Work with investors

Earn the trust of your investors and shareholders.
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Work with investors and shareholders FAQs

Unless you can self-fund your business, you'll need to work with investors and/or seek financing. It's important to know your business well and how investors might view your business as a potential investment.

What are investors looking for when evaluating startups?

Investors are primarily looking for one thing: ROI. How investors attempt to decide if they will see a return on their investment usually include:

A clear, well-thought-out Business Plan

Your Business Plan must be exceptional and smart. Investors look through thousands of Business Plans; yours must stand out. You must show in your plan how well you manage challenges such as how your product or service meets market demand.

A capable, committed team

They are looking for a team with the talent and time required to meet business objectives. They may even ask to interview team members and/or ask for their qualifications.

Available market and market demand

No matter how much you love your product, it doesn't matter to investors if there is no market demand for your product or if the market is already saturated.

An exit plan and schedule for seeing profit

Investors want to know how long they'll have to wait to see their investment pay off. They may decide to not invest in a company if they feel it will take too long to see a profit.

How do I write a Business Plan?

Not only do you need a Business Plan to show investors, but you should also go through the process to help you thoroughly evaluate the needs of your business. While writing your business plan you'll need to consider your team and business structure, the market, budget and finances, product offerings and services, and funding needs. These are business topics you need to be thinking about anyway. Keep in mind that your Business Plan is just a starting point and the document can evolve as your business does. We provide a Business Plan document builder as well as tips on how to write an effective executive summary.

How do I communicate with my shareholders?

You should establish a plan for how you intend to communicate with your shareholders. A similar plan could also apply to stakeholders. You want to keep your shareholders informed, but you don't want to over-communicate. Over-communicating could slow down processes and interfere with meeting project or production goals or it could cause doubt where doubt is not needed.

To communicate with your shareholders, you may consider:

  • Sending out quarterly newsletters
  • Providing annual walk-throughs of the business or a meet-our-investors type event
  • Polling investors to find out what topics they care about the most
  • Honestly communicating challenges and how your plan to address them
  • Allowing them the option of choosing how they want to be communicated with and how often
  • Creating a "disaster plan" in case a major issue arises so you can handle it quickly