It doesn’t matter how expertly you’ve nailed down your perfect pitch, met the five essential objectives that will encourage an investor to back you, or fine-tuned your fundraising strategy to ensure it’s as bulletproof as possible, there’s still a possibility that you won’t be able to raise investment for even the most creative and innovative business proposal.
Why? The answer’s simple. In our experience working with many of the world’s most outstanding start-up founders, it’s almost certainly because you’ve made one of the three common mistakes all investable entrepreneurs must avoid.
#1: You’ve left it far too late to raise investment
Here’s the timeline you must never forget – typically, a round of funding takes between three and six months to close. You also need to factor in the length of time (usually several weeks) that it will take you to put your critical fundraising assets together.
It’s vital to give yourself enough time to plan and perfect your pitch, assemble your projections, and ensure that all the assets your potential investor needs to see are properly in place.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can throw everything together in a hurry and bluff your way through it. Investors know the geography of this playing field like the back of their hand, so presenting them with rushed assets is a sure-fire way to turn them off from even the biggest and best ‘can’t lose’ offering.
Seeking investment too late reeks of desperation. You’ll feel it, the investor will see it, and your pitch will be ruined by it. An investor needs to believe in you and what you’re offering, and that won’t happen if you come across as needy and poorly prepared.
What’s the solution? Don’t wait until you’ve run out of money before starting to seek investment. An investor isn’t a stop-gap for lousy cash flow; they’re a strategic way for you to leverage capital so you can make your business grow. So, use our PitchReady Scorecard to identify the areas you’re performing well in and the weaker areas you need to work on and start putting our Investable Entrepreneur blueprint for success into practice right now.
#2: You’re doing everything on your own
It’s in the nature of motivated and hungry-for-success business founders to want to do everything for themselves, but that’s a hazardous approach to take when you’re trying to raise investment. It usually results in producing assets that are overly ambitious, out of focus, and have important details missing. Why? Because even the most capable and switched-on founder needs an expert team of advisors and consultants on their side to add their own perspective and do the research to support the founder’s claims.
And working with a wider team doesn’t just make the assets you create more solid, but it also adds credibility to your cause by demonstrating to an investor how well-considered and well-rounded your offering is.
What’s the solution? Don’t take everything on your shoulders. Behind every investable entrepreneur, there is a high performing team. At Robot Mascot, we’ve created an online platform called PitchPrep to make the teamwork process more streamlined and efficient. Get in touch if you’d like to find out more.
#3: You’ve lost sight of the bigger picture
Raising investment is a long, drawn-out process. It could easily take you six months to complete from beginning to end, and, during that time, you’ll also have your day-to-day business to contend with. When that happens, there’s a good chance you may lose sight of your strategic vision and overlook the critical elements you need to make your investment objective a success.
What’s the solution? Take a step back from day-to-day operations and look at your business from a helicopter point of view. Re-familiarise yourself with the preparation phase of the Six Principles of the Perfect Pitch and take advantage of our PitchPrep platform to highlight details about your business you’ve never noticed before. Many of our clients found these an invaluable way to improve their business model, create higher-value product offerings, or just keep them inspired and keep their momentum going through the long months that raising investment can take.
Don’t forget, if you want to find out more about becoming an Investable Entrepreneur, you can download a free copy of my bestselling book here.