After having taken you through various funding stages and also through various sources of raising capital for your business venture, it is now time to prepare you to do it – as in how you are best suited to convince your investors to invest in you, your team, and your idea. This is both a time-consuming and a great learning process.
Before we begin, here is a little tip –Keep in mind that finding investors is a time-consuming process that requires your constant attention and daily follow-ups. Therefore, attend conferences, meetings, email, and call potentially interested investors, build relationships, and repeat.
Without much ado, let us begin and quickly take you through the process of preparing to approach an investor.
- Pitch deck
The most important document you will ever make. Think of it as an advertisement for your company. So it has to be catchy, and crisp, and drive home the point – make sure to create a good first impression.
- Keep it within 20 minutes;
- Create a presentation with up to 10 slides;
- Describe your goals in the first 30 seconds (start with the broad objective and move to details and steps of delivery);
- Stick to three bullets on each slide, each one should be concise and include specific details such as graphics, financial outlook, and future growth;
- Use storytelling and provide real-life testimonials;
- End presentation with a call to action;
- Leave some time for Q&As.
Even though your concept, pitch, and metrics really define a startup’s potential, at the end of the day investors give money to people, not ideas. So, the final step to you getting the funding is convincing the sponsors and negotiating the deal on mutually beneficial terms.
Out tips on how you should approach it –
Explain how investors can benefit from your idea. Provide exact numbers, graphics, and a clear business strategy. As people are usually not interested in giving money to startups with no potential, focus on your growth opportunities and plans.
Listen to the investors’ concerns and explicitly answer their questions. Be transparent and clear when talking about potential business relationships and roles.
If you are looking for large investments, you may have to give up some control over your business: prepare to sacrifice something to reach the goal.
Make clear deadlines regarding your plans, from pitching to closing the deal. It will create a sense of urgency and help you get the investments faster.
In the end, you should remember that on average, it can take you anywhere around three to six months from the initial pitch to the money landing in your bank account.
This process can be influenced by several factors – time of the year, market trends, your location, the strength of your data, your pitch and relationships with investors, the time a particular investor needs to make a decision, etc.