I’ve seen it happen. It’s very sad. Everyone walks away upset and poorer. The founder. The Business Angel. And sometimes the Customers.
And it’s all because the Investors have one of the following traits. Ignore them at your peril…
Too much time. An investor who has just left a full-time job, perhaps entered early retirement or just getting away from the wife (yes, I’ve really have heard this), and is looking for something to “soak up” his time and be “interesting”. That’s your time that gets soaked up too!
Too little money. They promise everything but when it comes to the crunch, they offer ten thousand dollars. That’s not enough to buy a motor cycle!
Want the “badge”. These are investors who want to appear big and important, love the idea of being a “Business Angel” but simply invest and stand back. No added value and often a liability when things go wrong.
Risk Takers. A risk taker may simple “take a punt” on your company. They do little due diligence and on receiving the money you feel your idea has been validated by an “expert” and proceed headlong into a brick wall…
Corporate Dudes. A serious executive who has just left a company with a turnover of $100 million. Is he comfortable in a company with no board, no “social responsibility policy”, no income, etc. Unlikely!
To avoid these, ask the Investor why they want to invest? What’s their purpose? When are they expecting to get out? Alignment is key.