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Can You Defend Your Plan & Not Be Defensive?

By: Dave Berkus


Planning on Bootstrapping Your Business

Are you the plan’s salesperson?

You are in a vulnerable position in that room, the salesperson looking for money or approval to proceed with your plan before individuals who have nothing to lose but risky profits far in the future.  You cannot appear to be standoffish, or above responding to some of these inappropriate questions.

The right way to defend

Defend your position when appropriate. But listen carefully.   Although you may be completely right, the questioner’s comment may indicate that you are not getting your points across.  That’s just as valuable for feedback as hearing a good, new idea.

Learning from the experience

If you are looking for investors or need to present to ever-higher levels for approval, sometimes, you will have an opportunity to present to several levels of the organization. Plan to incorporate the appropriate responses to earlier questions in the presentation to avoid those being repeated. Show that you are both humble and adaptable.

And gaining insight from feedback

Investment groups including venture capital fund managers will tell you that the very process of defending your plan will help you better think through the rough spots, better launch the business with fewer holes in reasoning, and better connect with resources that can be used to accelerate your growth to breakeven and beyond. The process is always time-consuming and grueling.  But approached correctly, the time is well spent and the results almost always positive, even if money doesn’t come from the present effort.

Published: June 4, 2021

Source: Reprinted with permission of Berkonomics

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Dave Berkus

Dave Berkus is a noted speaker, author and early stage private equity investor. He is acknowledged as one of the most active angel investors in the country, having made and actively participated in over 87 technology investments during the past decade. He currently manages two angel VC funds (Berkus Technology Ventures, LLC and Kodiak Ventures, L.P.) Dave is past Chairman of the Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest angel networks in the United States. Dave is author of “Basic Berkonomics,” “Berkonomics,” “Advanced Berkonomics,” “Extending the Runway,” and the Small Business Success Collection. Find out more at Berkus.com or contact Dave at dberkus@berkus.com

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