Helena Murphy, founder and director of Raising Partners
Helena Murphy is founder and director of Raising Partners, an investment firm on a mission to make raising investment as easy as possible. She tells BQ her top tips on raising business investment.
Securing investment can seem like a pipe dream - something that only happens to people who know people, after all it’s ‘who you know, not what you know’ in business isn’t it?
There are many misconceptions about raising investment, but one of the biggest is that all you need is friends in high places and a pitch deck.
In actual fact, there’s a lot more involved in securing investment but it needn’t be the stumbling block that stops you from achieving your business goals. You just need to be prepared to put in the work required, have a proactive attitude, and a certain amount of patience.
As someone who has more than a decade of experience as an entrepreneur, and now sitting on the other side of the table as an investor, I can certainly say I’ve learnt some tough lessons along the way.
If you’re about to undertake an investment round, following these simple rules is a good place to start:
Rule 1: Be bold
The worst that can happen is someone says no (and if they do that’s not necessarily a bad thing - you can learn from their feedback).
You have to take calculated risks, put yourself out there and be proactive about finding investors. It’s very rare for someone to just walk into your life and offer you a million pounds to grow your business – if you want it, you have to go out there and get it.
Rule 2: Believe in yourself and your business
If you don’t believe that you deserve this investment and that you and your business have what it takes to be the next big thing, then why should anyone else?
Rule 3: Do your research and get good advice
You can’t wing raising investment. You need to have a plan and then you need to have the time, resource and good advisors who can help you get there.
Raising money costs both time and money initially, both of which you can save a lot of if you get good advice and help from the beginning.
Rule 4: Don’t underestimate the importance of first impressions
If you are asking someone for substantial sums of money, then you want to make sure you make a good impression and show them that you are taking the process seriously. This means investing in a good pitch deck, knowing your numbers inside and out and being respectful of an investor’s time and feedback. And ensure you present accurate and realistic numbers and business predictions. If you try to blindside your investors with smoke and mirrors, you’ll soon get caught out.
Rule 5: Give it time
If you think your business might need finance in the next 6-12 months, you need to start thinking about how you are going to do that now. The whole process takes between 4 and 6 months end to end, from you first putting together your business plan to pitching to investors and having the money in your bank account. It can be shorter, but rarely, and as I learned the hard way, it often takes much longer than you think! Don’t sell yourself short by not getting organised early on.
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