What You Should Look for Before Investing in a Company
Posted on September 24, 2012
Investing in an entrepreneur’s idea can be an exciting and enticing opportunity. You obviously want to invest in an idea that will make you some money, but is that all?
For any savvy investor, it isn’t. There’s more than just money to consider when providing funding for an idea. There are a few other things you should think about before you write that check.
It’s more than just the bottom line
When investing, you need to think about more than just your possible return on investment. Fit is just as important as profit. A good match between your ideals and the company’s will provide an extra reward if the company is successful. Many good investment opportunities are out there, so why not invest in something that you truly believe in? It’s much more rewarding.
Place your focus on mutual goals
An alignment of interests supersedes all. Once an entrepreneur decides to pursue outside investors, his venture instantly transforms from a project to a full-fledged company. With that, the overarching goal must be to please investors, which traditionally means delivering an appropriate return on investment. With a company I’ve invested in, RepayVets, currently the only return that an entrepreneur can provide are rewards related to his company, not money. It’s safe to say that that his short-term goal should be to deliver on the reward he promised, and the long-term goal is to, ultimately, be financially successful with the company.
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The reasons we invest
The people who contribute to projects posted on RepayVets tend to believe not only that the project they’re supporting is a good idea, but also that the veteran putting together the project is deserving of support. They firmly believe that the reward for contributing is giving someone a chance. They understand the sacrifices that veterans have made; they realize that vets possess unique skills that will transfer to success in the private sector, but may not be so clear-cut on paper. Investing in a group or cause you believe in gives you a sense of well-being, which makes you appreciate the company’s success all the more.
One of our most successful projects was for a startup that was manufacturing weighted jump ropes. In return for supporting this venture, contributors received an actual rope for a very modest commitment. Customers were overwhelmingly pleased with their rewards, not only because of the quality, but because they knew it came from someone they were happy to see succeed.
Will I make my money back?
By conducting just a little research on the idea being presented, you will often develop a quick understanding of whether there’s a need for the product. Asking peers about the idea may also help you determine whether the idea is a good one. In addition, asking the entrepreneur nontraditional questions about the project should also provide insight into how much thought he’s put into the idea, which is a leading indicator of success. Do as much digging and research as possible. Gather every bit of information you can before you invest your money in someone’s idea.
There is so much more than just money to consider before you invest. You first need to know yourself and what you want your name and money to stand for. Once you decide what kind of investment – and difference – you want to make, you can comfortably decide where to allocate your money. Invest in something you believe in, and you’ll never regret signing that check!