Funding: What do You do When the Answer is “No”?

August 28, 2015

There have never been so many options available for raising capital to start or expand a business. I recently had the opportunity to moderate a great webinar on Funding 101, featuring Brian Meece, CEO of RocketHub and Gil Beyda, Founder and Managing Partner at Gencast VenturesPart one provided an overview of the different funding options that are out there, where we covered the basics that every entrepreneur needs to know about funding. In this three-part series, I’ll recap much of the advice that Brian and Gil offered during the session. Part one provided an overview of the different funding options that are out there and part two offered tips for perfecting your pitch. The entire webinar is also available for on-demand viewing – I encourage you to check out the full webinar for more details and some great stories. In this final article, we address the response that no entrepreneur wants to hear, but will likely get over and over again – “No”.

First, you need to understand that “no” has multiple meanings. It might mean just plain no. But in most cases, a no doesn’t mean that your business sucks. It could mean that we don’t focus on that space and we don’t know enough about it. Or that you require too much – or too little – capital for us. It could mean not now. Or it could mean no unless you do X, Y and Z.

You need to pay attention and understand what the investor is looking for – and give them a reason to say "yes." Listen to what they tell you. If, at the end of the meeting, they tell you about some of the doubts they had, address them and you may have the opportunity to come back at a later date and turn that no into a yes.

It’s the entrepreneur’s job to gather all the no’s, understand the meaning behind them, and then take positive action to de-risk the business and potentially turn some of those no’s into a yes.

First, you need to understand that “no” has multiple meanings.

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