Investors and startups, thinking out loud. Flowwow Experience

    Investors and startups, useful thoughts, Flowwow experience .

    I’m traveling on the Minsk-Brest train, the song “Ah, what a woman ...” is playing in the car, and then it occurred to me to write a short note about investors and our work with them.
    The topic for me is relatively not new, because I often interact with investors and have already managed to accumulate a little experience working with them and therefore I want to share with you.
    Investors are divided into several types:
    - business angels
    - funds
    - something in between a fund and a business angel
    Funds can be divided into “near-state” and private, there are large funds, there are small ones. Business angels can be divided into several types:
    - professional business angels (in Russia they can be counted on the fingers)
    - unprofessional business angels, these are just people from the market who have money that they decide to use is somehow more interesting than depreciating at banks.

    A small digression.
    Friends, if you have the opportunity to work without an investor, then work without him!
    Bank loans and overdrafts are much cheaper, if there is no money. For example, we recently found out that if you have an RKO at Alfa Bank, you can use an overdraft of 6 to 10 million. The normal amount, adequate interest for the business and getting it is very simple if you are a bank customer and you have understandable for the bank flows of money.

    But let's continue about investors.
    We hold 1-2 meetings with investors per week. Such a strange trend in recent months, apparently we are considered very promising, since they are actively interested. We have already reached self-sufficiency, we already have specialized investors, so we feel somehow more confident. We work a lot and try to spend time as efficiently as possible, for this reason most meetings take place on our territory, we very rarely go somewhere ourselves, only if a very interesting fund. In any case, we always agree to a meeting, because with all hands and feet for useful contacts and communication. Life can turn out so that any contacts and communications will be useful.

    Why did I think about investors when I heard the song “Oh, what a woman ...”?
    According to my observations, relations with investors are very similar to relationships with girls, everyone knows the phrase "The less a girl we love, the more she likes us." This expression accurately describes the investor’s relationship with a successful startup. On the one hand, we do not refuse to meet and are as open as possible, we share metrics, indicators, plans for the future, even failures. On the other hand, we do not run after investors, do not make presentations, they always find us themselves and offer to meet us, make their own proposals.

    I sincerely hope that everyone is already aware that the investor is not primarily money, but competencies, partnerships, new customers, new horizons, expertise, and only then money. If you need money, then go to people from the Cherkizovsky market who are sitting with big capitals on their hands and are ready to invest money in anything that will make a profit. It has its own characteristics, of course, but money comes first.

    If you already have an investor, then take all its opportunities, pump out from it the maximum of useful information, connections and everything else. If you are looking for another investor, then think about what he can give, he is your future partner, this is a person in a team. Very often I hear from investors themselves that choosing an investor is more difficult than choosing a wife.

    If you are actively looking for an investor and “no one gives you”, then think, maybe it’s the matter in you. Try to establish your business, and not "run" around investors. Because it is more important to make money, rather than attract investment. We live in such a time and in such a country that we need to reach the breakeven point in a year. If you didn’t come out, then you are not doing business, but something else. Visualization:

    A few useful thoughts:

    1) If your goal is simply to “attract investment”, then it is unlikely that any of the adequate investors will give money and risk their money.
    2) Do not "run" for investors. If you are a promising project, then you will find yourself, just conduct PR-activities, tell us more about yourself.
    3) Take a piece of paper and write down on points what you really need, what competencies that this or that investor can give you.
    4) Always at meetings with investors ask what he can give in addition to money, if nothing else, then think about it.
    5) Relations with an investor are like relations with a wife. Spend more dates and get to know each other better before building a serious relationship.
    6) Look on the Internet for information about loans and banking solutions, it is possible that for your tasks there are cheaper solutions than investments.
    7) If you want to cut a product - cut it, but forget about business, it’s better to go to work for hire in a big company and do it there for a salary (this was not in the article, but it is important).

    Friends, I hope that some thoughts from this article will be useful to you. Just be open and honest. You may not find investors, but you will find great partners and friends. I just read the book that the business angel Pavel Annenkov “Mistakes in a Million” presented to me at the meeting, a smart investor visiting card and a lot of useful experience, you can buy here .

    By the way, I still write on Facebook, add to friends, we will communicate more often.

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