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Impressing prospective investors

Question
What are the most serious concerns prospective investors have when considering investing? 
Answer
The two almost guaranteed issues you should expect to deal with are about the people running the company and the financial assumptions, especially cash flow.

Investors take a lot of risk when they participate in a start-up business. In some cases, they have the added responsibility of investing other people's money, which makes them very conservative. They want to invest in experienced people who have a solid chance at success.

Impress potential investors by making sure your management team is solid. Include resumes and as much backup information as you can. If you have an apparent gap in the team, and you know it, it is better to point out the gap rather than to pretend it isn't there.

Make sure your financial projections, especially cash flow, are mathematically accurate and based on solid research and reasonable assumptions. Be prepared to explain the research and the assumptions.

Remember, capital is a coward. Give your investor prospects as much comfort as you can by delivering solid people and financial expectations. 
Brain Trust contributor: Author of Hurdle: The Book on Business Planning President, Palo Alto Software
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