ABC’s Shark Tank is an addictive kind of show. Seeing entrepreneurs bring their concept before a group of potential angel investors makes for strangely intriguing television, and as always, the train wrecks are as fun to watch as the successes. Until you realize it’s an entrepreneur struggling, of course.
More importantly for your purposes, the show imparts a few powerful lessons about what to do and what not to do when it comes to securing financing as an entrepreneur. These lessons range from the image you should be projecting to the very way you sell your entrepreneurial concept to those investors.
You need these lessons because being an entrepreneur is difficult, and a thousand little mistakes can deprive you of the financing you need to get a winning concept off the ground.
Without further ado, here’s three BizEngine tips you should have in the back (or even the front) of your mind if you’re out looking for investors.
3 Tips For Entrepreneurs
- Know where you stand in the process. If you have an idea scrawled on a napkin and a prototype built out of toothpicks, it’s probably too early to go for financing. On the other hand, if you wait way too long and pour your own money into the concept to the point where you need financing just to stay financially solvent, you’ve waited too long. Go for the sweet spot when you have your idea developed but aren’t yet ready to start spending large sums of money making it a reality.
- Know what you’re talking about. If you’ve ever done a school book report or a work presentation where you didn’t quite read the materials carefully enough, you remember the horror of being asked questions you don’t know the answer to and seeing a sea of skeptical faces in front of you. The horror, the horror! So make it a priority to learn your business inside and out, know your financials and be able to answer any question that might conceivably come up. You’ll avoid torpedoing your entire pitch that way.
- These investors help entrepreneurs like you. That’s what they do. They are not going to be moved to tears by your story, and they’re not going to be impressed if you flash a Rolex and put together an interpretive dance for your concept. Be straightforward, don’t act like you’re God’s gift to entrepreneurs and engage with them.
Photo credit to sxc.hu