By Abdul Rawuf
Dear Badr, Firstly thank you for taking time to answer our questions. I run a fashion e-commerce platform in Dubai. We are in need of investment of $100,000 and are looking for angel investors. I am having hard time finding them. WHERE ARE THEY? :-) Are there any in this region at all? Also, would like your advice on the best ways to bring online sales. Our website in up and running for six months now and we have not seen any traction. This could be an issue with investors too. Your advice is highly appreciated. Ayesha
Finding angel investors is about networking (in person and online) and making sure you’re rubbing shoulders and exchanging bytes with anyone and everyone that might be interested in your particular offering. And if you’re not having much luck reaching potential investors themselves, then at-least try connect with people who can introduce you to them. This requires interacting with people from the industry you’re in by going to relevant events, trade shows, conferences and even social gatherings.
There are also various online entities and platforms that connect you with angel investors and support crowd-funding. Such networks and platforms are increasing in prominence and include the likes of Eureeca (http://eureeca.com/), Angel’s Den (http://angels.angelsden.com/), Angel List (https://angel.co), and of course Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/). With interest building up in strengthening our entrepreneurial eco-system, there are more and more angel investors appearing on the scene.
When it comes to e-commerce, it’s never been easier or cheaper to start an online store. The fact is a double-edged sword however! The barriers to entry are so low and business is now so borderless, that it has become very that much more difficult and expensive to stand out from the rest.
First and foremost, you need to be providing a unique product or service that you’re confident would be in demand with your target audience. Once that’s been established through focus groups and a pilot, you need to start building traffic. Although capital intensive, online marketing can be extremely effective if managed properly. The ability to measure ROI so accurately using online marketing technology is unparalleled, and is a very good way to get immediate returns on marketing spend. It just needs to be managed by someone with experience in that space.
To summarize, start by refining your offering until you are confident that each and every aspect of the experience is one that your target audience actually wants, and then build traffic through calculated and precise online marketing.
Best of luck to you.