By Neha Bagaria and Arshan Vakil
Meeting your very first investor can be nerve-wrecking for a homepreneur or someone who is trying to start her business for the first time. With so much on the line, it’s important to come to the meeting prepared not only to show them your pitch deck, but to start to build a relationship with them, and give them confidence in how you will solve problems that arise in the future.
Here are some tips that can be beneficial for a homepreneur to turn the tables in his/her favour:
* Communication Skills: It’s very important to have a good command over communication skills if one is looking for investors to put their capital in the business. Sometimes, loss of communication or poor presentation could turn off an investor.
Certain ed-tech start-ups offer industry-specific courses that provide apt knowledge even if you are not a seasoned employee in that industry. Such courses help you not only develop your verbal communication skills but also help you in networking — a critical factor while building a venture. If you master your communication skills then you will have the power of storytelling and it will make your project more memorable and easier to relate to.
* Reskill and upskill yourself: If it has been a while since worked and you are getting back in the game, there’s a high possibility your skills need a refresher course, specifically if that is what you are relying on to start your own venture. There are start-ups that help individuals get reskilled.
* Mentorship courses: There’s a huge women’s workforce that remains untapped. If one is willing to start a woman-centric business, there are organisations that help such workforce getting the right set of mentorship courses to be employable.
* Networking: In tier II and III cities, where the culture of the corporate world is yet to reach, it is often noticed that people with even an authentic business model fail to find angel investors. One of the major reasons is that they lack knowledge of the corporate networking culture that one needs while presenting such pitches. From creating a presentation to delivering the pitch, it requires a fluency which comes with a strong verbal and communication background. There is a particular breed of ed-tech startup apps that help get your hired crew trained better.
* Watch while you talk: Don’t oversell. Investors like to hear the truth. Though they want to make a profit, they don’t want you to offer bogus claims. So don’t make promises you’re not sure you can keep.
* Steel yourself to criticism: Take all the negative feedback that may come without lashing out. If need be, go back to the drawing board to make necessary adjustments to better prepare for your next investor meeting.
(Neha Bagaria is Founder & CEO, JobsForHer; Arshan Vakil is Founder & CEO, Kings Learning. The views expressed are personal)