What Should You Look For In An Investor?5 years ago Rahul Das
We have read a lot about what should investors look in a startup and micro-blogs with captions like “10 Things To Impress Your Investors” and all that jazz but, at the end of the day it’s not about them, it is about you and your brainchild. When it comes to choosing an investor it’s the most critical decision to make and as an entrepreneur there arises the calamity of doubts, confusion and existentialism. It’s like you’re fresh out of school and there are loads of option on courses and colleges that you just can’t wrap your head around. And oh, did I forget to mention money? See, it’s pretty much back-to-school.
It’s all about the right investment, a balance between money, product and brand which would further help a startup grow. We chalked down couple of points that you could keep in mind when looking out for investors –
someone else yourself:
With all the nail-biting tension and the race to impress investors, many of us tend to lose ourselves but let’s just take a moment and chill out, shall we? There is no hard and fast rule that you’ve got to follow the fold. Spend some time with yourself, don’t be rigid – crack a joke or two with the people around, wear something that you’re comfortable in and just speak your mind. Being yourself and honest is an added bonus which can get you places so, put that confidence on when you’re on stage because that zeal is incomplete if you’re not you.
Ideas Over Money:
Trust me when I say this, money is not the be all and end all to anything. Money – is a necessary illusion that one cannot avoid but people aren’t. Confused much? Let me break it down for you. The relationship between an entrepreneur and an investor goes far beyond the “moolah aspect” and, you need to understand that. Spend time with that person, get to know him well, ask yourself if you feel a level of mutual connection and ask him if he’s actually interested in your ideas than expecting a quick success ladder. Remember what “V” said? “Ideas are bulletproof… not money.”
An investor might take you from A to B but an investor with familiarity will take you to the 11th mile. Look for an investor who has the know-how in an area that is directly relevant to your business model and the industry you’re in. It is exciting when you’re offered a great deal, but it’s also important to look at the other side of the grass. Do not chose an investor just because he can invest in your business, choose the one who shares the same frequency and identifies the uniqueness in your ideas because, what good is it if you have all the money and no satisfaction.
A Support System:
Bringing an investor on board is very effective for any early stage startup, the kind of relevant experience they bring on the table helps in building an efficient marketplace. Not just that, but an investor is like a parent, a support system who would give you his/her expertise and identify patterns to help you avoid missteps in your endeavours. But keep in mind, not all people are the same so, you might want to keep the mouldy ones aside.
T.S. Eliot once said, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
Entrepreneurs are known risk takers but why should an investor take in the dive? It is of foremost importance for the investor to understand that he is sailing the same boat as you are and your future decisions for your company might or might not fire up, the expertise and support of the investor will prove to be handy in such sticky situations.
At the end of the day, investors are needed to help you grow better in the marketplace and it is also important that you go in with a clear mind as to what you need from them. They not only provide the kind of money you need but also their network and expertise from their experience. Make it clear that their involvement, advice and suggestions would always be hugely welcome. They could help either formally by taking a position on the board or informally as an advisor.
All I have to say is, choose your investor wisely. Cheers!