Posted by 2014-08-13 18:37:00
Title: I am the founder and CEO of Halcyon Backpacking Company, a start-up outdoor-adventure travel company...
I’m going to restrict my answer to the two traditional types of investments equity and debt financing. I can hear people thinking, "crowd funding", but as it’s commonly used today (such as Indiegogo and KickStarter) isn’t a form of “investment per se, but really pre-sales. Please note that you’ll need to check the rules and regulations around looking for and acquiring investors depending on the scale of your plans.
Before you go looking for investors you’ll want to create an information package that will help educate people about your company. Suggested content could include:
· History of the Company
· Background of the Company principals
· Previous financials (income statements, cash flow, balance sheets)
· Financial Projections
· A review of your competitors
· SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)
There are a variety of places to search for investors but it’s always easy to start off with Friends and Family. These are the people that know you the best and would have likely known about your business plans from the get go. However there can strains on relationships if there are problems with the business.
Customers are often an over looked source of potential investors. These people already have some passion about your business. It’s not too much of a stretch to nurture these kinds of relationships and turn them in to a great source of investors.
Angel Investors are the original Dragons (Den) in my mind. They come from all walks of life and backgrounds, but are traditionally wealthier individuals and are/were executives and entrepreneurs themselves. The benefits of these kinds of investors lie in their wealth of experience and connections in addition to money. Some searches through Google should yield a number of Angel Investors/Groups in your area.
Given what I said about crowd funding, there are sites that deal with debt and equity. Rules governing debt/equity crowd funding are still being established here in Canada, but you can use the National Crowd Funding Association of Canadas website, ncfacanada.org to keep abreast of the changing landscape.
Regardless of your strategies for locating potential investors, you are looking for "passionate investors." This is important in my mind. There are many people/groups out there that can provide you money, but those who have passion, drive and belief in your endeavour (IMHO) will be better for the business in the long run.
I hope that this helps you along your entrepreneurial path!
Chief ! Officer, Think Idea DO Consulting