You Haven’t Meet Your Fundraising Goals? Now What?
There comes a point in almost every start-up founder’s career when they fail to raise the money they promised to. Even if you under-promise, something will probably make you feel underestimating and that makes you fall short of your goals. It can happen. Don’t leave yourself fall down.
What should you do next?
Firstly you have to accept that it’s happening. Communicate it to your investors before your deadline. Keep them updated about whether you’re doing it right or not. Even if that means telling them things they don’t want to hear. In that way, they will not be shocked even if you tell them that you failed.
Honesty is the key to success. If you tell them that you have failed to something this will show either that you’re aware of your mistakes, or are learning from them, or that you didn’t actually make a mistake something happened that was beyond your control. Either way, it’ll help your investors understand your thinking. The vulnerability can be a strength in these situations since it’ll help you build a relationship with your investors.
Once you’ve talked to your investors, you have to talk to your team. Again, be honest about what happened and what it means for the company financially.
Then, you’re going to need to buy yourself time — literally. You’ll have to cut back on services, office costs, or something else so that you have enough money to keep your company afloat. Ask yourself: “What do I actually need, and what’s just nice to have?”
When noticing where to cut costs, evoke that you need to build your product before getting people to use it. That often means to lay off marketing or sales. You shouldn’t be trying to get more customers to the customers you have are happy with your product. Too many companies burn their money on marketing when they don’t have much to market.
Once you’ve come up with a plan, ask your investors what you can do to prove yourself and regain their trust. Set new goals and ask them if they’d be willing to keep funding your company if you can achieve them. If you want your investors and your team to trust you again, you’re better off setting modest goals and meeting them than setting lofty ones and falling short.