Recovery involves so many changes, from health and lifestyle changes, to how we spend our time; it’s not unusual for someone to channel all of that change and energy into starting their own business. If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur, you are ready to be your own boss, or you have an idea for a startup business, your next step might be to secure financing.
Here are 5 ways to find investors who support entrepreneurs in recovery.
1. Get Social
Professional networking can help you meet potential business partners, mentors, or other valuable connections, such as investors. Put yourself out there, and you might find that there are investors seeking someone just like you.
- Attend local Chamber of Commerce events to meet other business owners in your community.
- Get on LinkedIn and other professional social media sites.
- Have a webpage, a Facebook page, and start blogging weekly–get data about your business and your business idea out in the digital world.
- If there are trade shows for your business, start attending and meeting peers and professionals in that way.
Professional networking will help you develop a reputation, not as an “addict in recovery,” but as an entrepreneur–be known for what you want to be known for and get noticed. Develop your personal brand while you grow your business.
The idea of borrowing from family can go either way–some people love the idea and others find it abhorrent. Here’s how to find the balance.
You don’t want a loan for your business to cause stress to a family relationship, and yet your family might be the ones who believe in you most. So, if you decide to approach family members for a business loan, make sure that you treat them the same way you would any investor: present your business model and strategies, have clear investment and/or loan repayment terms, and, if it is an investment, make it clear that they could lose their money.
If you are fortunate enough to have family members with the resources and the faith in you, they can be excellent first investors.
Crowdfunding and crowdsourcing for small businesses have really taken off in recent years. There are many sites to choose from–Indiegogo, Kickstarter, RocketHub, OurCrowd, to name a few–each with a different focus. With each site, you’ll also pay a percentage of what you raise to the site itself (with some exceptions for non-profits), so you really want to check out each site and find the one that suits your business model best.
Crowdsourcing lets investors choose their level of support, no matter how small.
4. Small Business Loan
Investors generally want a stake in your business, but loans need to be paid back. Each has advantages and disadvantages. If you would rather borrow money and pay it back, instead of relinquishing control of some part of your business, a small business loan may be the way to go.
Loans for businesses often require collateral, and you also want to understand the terms and how they affect both your business and your personal finances.
5. Incubators and Accelerators
Some types of investors, known as incubators and accelerators, focus on growing startup businesses. Many of these opportunities, in larger cities or even online, give you access to mentorship and support, as well as the finances to get going and get growing.
How to Be an Entrepreneur
Being an entrepreneur can be challenging. There are days when you’ll question everything about your business. There are times you’ll have 100 asks for every 1 “yes.” But persist. You’ll find the support and resources to keep going and be an entrepreneur.