Erin Wicomb is VP of The Mavrix Group. A company he co-founded out of a garage 4 years ago with only a $1000. Erin has since raised over $40 million dollars for his businesses, products and investments.
Discover the 10 key steps Erin learned about raising money on his path to success and what it takes to raise money in this tech savvy entrepreneurial society.
1. BE YOUR BEST CUSTOMER. Selling to yourself and having a product or business that serves you as the customer or the end buyer shows the potential investor the need immediately. It validates your product and business and your passion for it
Share: I love modern contemporary real estate, I was developing this kind of products for myself but at the same time to show my investors the increasing need for younger professionals needing contemporary yet affordable modern housing.
2. BUILD THE RELATIONSHIP FIRST. Trust comes from people actually knowing who you are as a person, no one is going to give you money if they don’t know who you are. Sharing personal stories, challenges and goals helps develop trust fast.Share: Before we had a business brand we had to make our investors our friends before approaching them for investments.
3. SELL YOURSELF FIRST, PRODUCT SECOND, BUSINESS THIRD. Make it easy for people to invest in you, if they can invest in you then they can invest in your prototype or product. The combination of you and your product makes a business.
Share: I often sold investors on one product at a time before they were comfortable investing serious money into the business.
4. SEPARATE YOU AND THE COMPANY. Its easier to convince someone to do something if you are on ‘their’ side. By separating you the owner from the business through the use of verbiage such as ‘the company does such a great job at…’ or ‘I personally invested x into the company’ puts you and the investor on the same team, making him more comfortable with you, making him or her more likely to invest in your company.
5. MAKE YOURSELF “GOOGLABLE”. When meeting new prospects or investors the first thing they do is google you. Make sure that your myspace account is down. That you dont have incriminating photos of yourself online or worse that you liked incriminating photos on instagram or pintrest. When you google yourself it needs to be clean. Share: I cant tell you how many investors have said I cant believe you used to have blonde hair – Dam myspace !
6. BUILD A BRAND. Write blogs, do public speaking, get on the news for whatever industry you are in. In other words be plugged in. It will build your credibility in that community and to the outside world. Share: Developing a personal and business brand has opened more doors and more access to capital than I could ever have imagined.
7. INVESTOR ALIGNMENT. Don’t let someone waste your time. Screen them and make sure they are qualified for what you are looking for. Share: So many times I have wasted time, paid for numerous lunches without properly qualifying a potential investor over the phone and I later came to find out they just wanted free information.
There is so much capital out there. You just have to go get it!
8. NETWORK LIKE A MOTHER! Yes mums really do know how to network, from Tupperware parties to softball meetings they always seem to know the key influences in every social circumstance. Learn from these moms, go to as many events as you can. Your business is your new baby.
9. DELIVER. Once you have investors make sure you do what you say, when you said it was going to be done and add a bonus just for kicks. Share: People don’t often remember or talk about when do what you said its when you don’t that rumors start to spread and your reputation goes down the toilet. When it comes to raising money your reputation is oxygen.
10. SELL MORE. It is way cheaper and easier to sell to existing customers or investors than trying to constantly create a new pipeline. Once you have results pitch your new needs to your existing backers first. If you did a good job they will keep playing with you.
WHAT NO ACTUALLY MEANS. When it comes to money and you hear no that means that they are not ready at this time and that you should follow up later and that they probably have friends or people in their network that would be interested investing in your company. Most of the time its means both and you should definitely do both. Ask for a referral and touch base with them shortly or after you have some other interest.
To learn more about Erin: http://mavrixequity.com/
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