How can you pitch your startup for better funding?

You have got an idea, one which is great, workable and sustainable and is eagerly waiting for someone to fund it, as there are many investors out there who wish to invest in projects that are feasible, viable, and innovative. It is you who will have to market your startup.

startup fundingFor a good impact of your idea, you have to go through a thoughtful planning process and prepare well to explain your idea in the best possible way. You can take some time now to make yourself ready for the event (presentation).

Your introduction and few moments of your initial time can win or lose the attention of probable venture capitalist or angel investor for him to decide to bet money on you or not.

An angel investor eats, breathes and dreams of ideas which he/she can fund and profit out of it. Here are few tips on how you can pull the angel investor to fund your project.

  1. Have your details ready

Before you contact investor, have 15 to 20 slides that cover all your business aspects. Few slides can be the description of your product/services. How will you market your product/services? What is the demographic who will use your product or services? Your business model and how will you scale up?

Marketing strategies that you will adopt? Who are your competitors in the field? Who will all be your team members and their roles? How much money and time you will need to spend to achieve breakeven point? How will you spend money and how much will you profit from your sales?

By discussion you can get feedback from your friends and relatives once they go through your idea. Present them your ideas and get feedback on the positive and negative part of your idea and its presentation.

Do not argue but listen to your friends carefully the questions they put up. You can also ask them what they did not understand in your presentation. What points or topic was not clear to them.

Before you think of talking to any investor do your homework thoroughly. Be ready with the trial run and rehearsal before the launch.

  1. Build a vibrant team

Fundraising is an important part for any startup. One of the smartest moves is to have a team of advisors who will introduce you to great investors. The team should be such that it should be passionate and committed to your idea too.

Instead of cash, you can commit each member with small equity in your enterprises. Maybe some may even be ready to invest. Many startup companies often skip the step of forming a right team of advisors.

You may know few people. Each member of your team also knows few people. If you pool everything you will know lots of people. There are many investors who have quite a lot of cash lying unproductive, idle or inactive with them and may be looking for less risky investments.

  1. Practice your lines

Practice makes man perfect so goes the saying and it fits perfectly when it is time to display your presentation. While displaying your idea to potential investor rehearse your lines thousand times. Go through your speech, practice in front of the mirror. Though it may sound silly and awkward, when you know your lines perfectly it builds up your confidence which is important.

Once you are prepared and confident, calmness follow. Being calm you will able to answer all the hard questions put up by the investor. Satisfied answers really matter.

  1. Know whom you are meeting

Find out details about the investor you planned to meet. If you know what interests and what bores your investor, you will not be in unchartered waters. Both can forge a better friendship and understanding.

You should know if the investor has been an entrepreneur, if yes he will understand you better. Has your investor failed in any startup, if yes he will have apprehension about the project? Was he in the past an associate investor or a principal investor? Though these are small things they will help you to decide which line of action you should take.

Be flexible, we all make mistakes and do have a share of bad and good days. Once you fail, remember to get up and start walking again. Life goes on and on and on.

How to Interact with Customers on Social Media Channels?

In today’s setup businesses cannot ignore social media intersection with their clients especially to improve brand awareness. Word-of-mouth and newspaper advertisement is the things of the past. Customers prefer to interact with brands on social media.

social mediaEven the most conservative and traditional businesses houses wish to make their own social media presence on Facebook, Twitter etc. or have their own website.

Even publishers operating from narrow bye-lanes in the old part of the city who are operating from one of the dark and dingy room of an old building, with hardly any ventilation, who have just electric connection now have a computer and a fully operational website.

Interacting with sellers, purchasers, vendors, and customers on social media are the decisive and crucial aspect of the marketing plan. How businesses can interact with customers through social media channels is discussed below.

  1. Importance of Social Media

In today’s age and time conversations happen on social media. Social media has become a type of customer service center for businesses. For whatever type of business one is conducting small, medium or large.

It provides certain benefits like lead generation, increased awareness, increased exposure, and reduced marketing costs, online search ranking and developing customer’s loyalty. The businessman must know which platform to choose from where he gets more audience and his business grows.

Large numbers of people are using social media for various different purposes and hence businesses cannot ignore it. They have to actively engage with the customers or they lose the opportunity to gain more users.

  1. Social media presence

Having cardinal relations with customers is an essential factor for the growth of any business. If a better relation exists between the business and customer, the business is in the better position to effectively grow. The strategy is simple but it should be used effectively to engage followers on social media.

Businesses should open up multiple communication channels and should be responsive and have their presence felt on social media. By staying integrated that is social and call center teams communicate seamlessly about latest updates and details on customers preferences.

They should have hands-on experience on engagement and be ready to welcome both positive and negative comments with an open mind.

If possible to manage the brand, the company can have a dedicated person to manage customers on social media. One can engage customers in various ways on social media.

Like you can take a problem statement and start the conversation by posting it on social media. The existing and/or prospective customer can share their opinion. Later on, you can promote your product or services by offering a solution.

  1. Choose platform which suits your business

There is no single platform or rule for social media interaction. It is by trial and error method that one figures out which suits the business the best. One has to evolve by learning and adapt your marketing strategies according to the platform one is using.

The best way is to treat the customer is such a way he wants himself to be treated. Do take care of the medium you are using. Each has a different approach like Facebook for more informal approach is better and LinkedIn should be used for more professional and formal approach. Instagram is a good platform if you wish to share a story. So on and so forth.

  1. Engage your customers but do not infringe their privacy

There are certain things to keep in mind while engaging your customers. You can have a relevant conversation with the customer but do not encroach into their mind space.

One should try to post blogs/articles relevant to the industry. While writing an article or blog sees to it that you do not focus only on your company’s product or services. You can post gathered information and interesting articles which are in trend and are relevant to your customers.

  1. Feedback and analysis

It is important to know your target audience and understand their needs. With so many multimedia apps available today you can acknowledge, wish and thank your customers.

Never ever ignore feedback you receive. Take it in your stride be it positive or negative and remember to analysis feedbacks. As they threw up an important and direct message about your businesses and ways to improve it.