What are investors looking for?  It’s not what you think!

What are investors looking for? It’s not what you think!

I’ve been helping entrepreneurs raise capital for about ten years and have raised money for my own business three times.  I also talk a lot to investors.  I have learned that investors are looking for a lot more than a good financial return.  Here is a list of some of the main things investors consider when trying to decide where to park their money:

  • Trustworthy, high-integrity leadership – generally, investors feel a lot more comfortable investing when they sense that the entrepreneurs or fund managers they are entrusting their money with will be responsible stewards
  • Reasonable level of risk – this is very much related to the first one – if investors trust an entrepreneur, they will perceive the risk of the investment to be lower; perceived risk may also be lower when the investor has a direct relationship with the business e.g. as a customer or supplier
  • Transparency – many investors are frustrated with the complexity and opacity of Wall Street investing – they value being able to understand where there money is going and what it is being used for
  • Being part of a community or tribe – when companies treat their investors as more than just a source of funding, but as a supportive, cohesive community, this can create a lot of investor value (I invested in a fund recently that actually provides zero financial return on investment, but gives me access to a community that I love)
  • Being able to tell their friends and acquaintances about the cool thing they invested in – studies have shown that this is a big driver of investor decisions!
  • Values alignment – a majority of investors state in surveys that it is important to them that their investments align with their values
  • Cool perks – invitations to special VIP events, trips, discounts, sample boxes, etc. can add a lot of value for investors – I recently read an article about how much Estee Lauder’s shareholders love to be pampered and get goody bags at the annual shareholder meeting!
  • Low to no fees – many investments involve middlemen and fees – opportunities to invest directly in a company allow investors to avoid those nasty fees

Interested in learning more? Get in touch!

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The Courage to be Happy

The Courage to be Happy

I was recently interviewed by my friend Tania Vasallo, the founder of The Courage to be Happy Community.

Every month, she interviews an Inspiring Woman Of Courage and shares the interview with her community.  This month she featured me!  I’m sharing the interview with my own community here.

If you’d like to receive juicy tips, resources, and inspiring articles, sign up for Tania’s ezine at thecouragetobehappy.com and you can also get her FREE starter workbook at designingmylifeworkbook.com

Here is Tania’s post about me:

Today we are featuring my dear friend and colleague Jenny Kassan.  Jenny coaches mission-driven entrepreneurs to raise capital on their own terms from investors that love them.

She has two decades of experience as an attorney and advisor for mission-driven enterprises. Jenny earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley. Not only is she brilliant but has the kindest most caring heart for all women that are running their businesses, she has your back!

Jenny is actually hosting her inspiring and successful Fund and Fuel Your Dreams Event on  March 30th to April 1st. Early bird tickets will be expiring soon so if you are a mission driven  women entrepreneur that is looking for ways to fund your business without sacrificing your soul or losing control, you won’t want to miss this event.  I will be there and it would be wonderful to connect with you and learn from a master at her craft.

If you are interested please click on this link to get your tickets now
www.fundandfuelyourdreams.com

Jenny is a giver.  I love her energy and how she inspires so many women with their businesses. You can read all about her thoughts and journey below. Remember to sign up for her event.

Meanwhile, have a great weekend!

Tania

1. Your definition of happiness:

Loving yourself unconditionally and having a supportive community.

2. Your definition of courage:

Doing things that are outside your comfort zone and knowing that no matter what happens, it is perfect.

3. Your definition of freedom:

Having the time, energy, and resources to say yes to the things that light you up and no to the things that don’t.

4. Your definition of success:

Having the time, energy, and resources to say yes to the things that light you up and no to the things that don’t.

5. What do you do for a living?

Coach mission-driven entrepreneurs to raise capital on their own terms from investors that love them.

6. What has been your biggest investment in yourself this year?

Hiring a very high quality professional marketing team.

7. Did you always know what your purpose was? If not, when and how did you discover your purpose?

No – it happened little by little through experimentation, lucky accidents, and listening to my gut.

8. What motivated you to design the life that you love?

I started my own business when I got kicked out of a business that I co-founded.  I’m not sure I would have had the guts to do it if I hadn’t found myself with no other option.

9. What was your biggest obstacle along the way? How did you get over it?

My biggest obstacle was self-doubt.  I didn’t get over it, but I have learned how to put the voice of self-doubt in its place.  I say, “I know you are trying to keep me safe, but I’m not finding your input helpful at the moment!”

