Every great business starts with a great idea. But if you want your idea to make it big, you need to find partners that are willing to trust you with their name and their investment. Finding and securing great partners is the key to taking your startup business from a potential money-maker to a full-fledged cash cow. These tips will help you expand your startup’s network and profile.
The Best Startup Policy
When you have potential partners coming in for a meeting, there will always be a temptation to hide anything that isn’t perfect. Doing that is a mistake. Anyone who has any degree of success knows that a business that claims perfection is one to stay away from.
You want your future partners to be able to trust and rely on you. That means being honest about your company’s strengths and weaknesses. Don’t hide the negatives. In fact, you can turn those negatives into positives by detailing the steps you’ve taken to mitigate or eliminate them.
So Fresh, So Clean Startup
When you’re making a first impression, your prospective partners aren’t just going to be looking at how you present yourself. They’ll look at your office. A clean work environment is better for your team’s productivity anyway, but it’s doubly important when you’re trying to woo an investor. If you can’t take care of your startup office, how are you going to take care of your money?
This applies to the outside of your building as well. If your building doesn’t have a dedicated maintenance crew cleaning the windows and maintaining any green spaces on the property, consider hiring a crew to keep your building looking its best.
A Culture of Respect
Be sure to show your potential partner get all the respect in the world. If they have to travel to your meeting, arrange their transportation. Make getting to you as easy and comfortable as possible. It will be appreciated.
It’s also a good idea to do some research into the people you’re bringing in. What do their other business ventures say about their priorities when investing their money? Where are they from? People from different cultures can have different ideas about proper behavior. Do they have dietary restrictions? Make sure you’ve taken that into account before they have to ask.
Know Your Message
Go over your presentation before the big meeting. Try to eliminate vocalized pauses like “um” and “uh.” If you say one here or there, it’s no big deal, but too many can make a potential investor question just how much you know what you’re talking about.
Along these same lines, a startup needs to make sure the equipment you’re using is working exactly the way you want it to. Not every office has all the A/V equipment that a great presentation requires. Projector rentals to start with, then speaker rentals, large displays, and even special lighting rigs can make all the difference. When you rent equipment, make sure the company gets you what you need and that they can help you with installation and show you exactly what you need to know.
Be Who You Are
The identity of a company can be an important factor for investors. If you’ve built your company up as a home for iconoclasts that think outside the box that would be stifled in a “normal” corporate environment, don’t have your prospective partners walk into an office full of people in full three-piece suits. Your office dress code should reflect the culture you’ve created. If that culture is more relaxed, show that to your investors.
The bottom line is that people want to invest in businesses that they believe in and that they feel they can trust. So put your best foot forward and show the world that your business is ready to stand out from the pack of a less well-prepared startup.