If you have a schedule meeting with an investor, is it better to overdress or underdress?
That’s the question in every entrepreneurs mind. I know most entrepreneurs would prefer to overdress rather than underdress. But wait, both might have unique implications.
Overdressing can imply that you are really desperate to impress the investors and you may be portraying someone who is not you.
Underdressing could also mean you are lazy and don’t really take the meeting seriously.
So now you know this, how should you as an entrepreneur dress when seeing an investor? Well here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself as you plan to choose your dress code;
What’s the first impression do I want to make to the investor?
From my experiences engaging investors, first impression plays a huge role in starting off a relationship with investors. You need to portray your business character in your dress code. It is imperative that you take that into consideration because you don’t want to start engaging your potential investor with a false start.
Does wearing business casual determine or affects how an entrepreneur can pitch ideas to the investor;
There is something important about dressing the part when pitching an idea about your business to investors. By dressing professionally according to your business sector, you will be showing respect to the investors and the decisions that would be made in such meeting especially when you are talking about millions.
Be yourself when pitching your ideas to VC but that doesn’t mean you dress lazy.
Does your dresscode imply the character of your business?
Dress like your brand, a good example is Richard branson. He wear and imply that his business is adventurous. If you are a farmer who is looking to pitch an idea, don’t wear a suit and a tie, cause that’s not your business character, but I don’t mean you should instead wear gumboots? You need to be in business casual. A simply T-shirt, Trouser and well-polished shoes with Kiwi will do!
Are you able to get away with your dresscode depending on the industry you trade in?
It depends where you meet with the investors. If they invite you to join them at the Nairobi National Park, don’t over dress by wearing your suit, simply dress the part as the environment dictates.
I remember the first time I went to a meeting with an investor under dressed. I wasn’t taken seriously.
So I went home to reflect whether I was convincing enough or maybe my dress code showed laziness. The next day, I decided to change the dress code (instead I wore a Suit, T-shirt with no tie, well-polished shoe using Kiwi)
As I was approaching the investor office, I had not even schedule for an appointment this time round. But as soon as I entered the premises, I was treated with respect by everyone starting from the secretary who simply called her boss for a meeting without asking me too much questions.
The level of confidence I showed in the meeting was impressive, even I was impressed with myself. The discussion went well and the rest is history.
Let your appearance reflect your business image all the time, you never know who you might come across to.
Have you ever gone to a meeting without your shoe polished, do you think it reflected thoughtfulness or thoughtlessness?