How Should Entrepreneurs Approach Investors

I’ve always wanted to write an article on business and decided to give it a shot. Hopefully, this post gives you the 411 if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur.

Over the years, the subject of money has elicited a slew of opinions from various people. Some love it, while others hate it. The profound few might tell you that they seek happiness from the little things where money holds no place. Some intellectuals go a bit further by stating that they appreciate the efforts undertaken to earn it and so on.MoneyMoneyMoney

Now, what if you happen to mention these statements to anybody from the cutthroat corporate world?

You are most certainly bound to become a laughing stock.

Money is the lifeline of any type of firm, be it profit-oriented enterprises, charitable organizations, SMEs or huge conglomerates. It’s the blood which flows through the veins of the firm, thus allowing it to function well.

However, it proves to be much more for the wide-eyed entrepreneur who seeks funding to materialize his/her vision.

The art of approaching potential investors is very much like the game of Minesweeper. The repercussions of a single misstep bring about some heavy casualties. Which is why this article will guide you through the dos and don’ts of this process.

What should you do before approaching investors?

Various measures need to be taken to ensure full credibility and transparency on your part. Start off by knowing your business’ credit history and keeping track of your personal finances. Backers usually need proof that you can handle your money responsibly and pay off your debts on time. You can obtain credit reports from a reputed credit-reporting agency for this purpose. Don’t forget to keep an eye on your credit score, too.

Lining up the team is another important activity. Investors need to be assured that you and your team can execute the ambitious business plan laid before them. Elucidate about your vision for the firm’s future, the various phases of the firm’s growth cycle etc.

Speaking of business plans, ensure that you create a detailed one. It’s easier said than done, especially when investors are concerned. Be realistic by considering your burn rate, breakeven point and the amount of money needed. Know your numbers like the back of your hand. Create an estimate of your gross-margin, costs to be incurred, and first-year requirements. Identifying the types of customers, you’re planning to acquire is a bonus.

Do your research on your potential investors. Matching your business strategy and financial needs to the right investor is of the utmost essence. Learn about the way they conduct business and their various criteria. After all, knowing is half the game won. Create a wish list of potential investors and choose each of them carefully. Choosing an investor is a step towards commencing a long-term symbiotic relationship. Define yourself and your firm. As time goes by, the wish list will have drastically reduced to those investors who are on the same page as you regarding time, strategy, funding, and goals.

When should you approach investors?

The quote “strike while the iron is hot” couldn’t be more apt for this situation.

The idea of approaching investors when you’re running out of funds and are close to desperate is a badly thought-out one. Instead, you need to make a pitch when you’re in top form i.e. bringing in the money alongside some eye-catching metrics to back you up. For better chances, start holding the conversations before the need for money.

Apart from the ka-ching, this approach rakes in other benefits. You get the opportunity to reach out directly instead of cold calling later. The backers get to witness your progress which increases your credibility. You get the opportunity to branch out and build connections, irrespective of the outcome. These connections could be of future use. And lastly, you get to pick the investor who’s right for you.

How do you connect?

Always stick to warm leads when you’re starting out.

Reach out to a connection who’s a credible friend or investing partner. He/she could introduce or recommend you to investors who will be good for you. Try to attend conferences where these investors might be present or even try branching out through your connections on websites such as LinkedIn.

Executives would prefer to not change

These investors might be board members, industry influencers or even founders of portfolio companies/VCs, the list goes on and on.

Because investors get so many inquiries, you need to create a great first impression by standing out as someone who’s valuable and worth paying attention to. Once that’s been taken care of, the momentum is set.

Now that you’ve got a brief idea about how to approach your backers, step back and analyze. Think about building the vital path to investors and be smart about it. This is just the beginning, so be persistent. And when an opportunity does finally knock on your door, grab it with both hands.

Copyright © 2017 by Shamika Lal,  all rights reserved.

The Starlight Blogger Award

I’m well aware that I’ve been a major procrastinator when it comes to blog award nominations (and blog posts in general).

