Zebraheard

Helping entrepreneurs turn ideas into a business

ENTREPRENEURS PRESENTING TO INVESTORS


       

NOTE: Entrepreneurs and Investors      

I have decided to use the term Nupreneur instead of New Entrepreneur. I feel it conveys the same meaning as new entrepreneur but in a less pronounced way.       

Presentation

Preparation to Present

 

I have seen nothing create fear in an Entrepreneurs eyes then meeting and presenting their business to investors. Whether it is a Nupreneur or Entrepreneur, grown women and men have been brought to tears. This blog will talk briefly about how it is OK to breathe. There is a method to the madness and I do have an answer for those who are preparing for that event.        

I use the word event because to people presenting it is just that…an event. We must remember peoples dreams, hopes and aspirations are believed to rest on a nod of this body of perceived God-like creatures. One of my roles that I  took very seriously was helping prepare my clients to present in front of these investors. As a former history teacher it reminded of walking into the Coliseum and fighting the lions to only look up for yea or nay from the Emperor. There is that sense of life and death panic that can surround that process if you are not ready. There need not be any panic. Nervousness perhaps, but never panic. First of all much depends on the investing group but the ones I have dealt with, and I am speaking primarily about Angel Investors are good, solid people who want to help entrepreneurs. Don’t get me wrong they are business people first, but most have very genuine interest in seeing people succeed. Therefore, although this is important don’t look at it as an adversarial relationship. It doesn’t have to be.    

 So here are some tips:        

  • Get to know and understand the Angel or Angel groups in your area. Ask around. Invite some to breakfast or lunch. Ask them what they are looking for in a company they are funding.

     

  • Listen. Talk to as many people as you can. Not just investors but successful entrepreneurs and see how they have obtained financing.

     

  • Find a coach or mentor to guide you through that process. You will be ahead of the game if you obtain a coach who can help you with this.

     

  •  Preparation for the presentation is critical. It can take time if your are very far along in your business development process. This is where a coach is helpful.

     

  • Work on finding a Champion for you in the investment community. You find them by networking well at events you will find investors. If you don’t how to network. Stay tuned to these blogs I will give some ideas.

     

  • Stay calm. If you get turned down by the investors and you feel you have a viable product/service then go to plan B. What is Plan B? It is what you go to when Plan A fails. Always, always, always have a Plan B.

Here is some good news. If you are reading this then you are in luck. I put together a guide on what you need to know to be prepared when presenting to the investors and tips on how to present to the investors. My “Presenting To Investors Guide” will be available on my website www.zebraheard.com in a couple of weeks. If you want me to notify you when it is available email me at bcollins@zebraheard.com.         

I want to leave you with this thought that you are starting a new business and as an Entrepreneur you have done something amazing. You should be proud of that effort.  Have faith in your efforts and product.  If you walk into any place with the feeling I don’t deserve this money you will not get it. Investors have an acute sense of smell for self-doubt and fear. Don’t have it and if you do don’t show it.         

Talk to you soon!

May 18, 2010 Posted by | Entrepreneur | 5 Comments

Starting A Home Based Business


Home Business

Home Business

There are nuances that a Home Based Business encounters that is a little different then someone who starts a business and operated away from home. I suggest speaking with your accountant or attorney. If you don’t have one you will need one. The biggest obstacle you will have to overcome if you work from home? That’s an easy question to answer…you! You will be the biggest obstacle to working from home. Trust me I speak experience. If you have never worked from home before  a couple of things you should know. My own experience and the experience of other entrepreneurs I have seen tell me that very few of us are cut out to be the ‘work from home’ entrepreneur. I thought I was several times and it is more difficult than you would imagine to get yourself motivated and into your home office at a specific time. If you are distracted, a home based business is more than likely not the way you should go.

I have had some surprises and have seen a few entrepreneurs prove me wrong. But not very many have proven me wrong.

Set Boundaries

Lastly, if you have a hard time saying no this may not be the best way to start you business. Once you are working from home and you have the other two areas covered – you are a self-starter, and you are not easily distracted then you must overcome one other impediment to your success … your friends and family. Once your family and friends know you are working from home you may find they have requests of your time to run errands require your time away from your business. Start from the beginning establishing your boundaries. Friends and family must understand that even though you are home you are working at your job.

May 4, 2010 Posted by | Entrepreneur | , , | 3 Comments