Raising finance is a key part of scaling your business. You get one shot when meeting with a potential investor, and it could be the difference between winning the investment and not. Sam Smith, CEO of finnCap, offers Total Business insight into investment pitches and how to make improvements to your overall presentation.
It’s important to speak the language of your investors and know what they’re looking for – it’s a very different approach to pitching to a client or potential customer. Remember, don’t promise the world if you can’t deliver the world, always be honest, realistic and give yourself a head start by fully understanding your business and sector.
Know your audience
Before you start preparing your presentation you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- What type of investors are they?
- How much do they know?
- How much time have you got?
It’s important to understand your audience, so ensure you leave enough time to research the type of investors they are (income fund, sector specific, tax efficient etc), whether they’re long or short-term investors and how long it takes for them to make their final decision.
Create an impact
Investors will also be researching your company before the meeting, so check over your company’s website, social media and shareholders to ensure that internal and external communications are aligned. Also, it’s important to check that your brand messages and product positioning are consistent across the board.
Importantly, think about your elevator pitch; is it short, sweet and to the point? Does your statement provide a clear message? Are your visions and results consistent? Prepare a one-page executive summary that inspires confidence from the start, highlighting facts not fiction, track record and real experience.
Pitching a share in your company
Starting with growth plans, you need to clearly show investors what you do and how the products/services your company provides outweighs that of your competitors. Having a strong understanding of the sector you are in will demonstrate to investors that you have enough experience to succeed in the market and have an advantage over competitors.
Company valuation is all about what your business is worth, so be realistic and uncover any information you can regarding financial performance, forecasts and both tangible and intangible assets. ROI is obviously an important factor to your investors, so excite them by allowing them into your visions and ambitions without being unrealistic.
Presenting to fund managers
Communication is key so read your presentation with passion and honesty, interact with your investors and be mindful of you and your investors body language.
Finally, don’t leave it to the last minute to practice, run through it as many times as you can whether that’s with colleagues or friends, or on your way to work in the car or even in the shower! Remember that confidence sells, so if you’re not confident in yourself and your company’s services or products, then why should investors be confident in you?
Final pitch book checklist
Your presentation should be smart, clear and concise and include:
- Who you are
- What you do
- Why you do it and what problem are you solving
- Who else does it
- What makes you different
- Why invest and why now