Every startup wants to attract investments in one form or another. For many who are working towards transforming their ideas into products that customers actually love, getting a sufficient investment from a VC or angel investor is that milestone that will make or break the company. For many others, getting investors is the endgame.
Regardless of how well you’ve been doing and the ideas you have going forward, meeting the first investor is always daunting. To help you prepare for the meeting, here are the three things you need to know about meeting your first investor.
Prepare for a ‘No’
Yes, more than 60% of meetings between startup owners and investors ended with the investor saying no to the business opportunity. Here’s the important part: it’s part of the process. Not many startups get to receive millions in Series A funding on their first try. Some of the most successful companies today actually went through several meetings before finding the right investors to work with.
The way an investor reacts to your propositions is something you cannot control; it is time to let that go and focus on the things you can control instead. Stop worrying about how the investor will react and start focusing your energy on fine-tuning your proposal and presentation. Let your ideas and products do most of the talking.
Investors are not just investing in ideas or products, especially when investing in startups. They are investing in people; those who stood by their ideas and have the motivation to turn them into actual products. In other words, investors are also investing in you, the person behind the startup.
First, make sure you are ready to present your ideas. Make the best first impression and build on that. Dress appropriately for the meeting and always show that you are prepared to face the challenge. Most investors rely on their instincts and level of comfort before making investment decisions, so always make them feel as comfortable as possible with you and your ideas.
Some startup founders are starting to sharpen their essential skills to boost credibility. This is also a good thing to consider. You can, for instance, pursue a project and program management degree to be a better CEO for the company. Thanks to top universities such as Brandeis University, online courses such as an online MSMPP program are now more accessible than ever.
You will get offers. Unfortunately, not all offers are worth taking. It is up to you to decide whether to accept offers based on aspects such as a valuation and control. If an offer is not good enough for the future of the company – the future of your ideas – then simply walk away and move on.
A lot of startup founders felt obliged to accept every offer on the table just because they needed the investment. This is the worst mistake you can make since it will lead to undervaluation and you losing control of the business. Refer back to the tips we have covered in this article and you will handle your first meeting with an investor like a pro.