You just have to be well prepared for it. And, that’s the hard part.
You need a good investor deck and appealing sales pitch. But that’s relatively easy compared to the dense and difficult stuff.
Rehearsing your pitch and putting nice pictures and playing with excel is all fun and good but that’s something you can fix and modify easily.
None of those things will get you funding by themselves. They represent the real issues – your actual business.
Why you exist? What is the mission that is so compelling that people are instantly turning on and wanting to join you in accomplishing the bigger than life purpose.
Who’s in your team? The people around you define you. The mixture of talent, skill, experience and culture you have managed to build tells a lot about your business prospects.
What’s your business model? The way you have structured your approach to the market defines many aspects of your venture. Some of them are relatively hard to change or modify on the fly without significant sacrifices or delays.
How’s your traction? Your accomplishments so far signal the way you run your operation. Have you tackled the customer-first approach and generated some revenues and have pilot or paying customers from the beginning?
How’s your cap table? If you have bootstrapped your way up it tells something. The other story is told by the state of your ownership structure and amount of funding you have taken in in comparison to the progress you have achieved.
Where are you with your product-market fit or go-to-market strategy? Your insights to the customer problems, the pain points and the difference you can make by solving these give away more than you want to admit.
These are a few examples of harder things. The funding is a derivative of the real issues. When you have the right components in place the money comes to you rather easily.
The tough part is to realise that changing something in the deck is a derivative as well. It takes a lot of time and effort, dedication and courage to change the harder parts of the equation.
Operating under unproven areas, rough market conditions or suboptimal resources are usually the ingredients that are added to the mix.
Build a good business case, and funding it takes care of itself. It’s not automatic or even easy but if your actual business is solid that will be reflected in the funding. The opposite is true as well.
Make sure you tackle the right monkey and take baby steps every day.