Small businesses prioritise expertise over funding when seeking investment

Furthermore, the survey also revealed that 81% of those seeking finance had asked their lender for business advice. A quarter of these had been turned away outright, while a further third said the advice they received was minimal or very brief.

Though investments may predominately be seen as a source of income, two thirds of small business owners have revealed they would like to see investment move away from solely financial means to further incorporate mentoring and advice. 

Angel’s Den, the investment club and network, conducted the survey in order to find out more about what business owners want from investment and their experiences of seeking and receiving funding. 613 small business owners took part, all of whom had at some enquired about or received outside investment.

Over half of those taking part stated they don’t think there is enough business mentoring available and, of the respondents who had received some form of investment, a quarter had been turned away when asking their lender for advice.

Respondents were asked: “What would the ideal investment package consist of?” to which 76% stated that ‘financial investment with mentoring and business advice’ was the ideal investment. In comparison, only 12% stated that they were solely looking for financial investment.

64% of the respondents felt that mentoring is more important than money when looking for investment for their business. This adds to the importance that advice and learning from others is an essential part of business. 

In order to explore this further, the survey then asked all respondents who had received funding if they had ever asked for mentoring or advice from their lender, to which 81% stated that they had. A quarter of those (26%), however, confirmed that they had been turned away without any advice and a further 34% stated that they had received ‘minimal or very brief advice and mentoring’.

Bill Morrow, Co-Founder and Director at Angel’s Den commented on the findings: “It’s such a shame that so many business owners feel left out in the cold when it comes to getting the advice and mentoring that they need from time to time.

"Finding an experienced business person is willing to both give you the money and help you spend it is the difference between a spectacular company and an average one. Also, from the investors side your chances of seeing a return on your investment sky-rocket if you get involved.” 

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