Everyone thinks their ideas are the best. I get ideas pitched to me all the time. Some arrive on the back of a paper napkin and others are presented in full-blown written proposals.
I am a target of their dreams because they know I know the right people. “The right people” consists of angel investors, venture capitalists, bankers, CEOs, writers, industry analysts, and people who know people.
I try to explain to wannabes what it takes to get money, but very few really get it. They believe their ideas are so good that everyone should stop what they are doing and give them a round of applause.
It doesn’t work that way. There are a million good ideas only a handful of which are by people who know how to execute them. I do know that investors look for certain characteristics and accomplishments in a person before they part with a dime.
The Sharks were interested in the Breathometer because the guy behind the technology had already started and sold a successful company. He has also pre-sold thousands of units, is willing to work around the clock to make the business a success, and has an exit plan that will make money for everyone involved,
Let me give you some very important tips.
1) Don’t ever admit to money people that you need them to be the brains behind the operation. They are supposed to be investing in you and your ability to get things done.
2) Be ready to prove that your concept makes money. Real proof, not daydreams. Investors want concrete evidence that your business will be profitable and that they will get their initial investment back in record speed.
3) Investors like entrepreneurs who have skin in the game. You have a better chance of getting money if you have also invested in your idea. Show them that you are serious.
4) Be ready to live modestly. Investors do not want to see their money being used for sizable salaries. No one makes money until they do.
5) This cannot be a part-time venture for you. If this is not your ful-time job, forget it. You are not getting a dime. Your commitment means everything.
A few years ago, it was pretty easy to get money. Today, it is very difficult. Be ready to fight the fight.