I pretty much have more than 22 drafts on the go and I simply can’t seem to organise myself! 

Flustered me.

So to bring 2016 to a good start, I decided to acknowledge my acceptance and nominate a few others for these awesome awards! 

Let’s dig in.


This is my first ever blog nomination.

*cue the applause and cheers*

I actually came across Matt’s blog by accident and I’m so glad I did. This guy is awesome and you HAVE to check his blog out! Thanks Matt, for nominating my blog.

To know how this works, here are “THE RULES”:

1. Thank the giver and link their blog to your post.

2. Answer the 3 original questions and then the 3 new questions from your nominator given to you.

3. Nominate your 6 favourite bloggers! In your nominees I would like for you to think of the light emanating from the stars, the ones that truly touch your soul with their work, the ones that are the light for you, a true STARLIGHT Blogger.

4. Please pass the award on to 6 or more other Bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated by you.

5. Include the logo of the award in a post or on your Blog, please never alter the logo, never change the 3 original questions answer that first then answer the 3 new questions from your nominator and never change the Award rules.

6. Please don’t delete this note:

“The design for the STARLIGHT Bloggers Award has been created from YesterdayAfter. It is a Copyright image, you cannot alter or change it in any way just pass it to others that deserve this award.

Copyright 2015 © – Design by Carolina Russo”


1) If you could meet anyone from throughout history, who and why?

There are so many people who actually made it in my “Desperately Wish To Meet” list. But after thinking long and hard, I finally chose Freddie Mercury.

As a kid, I was never into old Bollywood songs and detested the singers even more. One can imagine my horror, whenever I found a fellow peer or even a young kid singing these songs. I used to scoff when others admired those who sang Lata Mangeshkar songs. Freddie Mercury happened to be a global icon throughout his life, but very few people know that he spent much of his childhood in India. As a kid, he was drawn towards music at a young age. And he loved singing Bollywood songs, Lata Mangeshkar songs in particular. He was also trained in Indian classical music.

Suffice to say, Mercury was once the kid who I never admired.

On acknowledging this fact, I wonder how the transition from Bollywood to English Rock took place. How fascinating must this process be! I would give anything to have a chat with him about this and ask him for free piano lessons. With this, Mercury surely taught me something.

Never underestimate an Indian classical singer, the possibilities are limitless.



2)  What is your favourite book and why?

That’s a really tough one. I basically adore all of Roald Dahl’s books.

But my favourite book of his would be “Matilda”!

I love this book of Dahl’s in particular because it proves to be humorous and dark at the same time. There are instances in the story which would make you roar with laughter and there are those which make you empathize with Matilda. Also, I relate to the protagonist as we are both bookworms! One simply can’t help but root for Matilda throughout the book. It showcases Dahl’s skill to write on subjects dealing with dark humour.



3. Who is your favourite fictional character from any medium and why?

Severus Snape. ALWAYS.

In the last book of the “Harry Potter” series, Rowling threw in such a major twist for a totally unexpected character. As the truth unveils, Rowling makes you question each of the character’s motives from another perspective. And once the entire truth dawns upon the reader, one realises that Snape, with all his different shades and tones of character, was simply beautiful, complex and human. I couldn’t help but admire Snape due to his various traits of loyalty, bravery and intelligence.

And how can anyone forget his unwavering love for his beloved!

The fact that Snape was portrayed by Alan Rickman (a legend, may he rest in peace), makes him all the more one of my favorite characters of all time.




1. If money wasn’t an issue, where would you go on holiday for 2 weeks?


New York City.

The energy, the intermingling of various cultures, the cafes, the fashion and just about everything else never ceases to amaze me.

Actually, two weeks would not be enough to explore this sea-facing concrete jungle.

2. If you had the chance, would you live for a thousand years? Only you could live that long and you would never age past 25?

I’d like to say yes. Being a person of varied interests and being young would allow me to pursue so many different things efficiently.

