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How to talk with an investor to raise capital?


Part 1

Business awareness

Ambrose Bierce has once written that an expert is a specialist who knows everything about something and knows nothing about anything else. If this is referred to the creation of new projects (start-up), could be tempted to formulate a question – is the expert knowledge itself about the product/service (being an expert) enough to attract an investor? If we take a closer look at this issue, there would be some doubt. Looking at the conversations and meetings that young business initiators are holding (sometimes with and sometimes without successes) with investors, one can get the impression that we have two aspects of business awareness. The first one refers to knowledge of the broader context in which our business is embedded. This can be, e.g. the recognition of formal/informal links between players on the market, excellent knowledge of industry trends, access to information that is not published in the press, etc. It is about showing the investor that we are one step ahead of what is currently on the market in a given industry. Awareness of events and phenomena is the basic tool for making business decisions and really defines the scope of our field of vision. The broader, the better. The second aspect goes beyond the knowledge of the product/service around which our project is organized. It deals with such issues as awareness of how people think and behave, how the world revolves, what are the dependencies between phenomena in life. While the first aspect of business awareness can be built through solid preparation, the second issue, unfortunately, is acquired with age. An exception to this rule are the few people who, despite their age, have already done much in their lives. Because of this, they have experienced more events much faster in their lives. If we do not belong to this group, which obviously does not determine success in the future, it may be better to invite an older mentor to the business. The investor will look for a mature and conscious partner in us. Passion and enthusiasm alone may not be enough. What’s more, they can be picked up by the investor as an impulsive action and devoid of a critical look. The investor after the first fee sentences uttered (the words we use, the sentences we form, the continuity of the statement) will immediately know who he is dealing with.

  1. Let’s build our young businesses based on people who can see, know and have experienced things. Let’s invite them to projects and share the fruits of our work with partners who can help raise our credibility in the eyes of the investor. Thanks to this, we can get the necessary capital faster, more efficiently enter the market and plan business development more boldly;
  2. Let us also expand our field of vision in the “meantime”. On the publishing market, there is now a lot of literature developed in a simple and accessible language, devoted to:

    • practical psychology of human behaviour and phenomena in large communities (understanding man);
    • the law of macro economy and geopolitics (understanding the world);
    • business processes (understanding business language and principles of project construction);
  3. Building business awareness in some situations may seem to us to be a waste of time. After all, the lack of financial resources is more palpable when it is necessary to pay liabilities on a regular basis and looking at how similar or comparable business to our are formed on the market (God forbid), this causes pressure to start quickly. Unfortunately, such thinking in the long run may only, in spite of appearances, extend the acquisition of an investor.

Optim Human team

How to talk with an investor to raise capital?
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