DO YOUR RESEARCH: Make sure the business plan or the PPM (Private Placement Memo) you’re submitting is formatted in a way that conforms with what a prospective investor is going to expect.  There are a lot of resources out there for you to consult before submitting your plan; this is your moment for your vision to shine through, so make sure your plan is polished.

BE STRAIGHTFORWARD: A lot of startups will submit plans that omit unfavorable details, downplay potential risks, mask financial discrepancies, or contain outright factual inaccuracies.  Please do not allow yourself to fall prey to these mistakes. Working together as a team requires openness and honesty; lay everything out on the table and if there are difficulties to overcome or fears to confront, we’ll tackle them together.

EMPHASIZE YOUR STRENGTHS: Have a really diverse team, great network, or a comprehensive breadth of knowledge and skills?  Be sure to spell that out in your business plan. We can connect dots just fine, but it’s better if you clearly acknowledge strengths and synergies that will maximize your business’s chances of success.

BE AT EASE: We want everyone we work with to succeed, and success requires cooperation and mutual respect. A little bit of anxiety when submitting a business plan or delivering a pitch is natural, but don’t let nerves rattle you when composing your plan or giving your presentation.  Entrepreneurs who exhibit confidence, honesty, and a high degree of relevant knowledge are the most likely to succeed in delivering a pitch, even if they don’t have the perfect response to every question that comes up.