However after having pursued all of my interests, I would be bored out of mind.

So ultimately my answer is Death wins.


3. What fictional villain do you find yourself supporting, despite knowing they’re bad and you love it?

I love “The Joker”.


His insanity grabs anybody’s attention. I’ve always had a soft corner for people who are mad but deep down know exactly what they’re doing. The Joker proves to be one of such people. I can’t help but root for him, no matter how cruel the action.

He is mad, conniving, eerily poised and smart. At times, I feel the insanity is depicted to stay true to the character and antics of a joker. The fact that this antagonist is so unlike the others and actually has depth of character is what makes him interesting.


Time for me to play quiz master! Here are my questions:

  1. Live to eat or eat to live? If you choose either, then why?
  2. Which cartoon character is your favourite and why?
  3. What’s your favourite hobby? What do you like about it?


My Nominees are:

The Theatre of Dreams



Abbie Lu



Copyright © 2016 by Shamika Lal,  all rights reserved.


15 Words of Hope

It has been a little over a week since the bombings took place in Beirut and Paris, sending shock waves across the world. Such attacks seem to cause nothing but endless grief and terrible memories for the survivors and the kin of the deceased.

People often say that the survivors are the lucky ones to have made it out of there with just mere injuries. They still have years ahead of them unlike the other poor souls whose lives and futures were cruelly snatched away.

I heartily disagree.

Sure, they have their lives to live. But at a huge expense.

Imagine being caught up in the chaos and utter hell. Seeing a loved one or even a fellow citizen lose their life right before your very eyes, when you can do nothing but watch. It’s during times like these that you realize that you’re rendered helpless. No matter how much you try and make yourself believe or even hope against hope that it isn’t happening, it’s of no use. In short, it’s your worst nightmare.

The only difference is that you’re living it.

Apart from being scarred with such memories, anxiety and trust issues begin to set in. People fear for their safety wherever they go. Citizens cast mistrustful eyes on each other.

And that is exactly what perpetrators aim for: breaking trust and faith.

By living with fear and no good faith, we might as well wave a peace flag in their face.

It is during times like these that we must remind ourselves that there is hope. We must remind ourselves that although such incidents cause grief, they bring people together. They unite people of various religions, castes, creeds, races and colors. They serve to remind us that humanity is universal.

It is solely upto us to put up a united front against terrorism.

And let’s face it, terrorism has no religion.

Now, my friend Ananta has challenged me one last time to write these word restricted short stories. I had earlier decided to go with a festive theme, but in light of recent events I felt this would be more apt.

Here’s my story:


The rules remain the same. 15 words only. No more, no less. The topic is of your choice.

The nominees are the readers of this post.

Anyone who reads this post and has lost a loved one in the recent attacks in Paris and Beirut, my deepest condolences. Words cannot express a fraction of the pain y’all must be going through.

In the meantime, take care and be safe.

Sending all the love.

Copyright © 2015 by Shamika Lal,  all rights reserved.





The Voice of My 25 Word Story

Lately, my friend Ananta has embarked on a spree of word restricted story challenges and has consistently nominated me for these challenges as well.

Yes, she’s the one who nominated me for the 11 word and 13 word story challenges.

The 25 word story challenge happened to be just another one of those challenges. Like every other challenge, I decided to take it in my stride and rise to the occasion.

But something struck me.

There I was, busy writing word restricted stories on tragic love & romance, when I should’ve been writing on topics which mattered. All this time I could’ve been using my talent and skills, to bring light to topics which deserved attention. An impact could’ve been created by me. I don’t know how big or small but an impact nevertheless.

So I decided to tweak the rules of this challenge.

The nominees are supposed to write a comprehensive, impactful story of 25 words. No more, no less. While deciding your topic, think of an issue or matter which is relevant in the world today. Something which matters and needs to be highlighted.

In my case, I chose gender bias & gender inequality.

