Amy Wanless, associate at Muckle LLP, provides her top five tips for getting investor-ready.
There are various ways to access finance and, whichever route you choose, the same principles will apply to help boost your business. Here are my five tips for securing maximum investment:
Get your numbers right
Someone is interested in your business; fundamentally, they will want to know about the financials (both historical and future forecasts). Ensure you have a detailed business plan, financial model and realistic valuation figure in place.
Get your paperwork in order
Investors will look at your entire business, not just the financials, so anticipate questions covering all aspects of your company. Investors will expect detailed answers. Good legal housekeeping from the outset saves time and money when you want funding.
Attempting to sort out issues with paperwork (or a lack of documents) at the time of investment can slow down the process and in some cases stop the investment from taking place. A well organised business is much more attractive to investors and demonstrates that you know what you are doing.
Surround yourself with a strong team
A credible team can often give investors the comfort needed to invest, even if the business model still needs work. Ensuring you have a strong team (and this need not be big) of knowledgeable, experienced and trustworthy people and professional advisers is key. It shows that your business is well managed and possesses the skills to go to the next level.
Build your network
Building a successful business is hard work and it can be lonely at the top. Building a network of like-minded people can not only help keep you motivated but can lead to increased opportunities and raise the profile of your business.
Don’t waste your money
A well-known phrase is “a person doesn’t know how much he has to be thankful for until he has to pay taxes on it”. Ensure you keep an eye on your tax affairs to look out for potential opportunities and to mitigate risks. Getting the right tax advice can save you and your business money down the line.