I have seen a lot of founders struggle with funding and wanted to explode some myths and flawed thinking that may be stopping you get what your after.
There is loads of cash out there
I frequently hear from founders that struggle to get finding that it's hard to find investors willing to part with their cash. On the flip side I get lots of investors approaching me asking for introductions to good businesses. Some have literally millions and deadlines from their funds to get that money into good quality opportunities. But that's the trick, that's what start-ups fail to understand, it's the product that's in lack. I guaranteed if you have an awesome, validated, achievable business plan and a team that can deliver on that plan, you can have any amount of money you need to make it a reality.
Investors will court you if you give them the chance.
Like any marketing of sales process, How and Where you market your "product" i.e. Your business plan (super investment worthy opportunity to make money), it critical for its success. Seriously, do you sell your product or service by mass spam email to loads of cold contacts in the hope they will buy? Hopefully not. Almost every night of the week there's business events where I see founders pitching a crowd of other founders). They batter VC's with generic business plans attached to generic emails and expect any result? It's no wonder that of the business plans that actually get read ( very few I'm told), only 1:100 get funded. In short you need to market the idea, the opportunity as much with VC's, Angels, crowd-funding or any other method of getting the attention of the right "customer" - an investor. Ready to go, interested in your sector, not to invasive, hopefully with contacts or resources to help you succeed.
A special note here: for the truly brave, with lots of drive and at least a small budget, there is some creative and infinitely effect raising methods put there. One that springs to my mind is Television. Dragons den is one of the most famous but I know a number of other of special programs, one off as well as serialised programs that are not only infinitely easier to access but can better showcase your business. The attraction of this medium is the high perceived value Vs relatively low cost ratio as well as the infinitely increased chance if winning potential clients, partners, press as well as investment. Of course I recommend working with a professional on developing any investment strategy, but warn against any founders taking on an integrated marketing/investment program on their own. The very high upside as a downside if not done well.
The 15 second version: if your looking for investment, do it properly. Create a business that is worth investing, define your objectives in fundraising, set a budget (time and materials), create a plan to deliver the objective, validate (test) and/or get professional help to ensure your best result and bang for buck exchange.. then execute.