When seeking funding it is imperative that you set realistic expectations, practice how you will be pitching your business idea, and assess who you should be following up with. Having the right mindset is important in this journey as it may make or break your confidence as a founder. Here are some of the things you should be thinking during the fund raising phase.
Everyone Has a Role
Every team member involved in the fundraising process should be well versed in what they will be presenting, or doing for the pitch. Are they in charge or the deck, of the followups, of the networking, updating the numbers, or the presenting. You should not be doing everything. Delegate to get the best out of all your team members and so that every aspect of it is done with equal effort and time.
Learn from Each Meeting
If you are walking into your first ever VC meeting or the fifth ever VC meeting in a board room, you should be focused on the feedback they give you. Most VCs do not have the time to review and give insight, so when they do, treat it as valuable information. Also at the end of each meeting, assess with your team what worked for you and what did not, then apply the strengths to the next board meeting pitch.
Know that Something’s You Cannot Gauge Beforehand
Some of the most common things first-time founders do is overestimate or underestimate the interest a prospective investor may have in their app. If an investor says maybe, you shouldn’t tell yourself to be optimistic and treat it as an affirmative. You should have aimed to walk into 10 meetings and find interest in one. You may have the best app out there and you will still be called upon the negotiating table where VCs offer you the funds or less of the funds you desire for more equity than what you are offering.
Think of a Meeting as a Launch
It is easy to get caught up in the idea that everything you say will be automatically understood by the audience, just because you have been immersed in the app and everything about it for the past year. But that is not so.
Make sure that you treat your pitch like you would treat a hyped mobile app launch to your target market. This means the wording you will use when presenting the idea, the strategy, and even the financial projections should be optimized to sell. Keep it concise with your most impressive foot forward.
Investors and VCs are humans just like you and you may just be the memorable team to pitch that day in the way you interact with each person in the board room. If you can, try to make them connect on a personal level.
The Idea is Still the Hero
While most founders will argue that the execution is everything and it does not matter what the idea is as long as you present it well, for investors that is not so. Investors know that as first-time founders your strength lies in the idea and not necessarily in your experience. Make sure to wow them with your brilliant innovation.