10. Was there any period in your life where you were stuck or didn’t know what to do? How did you handle it?

I was in a verbally abusive marriage and was being told every day that I was worthless.
Something deep inside me knew that it wasn’t true and that part of me finally rose up and said enough!  That was the beginning of my finally believing that I have inherent value no matter what I do or say, how I look, or how much money I have.

11. How do you confront fear and connect to your courage?

I recognize that fear is just a voice trying to protect me and I don’t have to believe what it says.

12. Are there any days that you don’t feel motivated and if so, what do you do about it?

Yes – I try to listen to what my inner voice says about what she feels like doing in any particular moment.  If she feels like sleeping late, getting a massage, or just sitting there doing nothing, I honor that.  I know that later I will be in the mood to do other things like send out that proposal or write that blog post. I try to trust my feelings to guide me to the best thing I can be doing in this moment.

13. Do you think our world is starting to have more female driven energy in business or do we still have a long way to go?

I do!  I see so many people getting tired of the more masculine model of doing business which I see as constantly pushing to get as much done as possible as fast as possible, no matter what the long term costs might be.  I see feminine energy as more balanced, patient, and focused on creating long term value.  I think both men and women are recognizing the need to have a balance of both masculine and feminine energy in business rather than being exclusively masculine as it has been for so long and has not brought us to a very healthy place in our culture or economy.

14. What would look different in our world if we could join forces with more women to co create together, and empower one another to be leaders and change makers?

More people would have more fulfillment, happiness, and balance because when women are empowered and working together, we can create a better world for everyone in which we value so much more than just accumulation of money and stuff.

15. What can a women leader like yourself teach other women or men (husbands, brothers, fathers, sons) so that they can tap into more of their feminine energy and power?

Don’t feel the pressure to conform to societal demands – try to find the thing that makes your heart sing – one of my favorite quotes is “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

16. What do you want people to remember you for?

That the more you are truly yourself, the better off you and everyone around you will be.

Interested in learning more? Get in touch!

If you are interested in working together, send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

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Why do people assume your business is a nonprofit?

Why do people assume your business is a nonprofit?

I have a client that I’ve been helping to raise money from investors.  It is a for-profit corporation that is successful and profitable.  I am not exaggerating when I say that at least half of the people that I tell about this business assume it is a nonprofit.  The CEO of this company has told me that a lot of people she talks to assume her company is a nonprofit.  People don’t even ask if it is a for-profit or a nonprofit – they say, “oh, how can it raise money from investors given that it is a nonprofit?”

I have no idea why this is!  Here are some possible reasons:

  1. The CEO is an African American lesbian and when people picture a for-profit business owner they don’t picture someone that looks like her.
  2. The company is highly mission-driven and working in a space that many nonprofits work in as well.
  3. Because I am a woman, people assume that my clients must be nonprofits (because a lot of people associate women with nonprofits rather than for-profits).

Has anyone ever assumed your for-profit business was a nonprofit?  This has actually happened to many of my clients that are led by women.

I should mention that the people who assume these businesses are nonprofits are just as likely to be women as men.

What do you think this is about?!?!?

Please note that I don’t believe there is anything wrong with being a nonprofit and I have helped several nonprofits raise money from investors.

Interested in learning more? Get in touch!

If you are interested in working together, send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

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5 Unconventional Tips for Talking to Investors

5 Unconventional Tips for Talking to Investors

1. Start the conversation by asking questions like

What’s important to you when making an investment?

What’s frustrating to you about the investment opportunities that are available?

2. Really listen!  Imagine what it feels like to be them. Do a lot more listening than talking.

3. Show empathy – almost everyone has pain and frustration about money.

4. Next, ONLY if it feels like a good fit, share your passion and vision, authentically and from the heart.

5. If the investor seems to be intrigued by the vision you shared, only then provide the nitty gritty details – your company’s milestones achieved, your plans for growth, how much you’re raising, etc.

BONUS TIP: Enjoy the process!

Interested in learning more? Get in touch!

If you are interested in working together, send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

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As a thank you for subscribing to our email newsletter, you will receive a free copy of my ebook entitled Get the Right Money from the Right Investors.

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What stage of business is the right time to raise money?

What stage of business is the right time to raise money?

Interested in learning more? Get in touch!

If you are interested in working together, send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

As a thank you for subscribing to our email newsletter, you will receive a free copy of my ebook entitled Get the Right Money from the Right Investors.

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