How much should I ask an investor for? ›

If your company is early stage and has a valuation under $1M, don't ask for a $5M investment. The investor would be buying your company five times over, and he doesn't want it. If your valuation is around $1M, you can validly ask for $200K–$300K, and offer 20–30% of your company in exchange.


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