A business plan, as every good entrepreneur venturing into business should know, acts as a guide towards ensuring the success of a new business. A business plan is an essential tool for businesses seeking funds and for this reason your business plan should be investor ready.
An investor ready business plan is a document that has been meticulously crafted and well written to meet the needs of investors. In your business plan, you should be able to see your own project through the eyes of an angel investor or a venture capitalist.
An investor is a risk taker. They are risking their hard-earned capital by investing in your business in the hopes of gaining financial returns that worth more than their initial investment. A well thought out plan says a lot about your preparedness to achieving your business goals and objectives.
Now that you have an investor ready business plan, the next step is the presentation. During this process, it is important that you keep your audience in mind. Your audience can be broken down into two namely – potential investors and potential lenders. Your presentation should be tailored according to the specific needs of these two groups and be prepared for questions.
What Are Investors Looking For?
Many investors will have to consider the viability of your business before investing their hard earned money in your business idea. They are mostly concerned with the success of your business. Here are some of the things they might consider are listed below
- Is there a ready market for your business or do you need to build one?
- Does it involve the use of innovative technology?
- Do you have a sound exit strategy?
- How much is the return on investment?
- How long will it take to get back their investment plus interest?
What are Lenders Looking for?
Lenders, on the other hand, place much emphasis on the risks as well as their return on investment. For this reason, they focus more on the cash flow. Here are some of the things your lenders such as banks are looking out for.
- Do you have the right pricing mechanism?
- Can the company meet up with the loan repayment within the specified period?
- How competent is the management team?
How to Effectively Pitch Business Ideas to Investors and Get Funded
Before pitching your ideas to investors, you need to know what you are talking about. Entrepreneurs don’t usually get the chances to present their business ideas to investors so make sure you make the most of it if you eventually get an opportunity. One way to do is to study your presentation. As you prepare for your presentation, here are some things you need to be aware of.
Know Your Learning Style
Every individual has a unique style of learning. If you’re used to getting information through videos, then stick with it. Keep in mind that your investors will ask you a few questions that pertain to your business plan on pitch day so you should be ready to answer them comfortably and convincingly. If you don’t know the right style for you, take a learning style quiz.
The next step is deciding what to study and how long it will take you to acquaint yourself with the information. Know what is most important to your investors and how long to study that. The internet is home to a vast amount of information so take advantage of that and do your research. Take time to study and prepare for this presentation. Preparedness is one of the keys to stunning your investors while pitching your ideas to them.
Create enough time for studying. Don’t memorize. Instead, spend the time to understand the intricacies of your business. By doing so, you can answer questions and break it down in ways your investors can understand.
Things to Keep In Mind for Your Presentation
If you can impress your investors during the presentation, then you are one step to getting the funds you need for your business. Here are some of the things to keep in mind for pitching your ideas
Tell a story
Start your presentation with an intriguing story. For every business to be successful, they need to find a solution to a problem. During your presentation, you should try as much as possible to address the problem your business will solve. This will keep your audience engaged and more interested in what you have to say. If you can tailor the story to the specific needs of your audience, that’s a great idea. Research your investors, so you know exactly what they are looking for.
How Unique Is Your Product
Tell your investors why you feel your product will have an edge in the marketplace. Also, clearly state how your product or service will address the problem you stated earlier. Go straight to the point and explain them in clear terms. Avoid using buzzwords unless of course, your audience is familiar with the jargon.
Don’t make the mistake that your business targets every individual in all spheres of all life. Your business should have a specific target market so be realistic. At the end of the day, you will not only impress your investors but also get the funds you seek.
In this aspect, your investors will be more interested in how much you will make within the first year of business. This is perhaps the moment your audience is waiting for. Let your investors know that the market can’t wait to get a hold of your product.
Many entrepreneurs often skip this part. You should state clearly how you intend attracting customers to your business. How much will the process cost and how will the success be measured?
Many investors invest in people and not the idea. It is however important that you provide brief information about your management team and why they are the right people to take your business to the promised land. Mention the specific skill set of each individual on your team.
Be sure to clearly state how much funds you need to be invested in your business. Reassure your audience that their investment is safe and why your team is the right set of people to manage their investment. Tell investors why you need to money and how it will be spent.
The purpose of a successful presentation is to get the funds you need to grow your business. So get started and create an appealing pitch. Best of luck presenting your business ideas and be sure to have fun.