Although India has definitely given women the opportunity to thrive and flourish, this problem still persists in various states of this nation till today. From wage pay gaps to education, there isn’t any  presence of equality of the sexes. Being an Indian girl, I had to speak up about this existent injustice. And I’ve tried to do so via writing.

Here’s my story, with a voice.


The nominees of this challenge are the readers of this post. Stick to 25 words, choose a relevant issue, and let your imagination run wild.

But most importantly, don’t hold back.

Have a good day. Hope you liked this post.



Copyright © 2015 by Shamika Lal, all rights reserved.

One Lovely Blog Award


A big thank you to Alex Raphael for nominating my blog, although it’s barely a month old. Guys, you HAVE to check out his blog. He’s definitely worth a follow!

This is my 3rd nomination in a week.

Now allow me to show you how this works.

The Rules

  1. Put the award logo on your blog.
  2. Give 7 facts about yourself.
  3. Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.
  4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.
  5. Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)
  1. I’ve always preferred Pepsi over Coke. I don’t know why, I just have.
  2. The last thing I watched on T.V. yesterday would be Castle
  3. I’d hands down choose savoury over sweet. If I had to choose between chilli and  chocolate on my last day on Earth, it would be the former.
  4. I occasionally play the guitar and keyboard & I sing.
  5. I’m originally left-handed. But lately, I’ve become ambidextrous.
  6. Roald Dahl is my favourite author.
  7. I love learning new languages. Recently, I’ve taken up French!

In turn, I’d further like to nominate:

  1. Kally
  2. Brenda
  3. Heba
  4. EsoterX

The Story of My Unlucky Number


Fear, anxiety, sadness and a stream of negative emotions flow through me on hearing it.

You know how they say that 13 is supposedly an unlucky number? That couldn’t be more true for me.

Unlike Taylor Swift, the number 13 has never, ever, ever worked in my favour.

The worst year of my life so far, has been 8th grade when I turned 13. My school tests went terribly bad whenever they were scheduled on the 13th of each month. In college, my least favourite subjects’ lectures were always held on the 13th of each month. As for Friday the 13th? Well, let’s not even discuss that.

Coincidence? I think not.

So when my good friend gave me a challenge to write a story in 13 words, you could probably imagine my reaction.

But what could I do? I love writing. I always have. I couldn’t give a lame excuse for this challenge. For example:

“Hey, can I chicken out of this one? It’s got my unlucky number in it.”

It sounds all the more stupid when said in person, doesn’t it?

So I decided to give this challenge a shot. Despite the unlucky number, it involved something which I loved. So, the odds simply had to be in my favour.


Surprisingly, I stumbled  to come up with a story which satisfied me. Grammatical errors, lack of ideas, no originality, too many words and small trances of writer’s block were some challenges I faced.

But I persevered.

After numerous attempts, I finally came up with a story of 13 words which worked in my favour.

Here’s my story.

Take that, 13!

You worked for me. Eventually.

The nominees for this challenge are the people who read this post. You’re free to write on any topic of your choice, keeping in mind the word limit.

So give it a shot and set your imagination free!
Hopefully you guys liked it.

Thanks for giving this a read. Have a good day.

(P.S. if you’re a new reader, then check out my blog. It doesn’t hurt! You may like it and if you do, then give it a follow.)

Copyright © 2015 by Shamika Lal, all rights reserved.

My 11 Word Story

A friend of mine recently nominated me for a challenge famously known as the 11 word story challenge. I’d like to thank her for nominating me for this challenge which I heartily enjoyed.

The nominees have to write a comprehensive story in 11 words. The themes/topics are to be chosen of your own accord and the story is totally under your control.

Here’s my story:


To the person who reads this post, take up this challenge and let your imagination run wild! Good luck.

I hope you like my story. Have a good day!

(P.S. If you’re a new reader, please do give my blog a look. It doesn’t hurt as it’s for free anyway! If you like my blog, do follow. I’d really appreciate it.)

Copyright© 2015 by Shamika Lal, all rights reserved.