Securing funds from venture capitalists or angel investors is one of the most difficult tasks of business startup owners. Not only do they need to convince potential investors that they will benefit from the deal, they are also tasked to convince them to believe in the potential of their ideas.
Venture capitalists and angel investors are experienced when it comes to choosing which startups to fund. Most of the time, they know how to separate the entrepreneurs who lack the ability to run a viable business to those who are made to be successful. In order to avoid falling into the first category, business startup owners should avoid committing these obvious pitching mistakes:
1. Asking for a non-disclosure agreement
While it is understandable that you wanted to protect your ideas, asking your potential investor to sign an NDA on your first meeting is a major turn-off. Unless you have patented algorithms or formula that could be considered as your intellectual property, you have to realize that NDAs do not have much value in the business startup world. Keep in mind there are hundreds of other people out there who might have been thinking the same way as you do.
Asking your potential investor to sign an NDA is a sure way to shoo them away as it inserts a level of untrustworthiness in your supposed partnership.
2. Talking about equity splits
Opening your pitch with the idea of equity splits at early stage may turn away a lot of potential investors. Of course, it’s important to deal with agreements and percentage points, among others. However, talking about this too much instead of focusing on the product and other more relevant things would surely upset your potential investor.
Determining who will be the CEO is important, but spending all your time arguing the pros and cons of appointing one is futile, especially for business startups that have yet to establish a name for itself.
3. Failing to present a financial plan
Investors want to know how they will benefit from a deal. So a good business startup owner is expected to present a financial plan detailing how is he or she planning to gain revenue. Be realistic, a business without a detailed financial plan is not a business.