Planning, Startups, Stories


Tim Berry on business planning, starting and growing your business, and having a life in the meantime.

Q&A: Finding a Consultant to Find Investors 0

This is another frequently asked question that came from the ask-me-a-question web form on my main site at timberry.com.

Question:

Trying to find a consultant that links me to investors? Does this exist? I’m a 21 yr old entrepreneur. Learning on the fly!

Answer:

  1. You don’t need a consultant to learn about angel investment. There are thousands of good links on the web. Not that mine are necessarily the best, but since you asked me: ¬†Browse though the angel investment articles on this site (click here for a site search for angels). Read the angel investment category on this blog.
  2. Please make sure you have a deal that will interest investors first. It takes a credible experienced startup team, an attractive product-market fit, an interesting market, and defensibility. Way too many people waste their time and — if they hire consultants — trying to find investors with a deal that no investors would ever be interested in. Please read Is Angel Investment Realistic? and be honest with yourself.
  3. If you don’t have the right stuff, don’t spend energy searching for investors. Change your plan. Either gather some more team members to beef up the offering, or focus on what you can implement by yourself. Bootstrap your business. If you still want a consultant, forget paying somebody to link you to investors. Get somebody to tell you what you need to have.
  4. If you do have the right stuff, then you probably don’t need a consultant. Go register at gust.com where you can browse through about 600 angel investment groups and look for one in your local area, or one with interest in your kind of business. Don’t apply to all; don’t send your info bouncing around everywhere; concentrate on the groups that are more likely.¬†Connect with your local small business development center (SBDC). Ask people you know who they know locally who might be interested. Find out about local investors using the SBDC, the chamber of commerce, local business schools, etc.
  5. And if you really want the consultant, and you have money to spend, buy expertise and experience from the consultant, not heavy lifting. Buy very targeted help. There are honest legitimate consultants in this business, but they are rare. Check references carefully. Talk to past clients. And if you have a consultant help with your own business plan and your own business pitch, what you want is coaching, constructive criticism, not writing and formatting.