Why you should be talking to investors before you need to raise money

Building relationships is crucial in various aspects of life, and the same applies to interactions with investors.

A.T. Gimbel
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January 23, 2024

Relationships matter in life. You rarely get married to someone after a first date, hire someone on the spot, etc. It usually takes multiple interactions over a period of time (lines not dots) to be around someone and figure out if you are a good fit. As I have written before, it is important to understand when to talk to an investor. Here are a few reminders why.


One of the most important things when working with an investor is finding someone you enjoy working with. They probably match your ethos, but may bring unique perspectives to the business in terms of stage, function, industry, etc. By interacting with them over a period of time you get to test how well you work together. Great investors can be valuable to your success, whereas bad investors can be a drag on your time and business (and are hard to get rid of).


One of the key advantages of interacting with your potential investor over a period of time is showing progress at each interaction. Whatever you say you are going to do, you have done it. This gives further proof that you can execute and deliver on what you are forecasting. Every entrepreneur has big goals; if I have just met you I do not know if you can achieve them. If you have consistently shown you hit your goals, that gives the investor much more confidence. Remember, these don’t even have to be financial goals. They could be customer discovery, MVP building, hiring, etc.


Even if you don’t end up taking an investment, you can still learn a lot from talking to investors. You can learn new ways to think about a problem, you can better understand the types of questions people will ask, you can get introductions that could be helpful to the business. Take every opportunity to get more feedback on your business and incorporate that advice (where appropriate) into your plans.

At the end of the day you want to work with people whom you trust and can be supportive of you. Make sure you test out your potential investors before committing. It also can increase your chance of getting investment when you ultimately need to raise funds given the relationship building and progress shown.

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