Almost all business owners find that, at some point, they need a fresh influx of capital to help their business grow. However, approaching new and existing investors is rarely a fun part of the job. How can an entrepreneur build lasting relationships with experts who can one day turn into investors?
To find out how to make this difficult process both smooth and profitable, we asked members from FounderSociety this question:
Q. When it comes to seeking a potential investor, what’s your top tip for building or maintaining relationships with experts in your field?
1. Build relationships based on mutual benefits
2. Make connections
Make sure that not too much time passes before connecting with experts. Timing is everything; don’t let the moment pass—seize it! My company is all about building relations and connecting with others, and I apply this in my business and personal life, too. —Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs
3. Remember that it isn’t just about finances
Investors aren’t just walking additions to your budget. Remember that they’re professionals in their own right. Not only can they serve as valuable mentors to help you along in your industry, they can make for extremely valuable friends and colleagues. Think about what you can do for them, not the other way around. —Steven Buchwald, Buchwald & Associates
4. Balance connections and liberty
Investors are not just another way to inject money into your business—there is a lot more to look at as a business owner. You need an investor that is willing to act as a partner, but also willing to give you room. You don’t need them to be looking into your actions daily, and they should not be your boss. —Ajmal Saleem, Suprex Learning
5. Meet the investors as soon as you can
It’s important to get to know the investors way before you plan to raise money. I say hi to investors every time I meet them, send them quick emails with recent updates, and ask them for advice. Investors need to see that you are passionate about solving problems, capable of execution, and able to learn from your mistakes. This usually doesn’t happen in a day or a week. —Milan Steskal, Mentegram
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