CHAPTER TWO: Part B – What are the basic traits possessed by successful fund raisers. Every entrepreneur knows that there’s more to raising funds than simply stretching out your hand to ask for money. To successfully raise capital, there are certain traits, characteristics or qualities that you must possess. Your ability to develop and use these traits tactically will go a long way to determine if you will get the money you need or not.
In this write up, I will be highlighting the basic qualities or traits you need to succeed in the game of small business financing and fund raising. I will also point out the exact way each trait can benefit you in your quest to raise money.
4 Qualities or Traits You Need to Successfully Raise Startup Funds
1. Strong determination
“Without passion, you don’t have energy. Without energy, you have nothing.” – Warren Buffett
This is the most important quality that you need to succeed in your fund raising quest. Without strong determination, you would quickly give up after facing one or two of the harrowing challenges that accompany the process.
“Passion keeps you going, when the going gets tough.” – Warren Buffett
Determination is a product of passion and self belief. When you are passionate about what you do and you strongly belief in the workability of your product, determination follows. Determination toughens your skin towards rejection, it keeps your eyes fixed on your long-term goals and blinded to the harsh challenges that you will encounter along the way. It helps you stay on track and fuels you with optimism.
“Patience; this is the greatest business asset. Wait for the right time to make your moves.” – J. Paul Getty
As stated earlier, some investors or loan-issuing institutions could be very annoying. They may take too long to review and respond to your proposal, leaving you to fall sick of suspense and anxiety. Worse, they may reject your proposal for flimsy reasons even after showing great enthusiasm initially.
As far as raising funds for your business is concerned, you are at the mercy of these investors or loan-issuers; even though you own the business idea or concept. This is more true especially when you are a first time entrepreneur without much business experience or track record. So, you must be ready to play along with them if you really want to succeed.
“The world belongs to the patient man.” – The Mafia Manager
Some investors would eventually buy your idea after making you believe that your business idea is not worth a dime; or doing all sorts of things that would make you think they are not interested. You never can tell what an investor’s final decision would be. So, don’t blow your chances by acting or reacting unprofessionally. Give potential investors or creditors all the time they need to make a decision that satisfies them.
“If you are the anvil, be patient. If you are the hammer; strike.” – The Mafia Manager
Also, you should never try to force your idea down an investor’s throat, as this will send wrong signals that may make them nurse doubts over your idea. If your idea is promising, you will get the funds you need. If you get a negative response, then take it in good faith. It may not necessarily mean that your idea isn’t good. It may be because the investor or creditor doesn’t just have enough funds to pump into your idea, or your idea is in his / her industry of competence.
3. Business sense
“To succeed in business, to reach the top, an individual must know all that is possible to know about that business.” – J. Paul Getty
The next trait investors look out for in entrepreneurs seeking funding is passion and core competence. No investor / lender would want to put money in a fly-by-night idea; they want to put money in a business that the entrepreneur is truly passionate about. Most importantly, investors / lenders want to put money in a business where you, the entrepreneur is willing to work for free; at least to some certain extent.
Also, you must be very knowledgeable about the business you are raising funds for. In fact, you must know your business industry like the back of your hand; that even if you are awakened from sleep and questioned about your business, you will deliver without stuttering.
“See thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before vain men.” – Proverbs 22: 29
4. Your sales skills
“The ability to sell is the number one skill in business. If you cannot sell, don’t bother thinking about becoming a business owner.” – Rich Dad
The last and most important key to your fund raising success is your ability to sell, and this prevails over most other factors. Now why must you learn how to sell? Selling is a crucial skill that you must have as an entrepreneur, and this is because when it comes to raising funds, the commonest question on the lips or in the minds of investors and creditors is, “What are you selling?”
In addition to introducing your business idea and your plans for actualizing it, you must be able to explain how the investor or creditor will gain from the deal. Investors want a healthy return on their investment. And though they know you cannot be 100% accurate, they want an estimate of how much profit they will get back from the business if they invest their money.
To up your chances of getting the funds you need, you must be able to brilliantly present the business model as well as its profitability. This is why sales, persuasion and presentation skills are very important to the fund raising process. Here’s how to sell your business idea to investors.