Investors voice frustration that entrepreneurs are not prepared before they ask for funding. Please, learn from the advice below. If you read this, it is essentially a step-by-step guide to help you receive funding. Read this often throughout the funding process as a reminder of what you should be doing to improve your chances of receiving funding.

1. Complete a brief business plan, less than 20 pages, which includes executive bios for all owners & management and budgets (conservative & realistic) for at least the next three years before you ask for funding because investors will not take you seriously and will not provide funding without this information. Your business plan is a marketing tool designed to entice potential investors to consider investing money into your company. Investors need to read enough about your company to become interested and want to invest in your company. Why less than 20 pages ? Investors want to read a marketing "tease" not a novel, if your business plan is too long, it will not be read, and you will not receive money.

Think like an investor. When you are writing your business plan, repeat to yourself, why should an investor give money to me, when the investor has hundreds of other opportunities on a daily basis, to provide funding to someone else. The executive bios should describe to an investor that your company has experienced, competent, intelligent executives who will know what to do with the investor’s money so that everyone will earn a profit if the investor chooses to provide funding to your company. Explain the experience your executives have in your current and prior companies raising cash, revenue, and creating profit in addition to managing a cash flow. Your budgets should be conservative and realistic. Your company looks better if actual revenue meets or exceeds budgeted projections. If you follow the stock market, look at what happens to a company’s stock price when actual revenues are less than budgeted projections; the stock price usually drops significantly. Now, look at what happens when actual revenue exceeds budgeted projections. The stock price usually increases. It is better to exceed expectations.

2. Have enough cash on hand to cover direct expenses involved in the beginning of your project.

3. You will also be asked, in addition to how much cash you have, what you are offering as collateral to reduce the risk an investor sees when evaluating your project. The more cash and collateral you have, the less risky your project is viewed by potential investors and the better the odds that you will receive funding.

4. I have seen many entrepreneurs destroy their chances to receive funding because they think they have the right to dictate how the process will work. I frequently see entrepreneurs who think only about themselves who enter the funding process with a list of demands, and tell the investor they're only interested in an investor who will give money to them, and leave them alone afterwards to do whatever they want with investors' money. Start thinking we instead of me. I have had many applicants with the me attitude and none of them received funding. You are asking an investor to become your business partner, think partner throughout the process, we not me, if you wish to receive funding. Potential investors have plenty of options of how to invest their money; they have all the leverage and entrepreneurs requesting funding unfortunately do not have leverage.

An error entrepreneurs make is questioning the integrity of the investor. Perform your own due diligence; you will be working with that investor for years. Investments are based upon trust, which goes both ways.

If you make unreasonable requests of an investor, your company will immediately be declined for funding, and the investor will provide money to someone else. My company presents your project to the investor in a professional manner that a sound project deserves. The investor will treat you in a professional manner and you are expected to do the same in return.

Investors have many worldwide business contacts in numerous industries. Besides the cash you are seeking, you want a business partnership in which the investor can recommend potential clients, vendors, advice, etc. to help you. Think of investors as a potential source of information to help you be profitable, because that is who they are. In many cases, they already have investments within your country and industry and their experience could be very helpful to you.

This advice is heartfelt in the hopes you read this and it increases your odds of receiving funding. My job is to try to help you receive funding. The more you understand about the process, the better prepared you are before and during the funding process and the more flexible and open-minded you are, the higher the probability investors will want to help you. Read this blog post numerous times during the funding process to remind yourself what you should be doing to increase your chances of receiving funding.

One of my investors provided a great quote, "investors frequently bet on the jockey and not the horse." Investors, who are human beings, by human nature, want to do business with people they like and feel comfortable with. If you display arrogance, or a combative attitude, investors will not want to help you. Another investor told me investors invest in people, not ideas. If investors have faith in the skills of the owners & management of the company requesting funding, those are the projects that are funded.

Good luck to you, and when you are prepared submit your project for funding by sending an e-mail to me at ifindfunding@gmail.com