Since you already have a great business plan (you purchased and used BizPlanBuilder so I know!), I want to address some of the psychological influences that may be stopping you from continuing, seeking and getting the money you need to build your business.
Investors want to invest!
They’re praying to their God every day that someone comes in with something worth investing in… Someone like You. Like Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss every shot you don’t take.” Woody Allen said, “90% of success is showing up.”
There’s no shame in asking for money!
Investing in a small business these days is proving to be proven to outperform the stock market and certainly better than leaving your money to languish in a bank. This makes your deal the best bet going today –You don’t have to be perfect and nothing is a “sure thing.” You just need to be a really good bet!
Now, just for fun, repeat – aloud – after me… “Daddy can I have $100?”
Demographically, most investors are middle-aged men. When you think back to your childhood and teenage years… How was it for you to ask your dad for money? Perhaps your parents had no money so you didn’t dare ask. Otherwise, perhaps your parents had money, but when you asked for some, they challenged and resisted — wanting to weigh-in on what you could/should do with it.
Now imagine asking an investor for $1 million!?!
Of course, investors today are not your father. He’s usually a guy in a certain marketplace looking for a good deal and wants to know why your product, why now, and why from you?! He’ll figure out how he’ll make money, how much, by when, and how likely that might be.
Demanding to judge
I remember a time in my childhood when I wanted to take $7 out of my bank account to buy a cool yellow plastic boat to play with in the pool. My mother wanted to be sure that I was learning to spend my money wisely and challenged me every which way possible to convince her that this was a good use of my savings. (In fact is was my entire savings!) After responding to all of her challenge questions I finally got my boat. Many years later, I realized that I’d subconsciously built that intentionality into my BizPlanBuilder business planning software — to help others convince a person with money to make a deal and share it with them so they could build their dream. I left no stone unturned — that’s probably why it’s been so successful for people.
Nevertheless, if you’ve had a less-than-easy experience asking your parents for money, today, all grown-up and face-to-face with a daddy-like character who can write you a check for $1 million, how will you feel about asking him for his money?
The Podcast included this week is my interview with hypnotherapist Dr. Steven Taubman. One of my requests during the interview was a brief hypnotherapy session on releasing whatever residual angst you may have from asking your parents for money! The conversation is about an hour, the 10-minute session is in the middle – I believe it’s worth listening in its entirety to get the most out of it.
Another reason you may be reluctant to write a business plan and engage investors is because you think they’ll look in every nook and cranny for what’s wrong with your business (and perhaps you). You can take it personally. Looking for anything can be an insult that could break your heart! But, you know what? Bring it on! You may learn a few important things. Nevertheless, it’s better that you think your business through first as much as possible, consider all the angles, and the possibilities! The better job you do on your business plan the better deal you’ll get. Or do you spend your entire savings on a boat?
Choose your investors wisely
Oren Klaff, in his book and webinars – Pitch Anything – talks about you establishing yourself and your deal as the “Prize.” Of course you want the investor’s money, and there are plenty of them out there. There’s no need to accept a cross-threaded investor just because you desperately need cashish. In fact, the horror stories I hear about entrepreneurs with investors are usually from this very cause. An investor who gets it can give your some great ideas and advice. (Unless it’s in your agreement, you don’t have to take it!) Disney pitched Disneyland some 600+ times, Colonel Sanders 1,110+, Babe Ruth hit 700+ home runs, but he also struck-out 1,300+ times. These days with all the tools available, it’s a lot easier.
Since most angels like to invest locally, a good place to start to find them would be asking your attorney, your accountant, and generally put the word out to your networking groups.
All of this is a huge topic
I just wanted to contribute some perspectives to loosen up your thinking. I hope it helps in some huge way! I’d love to hear your comments.