Sally Chamley has secured £300,000 for her UK-based luxury furniture design business Black Orchid Interiors, through a business angel network. Established in 2004, her company mixes a range of classic and contemporary furniture and home accessories for the discerning and affluent home furniture market.
From the interview with WomenHomeBusiness.com , Chamley shared how she was able to get financing from an angel investor and the factors she thinks that worked in her favor to secure her needed financing:
- Grow your business to break even first. Entrepreneurs that have built turnover to breakeven and have a good business plan generate a higher valuation at the point of investment. Therefore you will not be expected to give as much of your equity shares away in exchange for investment.
- Get your mindset right before you go for investment. Be prepared to get real and start behaving as a team player in a much bigger game!
- An exclusive product designed and owned by the company is essential.
- Having it produced in a country overseas guaranteeing high margins and selling it direct to the consumer via the Internet is also very attractive. This factory to consumer business model removes the need to offer credit so the company has no debtors and can grow fast.
- Operating in a growing market despite the recession is also vital.
- The personality of the entrepreneur is also important, investors need to trust in the entrepreneurs ability to grow the business and transform into a Managing Director capable of working as part of a team that is ready for growth and vice versa.
- The investor and the entrepreneur must have mutual respect to weather the next phase of growth.
- Make sure that you raise enough in your plan to comfortably achieve your goals, many plans fail due to being underfunded for the task ahead. It is also more difficult to go back for more money.
- Finally, don’t be intimidated by an individual’s wealth if they are private investors. Growing your business to breakeven and having a good plan has already earned you respect in the investor’s eyes. Many investors remember how hard they worked to raise their first million!