How to Get Funding from Angel Investors – Small Business #sba #loan #programs


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How to Get Funding from Angel Investors

Tips

  • Angel investors can be an option for start-ups with the potential to earn high profits.
  • Expect close scrutiny. Many angels are former entrepreneurs and like to be involved and give business advice.
  • Angel investors tend to specialize, so look into their investing history to ensure there’s a good match.
  • Related How-Tos

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    Small businesses looking for financial help from an angel often turn to individuals willing to invest in promising, start-up opportunities. Angel investors can be a good funding source to consider after you ve tapped your friends and relatives. But angels usually don t write blank checks. They ll want to see progress and a way to exit the deal down the line with meaningful profits. So expect angel investors to do a lot of research and careful investigation into your business plan.

    Be thoughtful in approaching potential investors. Biotech investors, for example, don t want to hear about a clothing manufacturer. A scattershot approach is likely to turn them off. Industry associations, local trade groups or, in some states, business-incubator centers can help point to potential angels.

    Angel investors often invest through groups or networks. These provide due diligence, extra research, access to potential deals and shared expertise that one person operating alone generally doesn t have. For instance, one member of an angel group might have background in a particular industry or the know-how to set up deal terms, sharing that knowledge with the other investors.

    Angel investors are usually thorough, so don t expect to get your money quickly. It could take several months to meet with different individuals or groups and answer all of their questions. (There are exceptions, including the case of Google, which got funding from an angel before its cofounders finished their presentation to him.)

    Because they ll own a part of your company, they ll likely want a say in major decisions, and they ll watch to see whether you listen to them. Don t expect them to write a check and walk away. Many angel investors are former business owners who want to help people like themselves. They may be able to provide good advice based on their previous experiences.

    Getting funding from angel investors isn t easy, but it can be done if you take the right approach and are a good match with their interests. And the benefits can beyond the money for your business, but their expertise in both in business operations and your industry niche.

    Related WSJ Articles and Blog Posts:

    Online Tools:

    • Bplans’ Free Sample Business Plans — Dozens of example business plans from Palo Alto Software, a seller of business-planning software.
    • Finance Primer: A Guide to SBA’s Loan Guaranty Programs — An online training course on financing for a small business and loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, a federal agency.

Additional Resources:

  • Angel Capital Foundation’s Listing of Angel Groups — Links to dozens of angel networks, capital databases and matching services, and other resources, from an organization founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a promoter of entrepreneurship.
  • National Business Incubator Association — A directory of business incubators.

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