How To Raise Money For Your Startup

By Staff Reporter

May 10, 2019 09:09 PM EDT

The economy is booming right now, which has led many aspiring entrepreneurs to dust off their ancient plans for igniting a startup and get to work making their dreams a reality. As many of these budding business professionals are starting to realize, however, raising money for your startup is easier said than done, and many aspiring companies fail to ever take off precisely because they lack the necessary funding to achieve their ambitious goals.

There's no reason to allow your dreams to wallow away into nothing because you can't generate the capital you need to launch your startup. Here are some strategies for raising money for your startup, and why so many entrepreneurs find it challenging to win over the trust of investors.

Rely on non-traditional methods

If you're looking to raise money for your startup, it's likely that you've already pursued traditional options like loans and found them to be wanting. What you need is a non-traditional method that thinks outside the box and allows you to tap into the creative energy that's doubtlessly burgeoning within your startup. Nevertheless, most entrepreneurs have no idea how to go about bending the rules of the market to generate a buzz for themselves and draw in some cash they can use to launch their company.

First and foremost, forget everything you know about traditional fundraising. The digital age has upended our expectations of raising money for startups, as literally millions of people are now flocking to the online world in order to throw startup companies they love all the money they need to get off the ground. Startups are now beginning to rely on crowdfunding campaigns to such an impressive extent that businesses in the future may be uniquely dependent upon public funding campaigns in order to get started. Cryptocurrency also brings options with Initial Coin Offering (ICO) being more prominent.  ICOs allow startups to raise funds on the blockchain, allowing the participation of the masses in investments opportunities typically reserved for investment banks and the elites.

Outside of democratized means of using the internet to raise funds, you should also be reviewing the success stories enjoyed by other startups in an industry similar to yours. If you work in auto insurance, the business models of the best auto insurance companies should be a good guide to what you can hope to achieve.  If you're not following in the footsteps of those startups that have braved the daunting experience of foraying into the market, then it's almost a certainty that you're going to make one of the crucial mistakes that they made in their earliest days. Read up on how some startups raise hundreds of thousands of dollars without even having a product, and you may find the inspiration and knowhow you need to get your company moving in the right direction.

While you're at it, reviewing the common funding mistakes that too many rookie entrepreneurs make their first time entering the market is also worth your time. Entrepreneurs may think they're clever enough to spot the potholes that sank the prospects of other startups, but in reality, you never know what to be on the lookout for until you've been briefed, so learn from the mistakes of others.

Enlist the help of your team

Finally, if you think that generating funds is something that only you can do, you're making a sorry mistake that will end up haunting you in the long run. Any budding startup likely has an amateur team assembled and ready to go, so don't be afraid to rely on the expertise of your fellow employees when it comes to raising funds. Asking your team members to contribute ideas to the fundraising pool is essential, as some of your most talented workers may have hidden insights or connections that help you gain the cash you need to succeed.

This also means making your team members accessible to possible investors. Making it as clear as possible to your investors that you have full confidence in your team, you should be giving tours of your workspace and demonstrating the impressive potential of your human capital if you want to set yourself apart from the thousands of other startups groveling for cash. Over time, you'll come to realize that highlighting your stellar workforce is one of the most efficient means of setting yourself apart from others and gaining the capital you need to expand and start your business for real.

Despite the importance of your team, however, it all ultimately comes down to the founder. The business owner and startup leader must take responsibility, including knowing when they've failed and need to change course. There's nothing worse for your startup's prospects than an inability to change course when your current fundraising methods are clearly failing to generate any sustained support.

Know that raising money for a startup occurs in fits and starts rather than a sudden frenzy of cash, rely on your team, and know what mistakes have held back other entrepreneurs if you want to succeed at raising capital for your startup. Before long, your company will be at the top of the market itself, fending off new startups that are trying to replace you.

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