If you’ve been managing your own business for a while now, and now you need outside investment to help you build the company further, you’re probably thinking about finding some investors in the New Year. While getting people excited enough about your venture to part with their cash and time relies on having an excellent product or service, you also need to be attractive yourself. That is, investors are faced with numerous opportunities every day, so to make their decisions, they look at not just the business itself but also who will be leading it into the future.
If you want to get a hot cash injection, you must be the kind of business manager people want to back. Read on for some of the top ways you can go about becoming this type of leader and entrepreneur in the coming months.
Be Educated and Interested in Learning
When investors examine the people who will lead a venture, they are always on the lookout for those who are not only educated but also interested in continuing to learn. They are put off by owners who feel that they already know everything, as usually investors want to be able to impart their advice and give suggestions on how the organization will move forward.
You can show investors you’re a good person to work with by educating yourself on relevant matters. For example, consider enrolling in a business degree, such as this William and Mary MBA, so you can learn about helpful topics like leadership, human resources, sales, marketing, accounting, finance, international relations, psychology and more.
Also, remember to ask investors questions, when you chat with them, about the level of involvement they would like in the venture if they decide to invest in it. Show them that you’re open to hearing and following their suggestions and keen to receive mentoring from them, so you can grow as a person and as a leader and manager.
Have Well-Developed Communication and Interpersonal Skills
Something else investors hope to see when they meet with business founders is well-developed communication and interpersonal skills. After all, they want to feel like they will be able to effectively discuss strategies, changes, ideas and other details with you on a regular basis, and they hope you know how to listen, not just talk.
Investors will want you to demonstrate that you can get your point across to other parties. For instance, as a company leader, you will need to speak well to your team members and be able to inspire and motivate them suitably, not to mention train and discipline them as required.
Being a good communicator and having top interpersonal skills will ensure you can handle conflict and resolve issues quickly, negotiate, read and use body language in a helpful way and handle your own emotions, so you don’t go flying off the handle any time something goes wrong. It will also mean you have the ability to have effective conversations with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, such as customers, suppliers, board members, journalists and so on.
Have the Kinds of Personal Characteristics Investors Want to See
When it comes to being the kind of business manager investors want to back, you also need to have the kinds of personal characteristics that make for a good leader and CEO. Investors want to see that you not only have the necessary knowledge to run your venture well but that you also have helpful traits which will be utilized on a day to day basis.
For example, passion and drive are essential. Investors want to believe you have these qualities in spades so regardless of how challenging the role gets, you’ll have enough “in the tank” to keep going. Being passionate about your business and what it offers, and driven to succeed and achieve your and the venture’s goals, will make it easier for you to keep working hard and looking for solutions when many other people might give up.
Investors are often on the hunt for business managers who show they are flexible and adaptable. These traits are key because having them means you will change course when needed, be able to keep up with new ideas and strategies and won’t be so fixated on plans that you try to stick to them even if all the evidence shows an idea or direction will no longer work.
Other characteristics you should work to develop in yourself to impress investors (and help you become a successful entrepreneur) include having confidence and a clear vision, being focused, having a creative bent, being good at problem-solving and time management and having an eye for detail.