Some companies can get started without any investors, but most need at least some sort of seed money at least once in their initial periods of growth. For entrepreneurs that means having a solid pitch they can present to potential investors. Here are the traits investors are going to be looking to find during that presentation.
You need to know your stuff. An entrepreneur shouldn’t come across as someone trying to sell a fake tonic that can cure every disease ever. That will drive investors away. Come armed with the facts and be authentic.
Entrepreneurs need to be likeable, but they also need to be convincing. Investors look at how you establish a relationship with them as you’re offering your pitch. Take a leadership role, look investors in the eye, and drive the pitch home just like you’d drive a team of direct reports to a successful project conclusion.
If you don’t love what you do as an entrepreneur, then why are you trying to obtain an investment in the first place? Investors want to know if you’re committed to the long haul. If not, then they won’t provide any cash. Period. This doesn’t mean you need to eliminate your family obligations or work 100+hours per week. It does mean you may need to prove that you’re willing to put the business first when there are difficult choices to make.
Leaders can often seem arrogant to the level of being obnoxious. There’s a difference between confidence and cockiness. Investors want to see entrepreneurs who have a certain level of humbleness and gratefulness regarding their current position. If you show that you can accept criticism and outside advice, then you’ll show investors what they want to see.
Entrepreneurs need to show that they aren’t content with a certain level of success. Show through your pitch that every day is a new day to find innovation. Prove that you’re never satisfied with a job that’s only halfway done.
Investors are creating partnerships just as entrepreneurs are through the investment process. If you can show investors what traits they’re wanting to see in your entrepreneurial spirit, then you’ll have a better chance to get the cash you need.
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