Points to Keep in Mind Before Getting a Celebrity Investor On-board The biggest lesson that I had learnt while fund-raising is that you have to be completely honest and true to what you can deliver

By Dhimaan Shah

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In the three-and-a-half years of my company's existence, we have had many firsts. Our company was the first and continues to be the only personal styling platform in our country.

Working with a celebrity where she/he is going to be investing in your business as a partner is very different from signing an endorsement deal or creating a product line together. In my experience of going through the process of bringing in an A-list celebrity as an investor, I have had tremendous lessons that act as guidelines for the future:

1. Have a Plan

It is imperative that you have a clear business plan with a clear picture of the future. What is equally important is for the investor and her/his team to be aligned with the long-term goal and share the same vision of the company. Unless you have a clear plan and direction, it will not be clear enough for them to understand it either

2. Be Honest and True to What you can Deliver

The biggest learning that I have had while fund-raising (celebrity investor or otherwise), working with consumers and suppliers, is that you and your team have to be completely honest and true to what you can deliver. Out-size promises do not last long and is not the healthy way to build a relationship or to nurture a company. In my company, we always set very realistic goals and work ridiculously hard to outperform them

3. Be Sincere

Everybody can see through insincerity. No matter what numbers you are presenting, no matter what your vision for the company and no matter what your track record might be it is imperative that you are sincere in your efforts and to your business. A good investor will always recognize a sincere team and will be happy to back that team since they have the comfort that the team will always keep the company's best interests at the top of the list while making big decisions

4. Your Relationship is One of Equals

No investor truly respects an entrepreneur or management team that they can talk down to. Neither do any investors appreciate being spoken to as if they don't understand your business or what you are saying. Remember, the entrepreneur-investor relationship is one of equals and the most potent combination is when the management team and investors can debate over key points and arrive at a solution that is best for the Company

5. Take People Along

Remember, this isn't your show alone. You have a team that has helped you build your company, you have investors who are backing you and taking a chance on you and your team. Be sure to run key decisions by your investors, partners and team before making them.

There will be instances that you want to move quickly in the interest of time, but it is still important that you make your investors part of the journey and hear their opinion on key issues. Although a celebrity investor is not a traditional investor, she/he wants to be sure that they will not be kept in the dark or bulldozed on important decisions.

Dhimaan Shah

Co-Founder & MD, StyleCracker.com

Dhimaan Shah is Co-Founder and MD of StyleCracker.com.


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