Applying for business investment is a positive and exciting step forward for company growth. However, the process can be long-winded and time consuming. To reduce the chance of the process taking too long, it’s worthwhile spending some time at the start to build a solid business plan. By being clear at the outset, reduces pain points further down the line and ensures that it goes smoothly.
Here are some considerations to include:
What type of investor do you want and what do they need to hear?
An obvious question but having an investor with experience in your business’ size and industry, that suits your culture and way of working can take some finding but will lead to an investment worth far more than the on-paper total.
In turn, applying for investment is much like auditioning for a play; your performance must resonate with your audience. Anticipating your investor’s interests helps when writing your plan and presentation.
Doing your research on your future investor will also help build a rapport on a personal level, demonstrating your personal commitment to their company.
How do you want to work with the investor?
Besides being appropriate for your company, they need to be appropriate for (and aware of) your desired investor–investee relationship. Ensure you have a clear idea of what you want, and ensure that you convey this plainly in your discussions.
Do you want an active investor, who can provide industry advice and have a hand in the day to day decisions of the business? Or would you rather a silent investor, who’s only called upon for board-level decision making?
5 steps to the perfect presentation
1. Create a solid foundation
How robust is your business plan? It is good to have a fresh pair of eyes to review and challenge it so that you are well prepared for the actual meeting. As well as help with the review, we can help with the presentation of figures – both actual and forecasting.
The business roadmap. Of course investors will want to know exactly what their money will be funding. Preparing a compelling reason for the investment, how it is going to be invested, timescales as well as the ROI will strengthen your position. Demonstrating not only your structured approach, but also your knowledge and passion is going to resonate with any investor.
2. Sell your story
Telling your business story, as well as your financial story is important. Most investors come from business backgrounds themselves and will likely resonate with aspects of your entrepreneurship.
Be clear on what makes you stand out from the crowd to your clients and target market gives your proposition the centre stage position it deserves. Highlighting the ways you’ve overcome challenges and hardships in the past will also demonstrate your resilience and resourcefulness.
3. Get everybody involved
Make use of the team and partners around you. The people you have entrusted with the future of your business are, hopefully, motivated and knowledgeable.
It’s a given that you believe in your business, but introducing your investor to a team of people that dedicate their time and effort to building your business might just tip the scales in your favour. It gives a great insight into your company culture and ultimately, what your investor is investing in.
4. Showcase your knowledge
Prove that you understand the world outside of your business. Even the strongest business plan in the world doesn’t mean much if you walk into a saturated market with no idea who your audience is.
Provide them with the full picture. Sneak market knowledge into your talk alongside your forecasts. If you’re a florist, make sure you mention trends (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc.) and potential obstacles like Brexit. Reassure them with a clear plan about how you can tackle and take advantage of these.
5. Be transparent
Of course your investor is going to want to have confidence in your ability to assess risk. Demonstrating that you can assess, minimise, and plan proves you have a solid awareness of your risks. This will reinforce your business plan as thought out and a viable place for investment.
We can use our scenario planning tools to model potential actions and see the best, worst and middle outcomes. There are risks in every move and opportunity but already considering these removes any concerns the investor might have.