The Art of Charming Investors: Tips and Advice for Raising Capital
Drawing in investors to your startup is a tough journey. Any company looking for capital shows a risk of a loss, so investors are often wary of infusing cash into any business, no matter how great the prospects look. But selling an investor on your idea is about so much more than the business itself, take advantage of the whole selling package that you and your company represents in order to secure the funding you need to grow and achieve success.
Sell the idea.
There is no getting around the viability of the idea. Your business, whether brand new or already established, must produce something of value to the marketplace in order to attract funding from investors. Without an interesting and useful product or service, you simply cannot operate and an investor will see right through a poor idea.
This means that you must do two things in tandem when approaching prospective investors. The first thing is to design a great product. In addition, your startup needs to fill a gap in the market that has enough room to grow so that a venture capitalist can see the dream of your idea and potential avenues of growth beyond that first phase of sales. You need to sell the idea of the company as both a firm foundation rooted in market research and consumer habits as well as a launchpad for future growth that expands beyond the limits of this initial surge to market.
An innovative idea with growth potential will always draw buzz even if your first pitch ends without funding — you will still begin to create notoriety for yourself and your business. Take it from the example of Vivek Ramaswamy, the CEO of Roivant. His firm recently secured billions of dollars in funding in order to continue the development of shelved drugs that other pharmaceutical companies have given up on for lack of a promise in profits. The idea shows great ingenuity and has the potential for groundbreaking advances in both human healthcare and the marketplace for pharmaceutical drugs.
Sell yourself and your personal vision.
Not only must you sell the dream of your business, but you also need to sell yourself as to its leader. An investor is buying into your idea, but they are also putting their money behind you as the brains of the operation. In order to sell yourself you must remember that first impressions can be powerful indicators of long-term feelings, so beginning a relationship on the right foot is crucial. This means dressing the part, including petite professional clothes in your lineup.
The second part of selling yourself is all about your personality and mindset. Your look is the first thing an investor will digest about you, but a well-polished professional isn’t necessarily one with a million-dollar idea worth investing in. Your brain will take you across the finish line. Before any pitch meeting, it’s important to spend a considerable amount of time looking over your notes and figures. You need to anticipate questions about revenue, costs, and motivation for working in the space. Selling yourself is all about your mental toughness and attitude. An investor can tell when they are speaking to a highly intelligent individual that has the chops for success. Make sure you exude confidence in yourself and your business in order to walk out of the meeting with a check.
Securing funding for your business can be stressful, but the road to success is paved with hard work and rock-solid confidence in your brand. Take the first steps before you enter the pitch meeting.