Rule of thumb for raising money is that it takes six months. So that means start early – before you really need the money.
The best time to get money is when you don’t need it. In fact some would argue that the only time you can raise money is when you don’t need it.
Identify a number of people that might be interested in investing in your business and make a point of catching up with them every 1-2 months. Even just dropping an email. That allows them to start to trust you and see that you do what you say.
It is important to build credibility so ensure that over this time period you do tick off some of your objectives, even if they are easy ones make sure you get the credit for doing what you say.
If an investor wants to get involved it is likely that its more than just for purely financial reasons. Therefore involve them and listen to what they have to say. It is basic human nature that people want to help and be seen to have helped. So let them help. Ask questions of them. Ask for advice.
Remember the old adage – two ears, one mouth, use them in those proportions.