Businesses are many things. Some are profitable, some aren’t. Some involve single, store-based locations, while others are based off the Internet or even across an international network. Some have large staffs; others only have a few people. Some specialize in technology, some in produce, some in commerce – the variations are endless, but all these companies share one thing.
They all require a lot of money to get started. Most people don’t have even close to the amount of money it takes to start a small business, and so have to take out a loan or find funding from some outside source. The trick is to find the best source for your business. You always have a few options – whether that be by taking out a loan or seeking investors is up to you. When you’re looking for investors, you’ll come across the names of several venture capitalists, who invest their client’s money in startup projects.
Another option for the shrewd businessman or businesswoman, though, may be the kind of person known as a business angel. A business angel invests his or her own money in a company or business in order to buy part ownership. They will then wait for the company to make profits, and sell shares after your company has had a chance to grow. Sometimes, business angels will band together and pool their capital in order to invest in larger projects – if the company you wish to start is going to be expensive, you may wish to seek out one of these pools.
The next question is where you will find these business angels – and how you’ll let them know about your company. There are a few options here. For instance, if you already have a small business and are looking for investors to expand rather than to create something new, you may be able to find a business angel among your current customers – someone who knows and trusts you already, and has seen how successful you are and could be.
The Internet is another amazing tool when it comes to finding investors. Get online right now and log onto your favourite search engine. Type in “Business angels” and take a look at the listings that come up – you’ll be able to find investors all across the United Kingdom looking for all sorts of projects. Take a look at each, how much each is willing to spend, and whether that investor seems as if she or he would be interested in your company. If so, take down their name – once you’ve narrowed your choices down, you can start calling and deciding just who you want owning part of your company.
Banks and personal accountants often have contacts, as well. If you’re unable or unwilling to find business angels through the Internet, you can check in with your bank or with your accountant. They can look for you if you wish, or they may know some business angel investors personally and be willing to recommend one for you – remember, in this business as with so many others, it’s not what you know, but whom you know.
Remember, business angels are not venture capitalists. They aren’t working for stockholders the way a broker or investing firm does; rather, they’re spending their own money on things they believe in. As such, they will also be much more careful about what they decide to invest in. If you want a business angel investing in your business, you’re going to have to work hard to convince them. Come up with a good business plan and have some evidence you’ll make money, and you’ll go far every time.