Top Questions Investors Ask Part 2

Top Questions Investors Ask Part 2

“Be prepared, work hard, and hope for a little luck. Recognize that the harder you work and the better prepared you are, the more luck you might have.” –Ed Bradley

Searching out, pitching to, and bringing on investors can be a lengthy and involved process. You can make it smoother by being as prepared as possible. This article is the second in our series covering questions you can expect to hear from investors. We will include queries about your products or services, the competition, and customer acquisition. It is not a complete list, but we hope that it helps you prepare and have the smoothest process possible.

Your Products and Services
Your product or service is the core of what you are trying to get funding for, so now is your time to answer questions about what you created and are passionate about! Investors are looking to back something with a unique selling proposition (USP) that solves a particular customer problem.

  • Why should people care about your product or service?
  • What is different about your product or service?
  • Are you first to market?
  • Won’t a large corporation just build something like this?
  • If you are first to market, why hasn’t it been done before?
  • Were there earlier versions? If so, what did you learn from them?
  • Do you have patents secured or pending?
  • How do you plan on improving or adding on to your product or service in the future?

The Competition
You will always have competition, even if you are first to market. If you cannot identify your direct and indirect competitors, you are likely to have credibility problems with potential investors. A good rule of thumb is to be knowledgeable about your top 5 direct and indirect competitors.

  • Who is your company’s competition?
  • Are there barriers to market entry?
  • What competitive advantage do you have over your competition?
  • Does your competition have advantages over you?
  • Compared with other businesses in your market, how do you compete on price, features, and performance?

Marketing and Customer Acquisition
You may have the most amazing, unique, and desirable product or service, but if you have no way to market and acquire new customers, you are dead in the water. So investors are going to be very interested in how much research you have done on your target market and your strategies for making money through sales. If you haven’t released to the market yet, you will need to research similar companies and project based on the data.

  • How much does it cost to acquire new customers?
  • What is the lifetime value of a customer?
  • Have you done focus groups? What did you learn from them?
  • What are your social media and PR strategies?
  • What is your marketing plan?
  • Describe the typical sales cycle from initial customer contact through closing the sale?
  • What is the client’s cycle? Are there opportunities for up-sales or repeat business?

The more you know which questions you will need to answer, the more prepared you can be for a successful round of fundraising. In our first article “Top Questions Investors Ask Part 1” we covered questions about the big picture of your company, the founder(s) and team, as well as your market. In our next installment, we will look at your company’s traction, the risks and threats, and your exit strategy.

Who Does Equity Crowdfunding Work Best for?

Who Does Equity Crowdfunding Work Best for?

Do you have a great business idea you want to get off the ground? Is your company ready to jump to the next stage of growth? Do you want to launch a new product or service line? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, congratulations!

These are all stages when it’s common for business owners to realize they will need an influx of cash to make their dream possible. Equity crowdfunding is one of the fastest growing methods for raising capital but is it a good fit for your company or business idea? Answer the questions below and see for yourself.

Do you have a plan?
The importance of having a solid business model or plan cannot be overstated. There are different types of business plans and methods for developing them. Regardless of which direction you go, the plan should include the items below:

  • Company description
  • Market analysis
  • Organization and management
  • Service or product line
  • Marketing and sales
  • Target market(s)
  • Funding request
  • Financial projections

Are you prepared to not own 100% of your company?
Equity crowdfunding is not like “traditional” crowdfunding where investors are donating an amount of money for a prize or a discounted rate for the product. With equity crowdfunding, investors get to own a percentage of your company in exchange for the money they are putting into your business. As the business owner, you can determine the amount of equity you are willing to give away to investors. For example, you can choose to allow investors to own 15% of your company and you retain 85% ownership. Understand though that there is a direct correlation between the amount of money invested and the percentage of ownership. Usually, the more money you are asking for, the more of your company you will have to let go to shareholders.

Are you ready for the accountability?
As we mentioned before, you will have shareholders. These are the investors who have given you their money and now own a percentage of your company. This means you could have a group of people you need to communicate with on various topics including how the company is performing. If you want complete autonomy and the idea of being answerable to a group of shareholders is not appealing to you, then equity crowdfunding may not be a good fit for you.

Are you ready to participate?
Companies like Crowdfunder provide a platform for you to connect with investors, but this is not a “build it and they will come” scenario. To have a successful, public, equity crowdfunding campaign, you must be willing to be an active participant in the process of building and maintaining momentum. A plan for marketing your campaign and getting it in front of investors is a must. An effective campaign includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Create a dynamic company profile on the platform
  • Fill out the investment profile
  • Tell your story! Investors often want more than just numbers to invest in they want to invest in you. Connect with them by sharing your story
  • Leverage social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., to raise awareness of your public fundraising campaign
  • Actively follow up with interested investors

Equity crowdfunding is not a good fit for every company, but if you answered yes to the questions above then come check out or platform! We’re excited to get hear your story and work with you to get your dream funded.

The All-in-One Startup Funding Guide

From the desk of Chance Barnett, CEO of Crowdfunder

There is a proven process to successfully raising startup funding.

I’ve learned about the process over the years by getting to know a few of the worlds most successful serial entrepreneurs, by raising millions myself from angels & VCs, by investing as an angel, and as CEO of the VC fund + equity investment platform Crowdfunder.com.

Across all this investment and fundraising activity, I’ve seen that the most successful fundraises have a several key elements in common. Below are five parts to successful fundraising for your startup — with specific examples, templates, and resources.

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Investing In Socially Responsible Companies

Read Full Article on Seeking Alpha

Summary

  • Impact investing continues to gain traction.
  • In the near future a standard will be established for impact criteria.
  • Impact investors may attain similar results to more traditional vehicles though it may require a longer investment horizon for gains to be realized.

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Beginner’s Guide to Angel Investing

Have some extra cash and want to start investing in startups? Become an Angel Investor. An Angel Investor is a private investor who provides working capital for business startups in exchange for equity. Angel investing is a risky investment but the reward is great if you pick winners. Because the majority of startups fail, due diligence is key. Here are the factors to consider when evaluating startup investment opportunities.

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10 Tips for a Successful Seed Round

You came up with an idea. Started a business. Built an MVP and attracted users to the platform. You now need funds to scale. It’s time for your seed round. The success of your seed round will determine the success of the business. Follow these tips, to make sure you get it right the first time.

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Startup Investing Guide

We have seen massive growth within the crowdfunding industry over the past 5 years. In 2010, the crowdfunding market was relatively small comprised mainly of early adopters. Fast forward to 2015 where projections show the crowdfunding industry to be an estimated $34 billion.

Crowdfunder is at the forefront of this burgeoning industry where over 100,000 entrepreneurs and investors connect to fund startups. As startup investing continues to move from boardrooms to the online platforms, accredited investors will continue to leverage this to gain access to trending startups to invest in.

In this post, you’ll learn the most important things to consider when investing in startups on Crowdfunder. This includes following the lead investor as this means the Deal terms are set and it also provides social proof that they’ve done their diligence. We will also cover how to evaluate the management team as well as what metrics to look for that will point to success down the line. Lastly, we will look into industry trends and startups Deal terms.

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Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World

Pre-Order BOLD Today

From the coauthors of the New York Times bestseller Abundance comes their much anticipated follow-up: BOLD – a radical, how-to guide for using exponential technologies, moonshot thinking, and crowd-powered tools to create extraordinary wealth while also positively impacting the lives of billions.

Hear what Bill Clinton, Eric Schmidt and Michael Dell have to say about BOLD:

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