If you own a startup, one of the few important things in the startup game is to pitch to your investors and close the sale with success. To help you understand how to approach investors and close the deal without too much trouble, we have curated a list which just might help!
1. Give your investors a reason to invest in your company
While you may think your startup requires, needs and deserves the investment you seek from potential investors, the people you approach will not necessarily agree with this idea. Investors also want to find companies which are worth the time and money, which essentially means that this is a two way courtship. Give your investors a reason to believe in the long term goals of your startup, so that they don’t just invest in them for now, but for the coming years as well. An added benefit of this is that not only are you ensuring a continuous influx of cash, but you are sure of what you want the next five years to look like for your startup.
2. Show your investors where they fit in your startup
When you are pitching to your investors, tell them exactly where the money they are giving is going. For example, if you are pitching to your investors about a new product you are building, tell them how you plan to use the money to build the product. From the sourcing of the material, to the final development of the product, outline all the fine details of where the cash is going and make sure your investors understand what the final output is going to look like as well. By doing this, not only do you tell your investors that the final product is already conceptualized, but that you know exactly what the funds are going to be used for and the transparency is clearly maintained.
3. Let it be made clear that you understand the competition
Accepting and acknowledging the competition is an important step when it comes to asking for investment. Position yourself in a way that that puts you one step ahead of your competitors to show your potential investors how dedicated you are and why they should place their bets on you. Don’t undersell your goals and always ensure you are prepared for every situation good or bad with contingency plans. This way, you know what you are doing and can therefore ask for appropriate funds keeping in mind the future of your company and the marketspace.
4. Don’t rely on small talk to fill the gaps
When meeting with investors, understand what makes them who they are. Get your background research on them down to a tee and take into account what makes them tick. When talking to the bigger fish in the market, it is always useful to acknowledge their backgrounds. Not only does this ensure a strong relationship between you and the other person, it also shows them that you are prepared and aren’t just going to them because they have money. A point to note here is that if you do have gaps, don’t engage in small talk because the whole vibe of the pitch just gets affected in a negative manner.
5. Practice your pitch
Practice makes you perfect and that is a principle which is applicable in every sense of the word. Once you have all the information about not just your startup, but about your investors as well, have a mock pitch so you know exactly what to say. Be prepared with the kind of questions they might ask and make sure you have all your bases covered. In order to avoid the blind spots, ask someone who isn’t connected to your pitch in any way to critique your product and idea. This way, you know you’re getting an honest opinion and you know exactly what to expect from the other side. Being over prepared is never a bad thing! Be quick and concise with your strategies and make sure that when you do make your final pitch, you have everything in place for the pitch to be a success.
Talking to investors is a tricky business. Sometimes, just a couple of words is enough to finish a deal and sometimes, it takes months to see the deal through. If you think we missed out on any other facts about how to pitch to your investors, comment and let us know!
How To Improve The SEO Of Your Website
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an extremely important tool, especially when it comes to improving your website’s online position and rank. With so many websites crawling on the internet, it comes as no surprise, there will be more than one website which is similar to your website. Here are some tips to improve the quality of your website’s SEO!
1. Relevant content
One of the primary ways to improve your website’s SEO is by making sure you have relevant content on your site. The more information you have, the more time people spend on your website and the lesser your bounce rate is. The lesser the bounce rate, the higher the dwell time (time spent on site) and the better your site does! Further, to keep people hooked to your site, keep updating the content on a regular basis. Not only does this keep your website updated, it also helps attract new people on a regular basis.
2. Increase your website’s speed
Improving the website’s speed is one of the most overlooked SEO tips. In fact, according to Google’s recommendations for improving your website’s performance, website speed ranks in the top five list. Recent studies show, more than 50 % people expect websites to load in not more than 2 seconds. If it takes longer than that, the bounce rates automatically increase and you lose not just your existing audience, but the option of getting new ones as well.
3. Optimize your images
One of the best ways to improve your website’s SEO is by optimizing not just the content on your website, but the images as well. Images with large sizes tend to affect the time taken by your website to load. Further, when you don’t format your files the right way, the traction also gets affected. The best way to optimize your images is by making the most of the following trade secrets:
- Resize or compress the images
- Use the keywords in the alt tags
- Rename your images such that the image name contains the relevant keywords.
4. Secure your site
One of the best ways to improve your website’s SEO is by switching to HTTPS, if you haven’t already. One of the major benefits of using HTTPs is, not only does it secure your site, it also helps in protecting the information on your website. By using HTTPs in the URL of your website, you can make sure that your domain is easily visible to the people who are actively looking for the topics available on your website.
5. Make your website mobile optimized
With more and more people relying on smartphones, it is extremely important to make sure you optimize your website for mobiles. A point most people miss here is, keywords on websites work differently when it comes to mobiles as compared to websites. For a website to be mobile optimized, the content should be easy to ready, so people can scroll through even when they are on the go. If you clutter the website with too many words and too much literature, the average smartphone user may not want to spend a lot of time on the site. Let people take in all the information about your website and want to come back to the site on a regular basis.
6. Header tags
While header tags seem like a slightly less relevant point when it comes to improving your website’s rank, reality is far from the case. Header tags help in creating bifurcations between your text, giving people time to focus on the content. Furthermore, header tags help in formatting your content and in increasing the overall appeal of your website. Tip: H2 tags are the most preferred type of header tags!
Hyperlinks is a surefire way of increasing your website’s overall rank. When you hyperlink certain words to other pages of your website, the viewer’s interest increases and people are more likely to spend time on your site. Further, if you have tie ups with other websites, you can hyperlink relevant information to the websites you partner with, thereby increasing your credibility as well!
