It wasn’t so long ago that investors were clamouring to jump on board the green startup train. After all, there was a lot of enthusiasm about renewables and green businesses back then.
Well, things are a little different today. A lot of failure in the green industry has put people off in a big way. But that isn’t to say you can’t attract private investors.
In this guide, I’m going to go through a few tips that green business owners with great new product ideas can use to draw the attention of investors. Let’s get started right away.
Work on your elevator speech
I’m going to go into your business plan in a moment, but right now, it’s all about the one-liner. Your elevator pitch is what gets investors interested in your business – and makes them open your business plan. Without it, your entire project plan will just be tossed into the nearest waste bin – with all the others. So it is critical to get your elevator pitch perfect. ‘Be brief, be good, be gone’ – that’s all you need to know. Your pitch should say what your business does and leave nothing unknown. For complicated business cases, yes; it can be tricky. Nonetheless, it is still critical to finding investment.
The business plan
Of course, the business plan is also critical to your success in grabbing some investment. Make sure it is watertight, and never try fudging figures. The business plan should highlight why your product exists, and also who it is for. The idea is to show the investor that you have a lot of belief in your product but are also realistic with your numbers. It will show that you understand business, and can be trusted with large amounts of their cash.
The first meeting
There are plenty of guides online where you can find out where to meet VCs and angel investors – read them. However, I wanted to talk about your first meeting with your investor. It is essential that you are as brief and as clear as possible. Investors tend to be busy people, who often move from one meeting to the next. So, be memorable without being irritating. Pitch your product, hand over your plan and business card, and leave it at that. Never hassle an investor – you’ll just be wasting your time and antagonising them.
The intro to your business
An investor may want to come and see you in action at your place of work. It goes without saying that you should make sure everything is in perfect condition. If they are handing over a lot of money, the likelihood is they will have a team inspecting every last inch of your enterprise. Every last piece of machinery, from hydraulic hoses to PCs might be checked. It can be terrifying, of course. But on the plus side, it will show you they are extremely interested in your ideas.
Be flexible on your team
Finally, be prepared for your business to be shaken up a little if you find a willing investor. In essence, they are taking over a proportion of your business – and they will want it to succeed. If that means bringing in their own team, so be it. Your current employees and team might be put out of joint -even out of a job. But, as always, these are the kinds of risks you go through when selling part of your business.