If the time has come to raise funding to expand your business, you’re likely to be presenting your business to a variety of investors. Assuming that you are past the “friends and family” funding stage, you could end up presenting to investors referred to you by your friends and family or to angel investing syndicates. First of all, your company either has a product/service or has something in the concept phase. Either way, there are points to be made and mistakes to avoid. One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is over-emphasizing how great an idea their product/service is. Don’t get me wrong, differentiating yourself from the competition is important. The problem here is, quite frankly, your idea is probably being pursued by other companies right now. If it’s a really great idea, there will more people chasing it in a few weeks or months.
Here’s another crack in the “My idea is so great that we’ll take over the world” pitch. Getting a patent for it may or may not protect you. If a patent isn’t allowed or doesn’t protect you for some other reason, that’s one thing. If it does, you may be taking on a problem that kills your company anyway; a long drawn-out court battle.
Don’t toss up your hands and walk away yet. There is a way to differentiate your business, impress Anthony Ricigliano Investors, and realize your business’ potential; focus on execution. A detailed roadmap of how you’re going to outwork and execute better than your competition is what is going to matter both to your potential investors and to your company.
It’s quite possible that the reason you started your business is that you see endless potential with opportunities dovetailing out to other endless opportunities. You see the market as broad and deep with revenues sitting out there for the taking. Here’s another mistake to avoid; spending more time on the huge potential that exists from these dovetailing markets as opposed to the opportunity that exists in the short term. It doesn’t matter if the first market opportunity is infinitesimal compared to the downstream markets, your potential investors are going to want to hear how your company is going to grow on a step by step basis.
Next, presenting your business as having no competition may sound great but a space with no competition really isn’t a space at all. An Anthony Ricigliano Investor Hearing that there’s no competition should immediately wonder if a market exists and, if it does, ask why no one is addressing it. Having the answer to a question that isn’t being asked is a sure way to lose an investor and a lot of time waiting for that market to develop, if it ever does. A great example of this type of situation is Corning’s “Gorilla Glass” which was patented in 1962 and sat on the shelf for almost half a century before markets developed in high tech and high definition televisions. Corning could afford the wait but that luxury isn’t available to startups. Competition in a space confirms that there is a market, now it’s up to you to out-execute the other players that are already out there.