When you're first beginning, it's important to understand the things that suck in startups along with the things that don't. This can help you make better decisions from the beginning and not waste time, effort, or money:
To recap, here are the five things that suck in startups:
In reality, these guys don't care about you. They bill you for every breath for things you could easily get done another way, wasting huge amounts of time and money. Ask your friends in other companies for tips on how they did things, what their operating agreement looks like. Offer to pay them $500 for it all. Being resourceful at this stage of the game has plentiful benefits.
You really don't need to bring non-disclosure agreements to every meeting. Every investor you meet has seen your deal 9,000 times. They're not going to try and steal it. Don't restrict the investors or try to hide certain aspects of your company; they're just trying to do you a favor.
3. Long Pitches
Really, truly, avoid these. Investors really do want to hear and understand what you're saying, but if it takes you 20 minutes to say it, you'll lose them along with your opportunity. And no one wants that. Keep it quick, simple, and get your point across. I'm always available to run through pitches with you too, if you have questions.
If you don't know something, admit it! Drop the ego, and listen to people who know more than you. This will help so much in every aspect of your startup, and you'll be amazed at what you'll hear and learn once you switch defensiveness off.
Marketing is like a drug-addicted teenager. Don't give it a dime until you know what your money is funding. A lot of marketers are going to tell you they have all the answers and that everything is going to be great and perfect. 9 times out of 10 this is a lie, and you'll be wasting your money. Do as much customer research and planning on your own first before spending any money on marketing, and make sure you are working with someone who genuinely cares about your company and doesn't want to see you get killed.