Blinded by Shark Tank? 4 places to look for investors before turning to the Sharks

Shark TankDo you love watching Shark Tank and wish that you had the chance to pitch the Sharks? Entrepreneurs across the country watch the business reality show in hopes to brush up on their pitching skills and learn how to please investors when they get the chance to ask for cash.

Yet, many entrepreneurs spend so much time watching the Sharks and wishing for the opportunity, but overlook the little fish. In every situation, the biggest isn’t always the best. When Mr. Wonderful start rattling off figures do your knees knock because the numbers are amazing? Yet, are those numbers right for your project? Perhaps you need to find something that fits your proposal better.

On Shark Tank, the size of the offer fits the size of the project. The big numbers are exactly what is needed for the entrepreneurs at the right moment. Other entrepreneurs watching at home might be wishing for the big bucks, but do they really need it? Typically no.

It might be time to stop looking at the Sharks and consider the little fish in your pond. Believe it or not, there are people who are willing to invest in your company, product or service. They just haven’t been asked yet. With a little communication and a good pitch, entrepreneurs could fulfill their financial needs quite easily.

  • Friends and family. Perhaps it’s the most basic place to start, but many entrepreneurs haven’t talked to their friends or family about investing. Why? The most common reason is that people don’t believe they will be helped. Perhaps this is true, but everyone knows at least one individual who would help fund a project and it usually is the least obvious person.
  • Online contacts. In our lifetime there will be dozens if not hundreds of people who we touch, but never meet. Thanks to the digital life we now know, the chance to engage with people on a whole new level is possible. These folks are prime interests as potential investors.
  • Local business help. Did you know that many chamber of commerce and small business groups help? This connection is invaluable to an entrepreneur as that narrows down the candidate pool looking for financial support and makes funding possible.
  • Asking other local business owners who know the struggles of starting something from the ground up. Personal connections of like minds are a great way to find investors, while they might not be able to offer up large sums of financial help, they definitely can point you to people who could.

Entrepreneur tip: Don’t forget that small investors, put together might be bigger and better than one big investor. Offering more flexibility and perhaps a more realistic choice as not everyone can be on Shark Tank.

This column was written by Jodi Jill and if you’re looking for more then be sure to head on over to the link here. Also, you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter! (Photo: NBC)

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