Search engine optimization is one of the best ways to improve your site’s overall ranking and if you follow the tricks of the trade the right way, then there is no stopping your growth! If you think we missed out on any other points regarding SEO, comment and let us know!
How To Set Your Financial Goals For 2019
The year 2019 is upon us and is moving forward like a house on fire. With so many things happening and the world constantly moving forward, there are a lot of things to look at, especially when it comes to your financial services. As a startup, here’s how you can set your financial goals for 2019:
1. Review your goals
A lot can happen over the span of a year. Priorities can change, mindsets can change and your ideas about where you think your startup should be can change. You may have overshot your budget last year and you may not have properly planned for the year ahead. Take a look at all the things which happened in the past year and review the goals you set for yourself. It is vital to note that in order to stay fully prepared for 2019, you should have financial plans which are in sync with what your goals are going to be!
2. Take stock of the previous investments
When you are working on what to expect from the financial year from 2019, it is important to look at the kind of investments you made in the past. Make a note of the funding you received in the past and where you used the money. If you know you have enough funds to make do for the essentials, don’t go overboard with the frills. Cut back wherever necessary and with the the goal of securing your future investments, make a clear choice about what you want and need for your startup. This not only helps in figuring out your plans, it also helps in giving you a clear direction regarding where you need to go.
3. Manage your debts the right way
One of the best ways to get over your financial crunches is by learning how to manage your debts. It is daunting to look at your debts and see how much you owe people. Take stock of what your outstandings are and then start crossing each debt off one step at a time. The more money you owe, the scarier it is to look at how to grow and as you climb up the ladder, this is never a good idea.
4. Prioritize and get rid of the unnecessary
One of the primary ways to keep a track of your financial status is by looking at what is priority and what isn’t. If you’re paying for three coffee machines when you can actually make do with just one, get rid of the extra. If you need only 5 people in a particular team and have at least ten, then take a look at if you can work better with fewer people on your team. While it may be hard to make these cut throat and to the point decisions, the long term goals are satisfying and worth it at the end of the day.
5. Stick to your plans
Despite working on your goals, it isn’t easy to stick to your goals all the time. No matter what, hold yourself accountable for when things don’t go according to your plan. Stay true to what you want and what you need, so at the end of the day, you know you have done all that you could. Sticking to your plans is important, especially when it comes to achieving success later in life. When it comes to your startup, sticking to your plan needs to be taken care of without the shadow of doubt.
6. Have goals for the expansion of your business
The start of every financial year looks at how to secure cash for the growth of your startup. While some look at growth on a small scale level, others want to expand with leaps and bounds. Take into account which category you fall under and when you decide that, the financial aspects also fall into place. It is imperative to have goals and decide the kind of sacrifices which need to be made when it comes to turning your dreams to reality. Though the sacrifices may seem a bit much now, the end result is always going to be worth it!
When it comes to financial stability, you need to make sure you have all your eggs in order. What are some of the ways you stay financially stable? Comment and let us know!
Life Lessons From Barbara Corcoran
Barbara Corcoran, a part of the investors’ panel on the show Shark Tank (amongst other things,) has lived an interesting life. By the time she turned 23, Barbara had held over 20 odd jobs and was still struggling to make ends meet. However, everything started to change in 1973, when she founded her real estate company which instantly turned into a massive success! By 2001, she sold the company for a whopping $ 66 million to NRT Incorporated and since then, there is no stopping her. Here are some really inspiring life lessons to learn from Barbara Corcoran:
1. Accept fear
Every failure and every fear has an upside if you are in the game for the long run. The first ever talk show Barbara was a part of, she got so nervous, she lost her voice! For many people, this would be a dealbreaker when it came to being a media personality. However, Barbara realised this was just going to stop her growth and not help her push past her fears. By pushing through, she made sure she didn’t let the fear of public speaking overrule her decisions and after just a few years, she gave over 40 speeches in a span of 2 months. In fact, she also gave one of the most inspiring TEDx speeches!
2. Always stay positive
In most situations, optimism is the key to success. According to Barbara, it is important to be optimistic in the midst of all adversity. One of the key principles Barbara follows in life is to meditate and stay centered, a rule which helped her get through a lot of tough times as well! The glass is always half full, whether or not you realise that fact.
3. Take a leap of faith
You always have to take a leap of faith when you think things aren’t going your way. Barbara believes, people work the best when they’re under pressure. If you want to find out the best thing about yourself, then work on what makes things tick for you. Don’t stand around waiting for the right time because if you hold on for too long, then you might just lose out the best thing which could happen to your life!
4. It’s all about perception
“The big mouth shall inherit the earth,” says Barbara. What does she mean by that? Simply that if you want your business to succeed, make it look bigger and better than what it really is. According to Barbara, when it comes to succeeding, self promotion is important to climb the mountain. Act like you have the authority to say the right things and when you send press releases of any kind, make sure what you say is truly original.
5. Build firewalls between personal and private life
One of the major reasons people don’t succeed in staying at the top of their game is because they don’t know how to distinguish their home and personal lives. One of the reasons Barbara is so successful in life is because she compartmentalises every aspect of her life. Barbara believes, the one way to make it big in the real world is through following the rule of progress, not perfection!
6. Fake it till you are it
Just like perception is everything, giving people a different view about you till you make it to the top is also an extremely important part of the growing up process. The more you go through the journey of growth, the more you realise that you are faking that which you really want and crave. According to Barbara, one of the reasons people fake perfection is because they are insecure and no matter where you are in life, insecurity never goes away. Another benefit of faking it till you make it is that you grow to become a better person by accepting the insecurities in life.
Barbara Corcoran would not be where she is if she hadn’t accepted all the negative aspects of life. If you think you have learnt other things from her, comment and let us know!
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