2 min read Raising funding is difficult for many entrepreneurs, and there are fundraising myths out there making it even harder.
In this article, we plan to bust those myths one by one so that you can start raising funding with confidence.
Myth #1: Fundraising is about getting the check
Many entrepreneurs believe that fundraising is all about making their startup money. On the contrary, fundraising is about building a relationship with the investor. Investors start as mere contacts in your network. A relationship begins to develop through mailers and updates on your startup’s core results related to the team, sales, product, and fundraise, and your potential investor is promoted from prospective donor to a partner in your journey.
Myth #2: My product will carry the day
The reality is that your product is not what carries the day- your business is. No matter how great your product is, it isn’t going to win over any significant share of the market without a strong business structure behind it. Investors will base their decision in part on your past and current financials, how much funding you are seeking out and how you plan to use it, your exit strategy to calculate an expected rate of return, and proof of market validation.
Myth #3: It should only take a few weeks to raise $1M
In reality, it’ll take you a calendar year for every $1M you want to raise at the seed stage. This accounts for the time it takes to prepare the company, the investor documents, and the pitch as well contacting, pitching, and following up with investors. In addition to this, investors will need to have time to complete their due diligence process. Remember, you are likely not the only entrepreneur your investor is working with, and you will need to be patient and work with their schedule.
Myth #4: The investor didn’t follow up after my pitch session, so he must not be interested
Don’t expect an immediate decision from your prospective investor. Investors spend the first three to five interactions trying to figure out what you are doing. To help push things to the next level, try prompting your prospective investor with the following questions:
- Would you invest?
- What number do you have in mind?
- Can you commit to that number? If not, what holds you back from committing?
- What date before the close can you commit to signing the docs and wiring the funds?
You can also communicate that the following raise will be at a much higher valuation. If the investor is going to commit, they will do so for a better valuation now. Try tacking on incentives such as redemption rights, warrants, etc.
Myth #5: I only need to source five investors to raise $250K
You’ll need more than five investors to raise $250k. In fact, you’ll need about fifty. Don’t let this number scare you. There are many sources of capital- loans from family and friends, bank loans, revenue share loans, and equity investments in the form of convertible notes and equity ownership. Search your network for potential investors, including your contacts list and your LinkedIn connections. You can even search the web for local angel networks.
Feel free to try out our calculators and contact us if you would like to discuss your fundraise: https://www.startupfundingespresso.com/calculators/
Hall T. Martin is the founder and CEO of the TEN Capital Network. TEN Capital has been connecting startups with investors for over ten years. You can connect with Hall about fundraising, business growth, and emerging technologies via LinkedIn or email: email@example.com