4 Tools You Need to Raise Capital

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For young businesses, raising capital can seem like a never-ending job. It requires hard work, patience, and a willingness to continually knock on doors that show no signs of opening. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone. With the right software solutions, tools, website, and partners, your next round of funding won’t be nearly as stressful, awkward, or energy-depleting. Here are a few resources you can use to succeed.

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1. Credibly

Why is it that business owners and entrepreneurs immediately run to their local bank for lending? The reality is that these banks care more about keeping attracting personal banking clients than they do building their small business portfolio. As a result, the terms of a deal – if you can get one – likely won’t be favorable. Instead, you should look at alternative solutions like Credibly, a funding platform designed to serve small- and medium-sized businesses.

Credibly allows businesses with a minimum of six-months experience and more than $15,000 in monthly revenues to secure a business loan for as much as $250,000 for inventory, equipment, working capital, and more. The most interesting part about Credibly is that the platform leverages data science and technology to identify the best terms. This allows them to award loans in as little as 48 hours. And while they may be relatively unknown to you, Credibly has already financed more than $140 million to small businesses around the world. This definitely makes them a resource you should keep an eye on.

2. Yesware

One of the more important aspects of any capital raise is pitching. While you’ll certainly need to be prepared to give in-person pitches, a lot of the pre-pitch process involves emails and internet conversations. While this is convenient, it’s also limiting. Investors may get dozens of requests every day, and you’ll end up in their trash folder if you can’t find a way to make your pitch stand out. That’s where Yesware helps out.

While the tool itself isn’t designed for pitching or investing, its wide array of applications makes it suitable for using when pitching via email. Yesware is essentially a Gmail and Outlook add-on that tracks whether or not your emails are opened and read. Why is that valuable, you may ask? Well, it provides insights into whether your emails are effective or not.

For example, if your open-rate is abysmal, that tells you right off the bat that you’re subject line is ineffective. People aren’t opening your pitches because the subject comes off as spammy or unclear. As a result, you’ll quickly learn what does and does not work. Yesware also helps you understand when it is and is not appropriate to send a follow up email. If the message was never opened, it’s probably okay to send another pitch. However, if the pitch was obviously opened and read, you may want to give it some time before sending another pitch.

One of the neatest features is that you can tell how long each recipient spent reading your pitch. This tells you if your pitch was intriguing or if you lost their interest at the beginning. For entrepreneurs that send lots of pitches, Yesware is an invaluable tool. Definitely add this to your list of must-have funding resources.

3. CRM Software

If you’re serious about raising capital, it’s possible that you’ll interact with hundreds of different leads. While CRM solutions are typically designed for managing a business’s customer relationships, they can also be used to aid your funding initiatives by allowing you to organize and track interactions.

There are far too many good CRM solutions to name just one, but software such as PipedriveSalesforce, and < Zoho CRM – among others – can all be helpful aides in your pursuit of organizing and tracking interactions. For example, most will allow you to create stages like these: Possibility, Introduction, Pitched, Interest, Negotiations, Due Diligence, and Funding Received.

Instead of then tracking these interactions in a dozen different places, you can consolidate your efforts and enjoy a better top-down view of your progress. When one lead moves to a different stage of the process, simply drag them over to the appropriate stage.

4. Udemy

Raising money comes naturally for some people, while it’s totally uncomfortable for others. If you fall into the latter category, you may benefit from Udemy’s “Raising Money for Startups” course. The course costs $19, but is packed with tons of valuable information.

The Udemy course consists of 11 lectures that span a total of six and a half hours. With industry leading names like Gagan Biyani, Naval Ravikant, Jay Jamison, and Dave McClure leading the course, you’re sure to gain some valuable insights.

Some of the topics covered include how to raise capital from VC’s and angel investors, the critical elements of an attractive startup, creating an enticing elevator pitch, finding a lead investor, closing a round, and understanding the legal side of fundraising.

Accelerate Your Funding Starting Today

Raising capital for your startup isn’t a process you can start without being prepared. Using these four resources, you can increase your chances of securing the funding you need with terms that are most beneficial to your company.

Header by Rachel Wille

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Larry Alton

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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