But how exactly?
Rule no.1: Treat them as you would any external investor – with a serious pitch. “Give them an opportunity to make an investment decision as opposed to just doing you a favour,” says Perks. This means hiring a qualified lawyer (organisations such as StartEd offer pro-bono help for start-ups), and getting a shareholders’ agreement (protecting each party’s rights). You should also present them with a well-thought-out business plan, which outlines when they can see a return on their cash. It’s worth being realistic and not asking for all the money you need upfront. Consider what you need to get to a certain point – once you’ve shown you can repay that, you’ll be better placed to ask for more.