Mark Suster’s blog – “Both Sides of the Table” – has become a hotspot for people seeking an insider’s glimpse into the world of venture capital investing.
This week Suster wrote about the things in entrepreneur pitches that give VCs pause when considering whether or not to invest. Suster likens it to the elephant-in-the-room adage, more specifically: “those things that the VC would automatically be thinking about when you’re speaking but he/she may not immediately ask you about either for legal reasons or out of courtesy.”
Suster’s blog goes on to list some real-life examples of pitches he’s heard with Elephant-sized problems, such as the founder is no longer with the company or having Google as a prime competitor. Suster advises entrepreneurs to deal with their issues before they seek funding, as they will inevitably be addressed in their meetings with VCs. Suster says it’s better to be pre-emptive in this regard.
“There is only one way to deal with your Elephants – head on. Don’t pretend it isn’t in the room,” writes Suster. “Know in advance what you’re going to say and don’t wait for the VC to bring it up. When VC’s bring up Elephants they feel like they’re ‘catching you out’ and you’ve lost the high ground.”
REGRETS, I’VE HAD A FEW
If crooner Frank Sinatra was singing about small businesses, he might start off with this Associated Content story by Kevin Hagen that appeared on the Huffington Post about some of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make and advice on how to avoid them. Among the mistakes listed are: lack of planning, borrowing too much, spending too much and insufficient capital. We’re pretty sure most of these mistakes could be avoided by better planning, but the list may serve as a good refresher for would-be small business owners.