So you've started a business and it's growing. Brilliant! If you're like many startup founders, that might not be enough. You may feel a deep need to move forward and reach new heights. If you can do this without outside funding, do it. However, if you need a round of outside funding and are preparing to raise VC (Venture Capital) funding, seek advice from any entrepreneur friends and family friends on how to approach the process.
Raising funds is commonly described as slow, challenging and sometimes demotivating. As a young entrepreneur without much experience or reputation, fundraising can be a very stressful process. It can be even more intimidating if casual sexist overtones are felt during the investor meeting. These situations are extremely daunting, and yet women often have to hold back and lead the conversation to a positive outcome. Founders may feel that they have a lot to lose by reporting this inappropriate behavior. And so the unfortunate cycle of underfunding women or devaluing your company continues. So what are you doing?
What to Expect in Fundraising
This is a scenario that women entrepreneur has faced several times throughout their career, particularly during the funding round of its employee planning platform. Unfortunately, it's quite common for men and women to receive different questions while battling them. In the shark tank. Harvard Business Review specifically examined how VCs male and female entrepreneurs ask different questions and how this affects their funding. Women are asked about the potential for loss, men about the potential for profit.
Many women entrepreneurs have shared experiences of being bombarded with risk issues by investors without having the opportunity to share their vision of their company. Founders who were more assertive were described as aggressive; others who were more docile were described as lacking in leadership. .
But what can you really do about it? Here are some questions to ask yourself while answering a sexist question:
How does your response fit in with your long-term goals and where you want to be?
There is no doubt that treating women differently than men is wrong, but you need to keep an eye on the prize and not act impulsively. Show that you are competent by incorporating your vision into your answer, even if the question was not specifically asked. For example, if you asked a question about your daily or monthly users, you could first answer how you want to attract customers and then where you are. Or when asked about churn, try talking about customer loyalty. Undermine the questions so you can be reasonable and answer in a way that puts you in power. When investors ask you about customer churn before you could showcase your growth, you should be ready to redirect them to our success stories of customers being able to maintain high retention rates. This immediately redirected the conversation and got us back on track. - Yes, that's unfair. Remember that as soon as you enter the Dragon Cave, you are making a difference in their culture. As your career progresses, you can have even more influence on your industry and culture.
What is the takeaway you want investors to have from your pitch?
Focus on the strongest points for investors to take away. What you and your team bring to the table should be clear from every answer. Even if the questions directed at you are more negative than the questions directed at your male colleagues, it pushes you to work harder not to hold them back. This requires careful preparation and strategy. According to the Harvard Business Review, 85% of business owners answer a promotion question with a promotion answer and a prevention question with a prevention answer. This will result in a confirmation error, so you'll need to change the way you respond.
How to prepare your pitch for strategic answers
It is imperative that you practice your pitch with your team. Whenever possible, connect with mentors or colleagues in your network who can share feedback based on their experiences. You need to refine your answers no matter what questions are asked. Interpret the questions and answers for the worst-case scenarios. Use your calendar to plan time for each of the steps below and practice your speech.
Make a list of possible questions.
What questions do you love and what questions are you afraid of? Put both of them on your list. Ask your friends or team mates what questions they have been asked in the past that you did not expect. They may be able to share the questions asked and other information about their respective investors. Building your network will continue to help you in the future. Once you get help, pay for it if you are able to help.
Make a list of everything you want to convey
Turn your vision into bullet points that can fall into different categories of questions and answers. Vision list of different lengths. If there are points you want to address that aren't asked, practice adding them to another answer.
Reminders or Affirmation
Write down a reminder or affirmation on what you want to get out of a meeting and where you want your career to go. Every meeting you go to with an investor should serve multiple purposes. It’s obvious you want investments, but there are other things to be gained. First, it is an experience you can learn from to perfect your pitch. No matter what happens, this is just one meeting of many over the course of your career. Second, it is another connection to make. Even if an investor is showing you through their questions that they are not the kind of investor you want, they are likely well-connected. Perhaps they know of other investors that may be a better fit.
Always have faith in in God and in yourself
When we don't trust ourselves, we also don't trust God. Our human self is restored through Christ yet we tend to not want to accept it on a deep spiritual level. From experience, we tend to be suspicious about everything that may be good. If it sounds too good, it probably is. Believe that God is there to guide you all way through,