Starting a small business is the ultimate working dream for many. When you take the plunge to finally make it happen you’ll have lots to think about. One of the major considerations will be securing funds.

If you’re starting off a new business you may need a hand to get your vision off the ground. An organisation like SCORE could provide the support you need; it’s a Small Business Administration that has helped thousands of small businesses launch and grow.

Bear the following tips in mind as you start the process of securing investment for your small business:

1. Start early

If you have savings that you can put towards launching your business or expanding it, make it one of the first things you do. If you’re looking to secure investment and raise funds for your business, you’ll be impressing potential investors by showing them that you’re committed to your idea and backing it with your own money.

2. Have a plan

If you want to be taken seriously by investors, you need to make sure you have a growth plan in place so that you’re able to demonstrate a realistic outlook for further expansion.
This will give investors the confidence that you are serious about your plans. Investors will expect a long-term plan for development, with detail and forecast revenue; a good idea in isolation isn’t enough.

3. Recruit well

If your start-up is larger than a one-person operation it’s essential you have a solid team of people behind you. An experienced, enthusiastic and knowledgeable team around you provides potential investors with confidence. Choose wisely!

4. Approach experienced investors

Background research will prove whether or not a potential investor has experience when it comes to companies similar to you. You should ideally approach those who have a good track record when it comes to helping businesses comparable to you. They may offer more than just money - their knowledge and previous experience could be extremely valuable for you.

5. Point of Sale System

A Point of Sale System is where your customers make payments for items that they buy from your company. Such a system allows you to have much better control over your business operations as you know exactly what’s been sold on a daily or monthly basis, how many products you have in the warehouse and how much money you’ve made. You can keep track of your inventory through analyzing sales processes, sales reports and other data.

6. Be patient

Raising funds is never going to be straightforward and it most certainly won’t happen overnight. It takes time and patience so stick with it and don’t give up - honestly, it will be worth it in the end.

7. Be flexible

Investors want to see a return after offering you funding, so make sure that you’re flexible with the level of control that you are giving them when it comes to the decision making process. If they’re able to see that you can easily be a success without too much legislation and paperwork, they might be likely to invest.

8. Showcase your best pitching skills

If you’re looking to gain investment, you really need to possess strong pitching skills. Investors need to see a clear and concise plan of the future direction of your business, exactly how their money is going to help, and when they might see a return on their investment. Practice makes perfect so make sure that you don’t neglect the preparation stage.

Securing investments can be a daunting process, but it can be done. Prepare thoroughly, do your homework, be confident, explain your vision clearly, and you’ll have a great chance of succeeding.