iAcquire Co-CEO Joe Griffin Shares Five Lessons from the Startup Battlefield

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Bad pitches, according to angel investor and Gust founder and CEO David S. Rose, fall under three major categories:

– The content is bad, off-base or not well-thought-out
– Slides or visuals are poorly executed or confusing
– The founder is unprepared or lacks basic presentation skills

Instead, Business Insider suggests to:

– Tell the story through the problem. It needs to be a story about problems and solutions
– Have a concrete business plan and drive home how you’re going to make money
– Know your material and keep the energy up
– When pitching directly to an investor, make sure you say what you’re going to do with the money
– Finish strongly and sum up why someone should invest in the company

4. Get strong legal support and don’t be ignorant.

Whether it’s choosing your legal structure (i.e. LLC, C-Corp, etc.), navigating through liability insurance, crafting contracts for your organization, or attempting to adequately protect your company’s intellectual property, having strong legal support is essential as a new startup founder.

Find a lawyer that specializes in small business or startups. They have the specialized experience you need. Same goes for your finance and administration. You may be able to handle it early on – but don’t hold on to it for too long. It will distract you from growing your business.

5. Build the best team you can.

When it comes to hiring, accept nothing less than the best. This is your business, you need strong support. You can’t grow your business if all you do is babysit. Look for passionate, motivated people ready to help you take over the world.

Popular success stories like Airbnb, Facebook, and Zappos preach the value of solid recruiting, and this starts with your very first employee. If there’s one thing I’ve seen in every organization I’ve helped start or been a part of – any bad apples can ruin the bunch, and turn your heroes into zeros.

Hiring great people isn’t just about having the most equipped staff to do the job; it’s also about building a team of winners. This sends a strong signal to every employee, and this is the how you build a culture of excellence.

Cheers to the risk-averse, confident, and savvy startup founder you are and remember to validate your market, be smart about money sources, create a show-stopping pitch, get strong legal support, and invest in the right people. And, if you want more tips, check out 99 Lessons Learned as an Internet Entrepreneur.

Connect with Joe on Twitter.

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Photo: Joe Griffin

Joe Griffin is the Co-founder and Co-CEO at iAcquire, a digital marketing firm. Prior to founding iAcquire, Joe co-founded another search marketing firm which was acquired by Web.com, and before that he spent three years with iCrossing where he led business development and later their paid search division. Joe writes professionally on the iAcquire blog, personally on joegriffin.me, and tweets @joegriffin.

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