If you are going to grow your business beyond your capacities, you WILL need to invest money. The question is how to get them? We talked to Fred Cary, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of IdeaPros, and Rusty Allen, founder of RAD Product Development, about angel investors and how to get one on your team.
We all run into problems especially if we are entrepreneurs. What makes all the difference is how we deal with them. Someone with a negative mindset will look at a problem like it’s a mountain to climb. Someone with a positive mindset will focus on the bright side. After all, you are creating something that doesn’t exist and this cannot be done without obstacles.
Entrepreneurs often think that launching a product or an app is the finish line after which they can relax and collect the money. The truth is that the real adventure has only just started. You need cash to keep moving forward and growing your business. Although it is possible to grow a company on bare-bones, it will go at a much slower pace than it would with additional capital.
In our previous shows, we talked about different ways to raise money and one is getting an angel investor on your team. The difference between angel investors and venture capital firms is that angel investors are mostly individuals that operate in groups. Super angels will invest you by themselves.
What’s good about an angel investor is that you don’t have to be far along.
Entrepreneurship is not a straight line that lands us exactly where we imagined it would. More often than not, we end up on dead-end roads. This is where we should get creative and not give up. If you are feeling alone, talking to someone with a positive mindset in your environment can be very helpful.
“A positive mindset means waking up every single day knowing that whatever comes your way – you’re going to embrace it.” – Fred Cary
On the other hand, a venture capital firm won’t consider you unless you are already making money. You will have to meet their demanding terms and have a growing business.
Angel investors are doctors or lawyers who want to make additional money by risking a part of their capital. In a sense, they are entrepreneurs who are too busy to embark on the entrepreneurial journey on their own, but they are more than interested in taking that risk with you. They might have that $25,000 to $50,000 you need to go forward.
However, it’s crucial to understand what an angel investor is looking for. They are not looking for unrealistic numbers or people who tell them they will capture 1% of a $10 billion market. They are looking for someone who did the research, can present a line of activities, and how they relate to the capital. Talk about a problem you will solve and who is your typical customer. Bring your knowledge to a personal level that an angel investor can understand.
If the investor knows more about your competitors and marketplace, you are not getting the money. If you don’t know the answer to a question, be honest about it. Explain in a compelling way to your potential investor why this is a good investment for both of you.
“Be reasonable, respectful, persistent, realistic in evaluations, and believe in what you have.” – Fred Cary
We talked to Rusty Allen, founder of RAD Product Development, about getting an angel investor on your team, as he has been successfully raising money that way for years. Preparing a pitch that will convince investors to get involved is crucial. You want them to be excited about your idea and talk about it over a glass of wine with their friends. Make video interviews with your potential customers that will show them that your product or app is more than just a dream. Do not over-complicate things. Be clear on how the investors can make money investing in your idea. Take into consideration if that person is a good match for you to work with.
At the moment, Rusty is talking to a potential investor for his CBD products for dogs, Happy Canine. The potential investor is the owner of a 120-year-old pet company from Boston who has recently gone through cancer, and CBD has changed his life. Someone who wants to invest in you and has the critical market knowledge of the area you are in is your dream angel. This person understands what you’re doing, knows the market, and can open a lot of doors for you. You are not always going to find people like that, but you should at least look for them.
Once you find someone ready to invest in you, how do you define the ratio between that investment and the equity you give back?
With a decent product, you’re probably not out of line asking for a million-dollar valuation, even right at the very beginning. When you are deciding about the equity you will offer to the investor have in mind that the money you are getting will make the difference between your survival, potential growth, and not having any chance at all. It is not going to be easy. If you persist and persevere then you are going to make it.
The “Idea Pros” at IdeaPros have the resources, experience, and tools to help you at this step or any step in the entrepreneurial journey.
We partner with entrepreneurs at any stage and who are ready to invest their ideas. Apply for an interview and let’s explore partnering together.
Want to see the products we have launched? Check out IdeaPros Launchpad!