Written By: Dan Dragicevich
We’ve all been there. The dog days of summer…
It’s a beautiful Wednesday afternoon at 1pm. The sun is shining through the window, providing a gentle warmth to your air-conditioned skin. You take a quick break from staring at your soon-to-be-dead laptop and gaze outside. The world outside seems so carefree, like a utopian playground. You imagine shutting down your laptop, grabbing a cold beer, and heading outside to enjoy the sunshine. However, you can’t do that because you are (SNAP)… IN THE MIDDLE OF FUNDRAISING!!
Oh the life of a founder, raising capital can be incredibly challenging, often requiring as much time and effort as a full-time job. Not only are you working 70 hours/week trying to build your business, but now you have to find another 30-40 hours/week trying to find someone willing to invest in said business… To make matters worse, IT’S FINALLY SUMMER!
Unfortunately, most founders don’t have the luxury of slowing down and relaxing through summer, so instead of daydreaming about it, let’s talk about how you can stay motivated and create positive momentum through your raise.
1. Be Consistent: Some say that success isn’t about the greatness of an individual, but rather about the consistency of that individual.
As you start to meet investors a lot of them will say something along the lines of “Sorry you’re too early, but keep us updated as things progress.” This is now your invitation to bug them (within reason of course) whenever something positive happens to the business, such as closing large contracts, expanding current accounts, or exceeding monthly/quarterly projections. In doing so, you are basically saying “Hey! Look at us! We’re crushing it over here!
2. Network: As a founder, no one understands the difficulties of fundraising better than other founders. Attending networking events and speaking with like-minded individuals who are experiencing similar challenges can be inspiring, motivating, and even therapeutic. If you want to take it one step further, try networking with founders who have already been through the fundraising process, and better yet, have successfully raised.
Now that the weather is getting warmer, there are plenty of in-person events for founders to attend. Personally, I know that in Chicago alone, there is more than one per week, often even multiple events on the same day.
3. Believe: Believe in what you’re doing and believe in the people around you. Is it crazy to start your own business? Yes. Is it crazy to think that someone is actually going to give you millions of dollars for your idea? Double yes, but it happens!
I believe that most businesses fail to raise capital because they cannot handle the repetition of rejection and ultimately give up. Remember, you have come a long way and have sacrificed a lot so instead of throwing in the towel when it gets hard, just dig in and believe.
Kerosene Ventures: Helping Great Founders Raise Capital