Entrepreneurs know how hard it is to secure funding and small businesses of all kinds sometimes live and die on the whim of an investor. This is why they are often called angel investors because they might be the ones who give you all the funding you have been searching for. However, what happens when an investor is not pulling through on their end? They owe you money, the next installment of the funding has not come through and yet you have signed over a piece of the business to them. What should you do? Well you may not have to go down the legal route, they may just need reminding. Or they have to be made to turn out their pockets kicking and screaming, either way you will get your funding.
Catch up coffee
The old trick about catching up over coffee might do the trick. You can ask them to meet you in a local coffee shop. You may be in the same city or region, at a particular time, ask them then. If they are in another country, you can still ask to talk over a cup of coffee using a conference call software. Make sure that it is on a pleasant day, maybe the weekend where they can’t make an excuse to get up and leave to head back to the office. Then spring it up on them, about the late payment. Ask them when it will come through, tell them what kind of projects the funding will be used for, etc. this may have just reminded them or they may have been convinced that they should stay with you for the long haul and not drag their feet on their way to the exit door.
Get someone on it
Do not forget, this is a two-way street. If you have signed a contract with them, that doesn’t mean it is their contract per se. They are also beholden to the obligation they signed up to. So you have every right to use collection agency software to find out where they are, what business name they use, use databases to find their home address to issue a letter warning or find their professional office to do the same. They need to know, you need the funding and they owe it to you for the piece of the pie that you signed over to them at the beginning.
Don’t panic, it might be a simple mistake. They may be an older investor who forgets what kinds of dealings they have going on, or they may be very busy. Just give them a simple reminder through email and follow up with a phone call. Ask to speak with them directly if you get their secretary on the phone. It can be better to break the ice by thanking them once again for their financial support and belief in your business before you ask about the late payment.
Investors can save a business and for that, you should be grateful. But it doesn’t mean you become a servant to them who just take the scraps and be happy about it. Chase your funding up and get what you deserve.