How To Attract Investors For Your Business In Kenya – One of the biggest challenges of Starting and Sustaining a Business is in Kenya is getting the Capital Required. Getting an investor is the best way to maneuver around money problems. Having an investor in Kenya is very beneficial to Kenyan start-ups and struggling businesses. Why? Not only do investors provide funding, they also contribute ideas, technical support and act as a motivation for businesses. Investors act as the best bridge for value connections between your business and various industry leaders and they honestly improve the image of your brand. Strategically, investors give less biased insights into your product or service, as positive critics, whether you’re fresh in the scene or have been in business for some years.
The best example is the renowned Japanese camera maker, Nikon. Nikon has experienced enormous success in business because of the rise of the need for photography. However, the invention of smartphone cameras or rather camera phones, has seen sales decline for Nikon with the hardest hit being after 2012, when they launched the digital camera. Since then Nikon saw a drop in revenue comparable to their income a decade ago, that is, 2002. Nikon employed strategic tactics by approaching over 600 investors internationally, last year and co-creatively transformed the struggling business into the success it had always been, by giving insights, analysis and feedback on the rise and almost-fall of the company.
Do you wish to start or further develop your business but need funding, or rather an investor? These are the top fool-proof ways to Attract Investors for Your Business In Kenya
A soft sell is pitching your product/service in a less formal way. Investors usually attend business events or conferences as panelists or keynote speakers. This is the best place to approach them with your elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a short but persuasive speech that seeks to ignite interest in your service or product to a potential client or in this case to an investor. Just as the name suggests the pitch should be short and sweets and only seconds long. If your pitch was good enough, you may just end up with a business card or a set date for a subsequent meeting to discuss further what you already started. Studies show that investors are likely to take interest in business owners who made the extra effort to reach them personally rather than through cold calling or cold emailing. Alternatively, you can have organic conversations, picking their brains about trends in different industries, then introduce your product/service. At this point, you have already demonstrated a certain knowledge that they will appreciate depending on how well you package what you’re saying.
If you cannot reach your desired investor at an event or conference, then the sure way of catching their eye is through a strategic approach. This is through social media engagement. I am assuming you follow investors, especially on LinkedIn. Connect with them. Many are very generous with connections. Engage with them in whatever they post by not only liking, but commenting on their posts. Engage with other commenters as well; you surely will catch their eye! Do your industry research and ensure you are not just commenting for the sake of commenting and getting noticed, but for the sake of showing your knowledge and intellect. While having organic conversations and soft exchanges with this investor, throw in your company and introduce it. Again, depending on how well you introduce your company, your investor will be interested or not so the ball is in your court with your way with words. Do not send cold direct messages without at least getting acknowledgement on engagement with your investor; that is, likes and comments on your comments on his/her post. Before then, you are still a stranger to him/her.
Acquire customers, even if they are few before looking for an investor. Why? Traction matters a lot to investors. They want to see if you know what you’re doing, if you have market for your service/product and if your overall idea will really work. You can also add credible testimonials to your investment proposal. This instills some faith in the investor that at least you have satisfied customers under your belt and you know what they say: a happy customer is your biggest business strategy. Showing proven results is the best way to show an investor that they are not making a big mistake taking you on board and it also gives them a small view of their return on investment. If investing is worth a try or if it’s not. Showing them your numbers really saves them from asking the ‘what is in it for me?’ question.
If you are a start-Up in Kenya, consider joining accelerators and incubators in. These are workshops that offer training and mentorship for up and coming entrepreneurs Their importance is that they offer seed money, expert mentorship, training and office space to entrepreneurs. They are normally run by investors or venture capitalists and offer these services in exchange of equity or company shares. This is the best way to meet and keep an investor especially if you are a start up with no traction. They may be able to see your drive and potential for your idea while in these incubators and choose to invest early. Alternatively, you can graduate, start your own business and seek their advice on your progress, since you are already familiar. If you are doing well, they may be more than willing to come on board.
Once you get the opportunity to meet and talk to your potential investor, the most embarrassing set-back would be lack of knowledge of their industry or current affairs they are involved in. Most investors are likely to pick your brain about one or two things they or their industries are involved in. Failure to know even one area of what they are discussing is an insult to their time and a big blow to your opportunity. No matter how many investors you have set your eyes on, it is imperative to know the major facts of their business dealings down to the nitty gritty like the school they went to; to a moderate extent lest it seem like you are a stalker. An investor will most likely be impressed if you know more about them than what’s in the newspapers or their social media pages. You stand an even higher chance if you can link down to their start up days and compare your vision to their own. Chances of being taken seriously in this case would be 80% as opposed to 1% if you knew nothing.
As difficult as it may seem, finding an investor in Kenya is possible and investors are ready to Fund Businesses and expand their possibilities just as much as you desire to expand yours!
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