Don’t Blow it by Being Sloppy

On Friday, we saw a number of presentations by companies looking for startup funding. I found it hard to believe the number of companies that provided fact sheets with mistakes in the financial projections. How stupid can you be! All the work it takes to get to a point where you are finally ready to present your opportunity to a group that might just have what you need most, financing, and your being sloppy stops you dead in your tracks.

I don’t know how many times I have told entrepreneurs that investors, especially active ones, look for a reason to say NO, not Yes. Finding sloppy mistakes in presentations or other documentation is just that reason. There is no excuse for this.

You would think of sending an important customer a new product without making sure it is squeaky clean and in perfect order. Well a prospective investor is your most important customer when you are trying to raise money, and  making sure that every thing is in perfect order is critical. You don’t get many second changes.

My Grandfather used to say “Measure twice and cut once”. Entrepreneurs need to remember and practice this. It’s one thing to find out that an investor just isn’t interested in your type of product or service. You hate to hear NO but it is a little easier to take if the investor just isn’t interested. It is completely different when you find out that investors discounted your opportunity because you were sloppy.

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