1. Surround yourself with experts.
Being surrounded by great people is always solid advice. In this case, have an advisory board filled with mentors, coaches, consultants and advisors. It doesn’t matter if its formal or informal, but just having one shows that you're aware that you don’t know it all and have people that can help you see the bigger picture.
2. Know the problem.
Make sure you know the problem better than you know your proposed solution. This shows you have a deep incite into the mind of your target market and even if your solution doesn’t hit it out of the park on the first try, you’ll be able to pivot until you win.
3. Be decisive.
Nothing turns investors away more than a leader that can’t decide. Make a decision, stick with it long enough to give it a chance to prove itself and move on. As the saying goes: “Be quick to decide, slow to change your mind.”
4. Know the competition.
You should know the people you’re competing with. Know their strategies and make sure yours is better or different. Not every industry is a zero-sum game and even with direct competition, most companies can thrive together.
5. Take the pole position.
Have a clearly defined position in the market, and be at the front of it. You can be the most accessible or the most exclusive. The do it yourself solution or the done for you solution. There are plenty of ways to position your company, just make sure you have one and own it in the market.
6. Know your numbers.
Know your key metrics and put them front and center in your pitch deck.
Shark Tank kills people for messing this up. Even though investor meetings are hardly like the hit TV show, this reigns true anytime you want to ask someone for money.
7. Go for the big wins.
Make sure you’re only focusing on specific things that move the needle the most. If there is a specific feature that gets 80 percent of your daily users excited, make it the best it can be. If you have a pet project that customers don’t seem to care about, perhaps you should rethink its importance. Most importantly, know why these things are your biggest drivers and make sure your potential investors know it too.
8. Be accessible.
If someone wants to invest in you, they should be able to find you when they search. Make sure you have an attractive website with contact info. Tools like Angel List, Crunch Base and Unicorn should all be used to make sure you have some eyes on you and, with an app like Unicorn (think Tinder crossed with Angel List,) this is easier than ever.
In all of your public profiles, make your founding team, your product, your tech and your positioning clear and highlight all of their unique strengths.
9. Stay educated.
It’s crucially important to know as much about your industry and your target market as possible. If you’re looking to build an app, take an online course about app building. If you want to grow your SaaS product, talk with your users. Its up to you to know the latest trends, know the state of the industry and have an educated guess about where it will go
10. Get in the spotlight.
Have your company, or you as a founder, visible to investors in a more authoritative sense. Wherever your investors are reading, you should be mentioned. The goal would be to publish an editorial or have an article mentioned you or your company. Wherever your investors read, you want to get people talking about you, your company and the problems you solve.