If you are a female entrepreneur trying to be a better fundraiser for your business, you’ll soon understand how tough it is for women-led ventures to raise funds. According to research, female investors only make up 4.4% of the industry. This might explain why their businesses only get 4.2% of venture capital funding. At the same time, it’s proven that male entrepreneurs are 40% more likely to get funding than their female counterparts.
Living in a world that is dominated by such staggering odds against you, how do we become better fundraisers against our male counterparts? Below are a few tips that will help you increase your success.
How Female Entrepreneurs Can Be Better Fundraisers
Funds in general never come easy. The majority of investors don’t want to risk breaking out of the norm. They go according to where the stats and strength of the current market are leading them. They also deem it fit to invest in an area their competitors are funding. So before starting your campaigns, make a list of all the investors you believe might be sympathetic to your cause or business. Research properly and plan everything accordingly.
Female fundraisers should remember, it always takes a lot of time to convince a lead investor. Don’t get impatient if it takes a long time. Once you manage to confirm one investor willing to risk his or her resources on you, it’s smooth sailing from then onwards to get others.
2. Speak in Digits
When you’re pitching to potential investors, make sure you have solid numbers on hand. Venture Capitalists, or VCs for short, love to hear numbers. Numbers are what they are comfortable with and numbers are usually where their area of expertise lies. You’ll perk their ears and they’ll begin to notice you once you start talking real numbers and projections. Lay out your long-term plan and explain your business model in a crisp, clear, and concise manner.
You might think that you have the upper hand while speaking about your business and future plans. But, if you get a single market statistic or financial stats wrong, the VCs will tear your report apart. Attend your meetings well prepared, leave no margin for error.
Your investors are obviously experts when it comes to finance and where to put their money for the most outcomes. When it comes to your company, you should be prepared to fight off any inquiry. Your investors will analyze every single number and break it down.
3. Define Your Future Plan
Plan your future activities and clearly define them during your pitch. The milestones you have achieved so far and the funding you have already managed to rake in are a huge plus. All of this should also be implied in budgetary terms. You should also have a good exit route planned for your potential investors. State an apparent actuarial management policy and different, realistic options.
When it comes to the future, you’ll have to face issues of your femininity as well. There will always be doubts that you will suddenly take maternity leave or succumb to domestic pressures just when things start to look up. This might seem outrageous, but female fundraisers state these as genuine concerns investors have. You as a woman will have to face such issues.
Your investors probably have twenty other meetings scheduled on the same day, and as statically proven, most will be men. You have to be convincing enough to make your investors prefer you over others.
4. Answer the “Why”
Crowdfunding campaigns rely heavily on generating an audience and attention through social media. To get investors interested in what you do, it’s imperative that they know why you’re doing it. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” says Simon Sinek, speaker and author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.
Your mission should be so well defined that no one would think to stop and question you. Your passion will make you stand out in a crowd of a faceless audience and help you connect with the people. You have to reach them out in such a way that they will relate to you. Always be prepared for any question thrown at you. Have your numbers memorized by heart as people think twice before arguing with facts proven by numbers.