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Seeking investors? Understand what they really want to know

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By Phil Chichoni         newsletter_icon

business man with a dollar symbol

A client recently asked me to help him develop a business proposal which some potential investors had asked for.A week after submitting the proposal, the investors asked him to come for a meeting. Highly excited, he asked me to accompany for support.

The gentlemen did not waste time with small talk. Soon after greeting formalities they began firing questions. The first one was “What is your business about and what problem does it solve?”

My client was clearly unprepared for an interrogation. As the salvos of questions came, he grunted a lot of “ahhs” and“uhms”. It was a disaster.

As we walked out seven minutes later he was sweating and slapping himself, with some swear words coming under his breath.

If you seriously want to impress an investor you have to be well prepared and know how to pitch. Of course your business plan will be perused, but it will not be enough to make you a winning case. Here
are some tips to help you make a winning pitch to investors.

  1. Prepare, prepare and prepare. You need to prepare to answer without and hesitation questions like the one above and others like:
  • How will your business make money?
  • What are your major achievements up to now?
  • Who makes up your team and how do they contribute to the business’ success?
  1. Practice, practice and practice. Rehearse answering the above questions until you are very comfortable. Practice making a presentation that will impress investors without reading notes.  Practice in front of colleagues so they can help you perfect your speech and make a well-polished presentation.
  2. Be enthusiastic. To excite investors, you have to be excited about your business. A dull and flat presentation will bore potential investors and they will be unlikely to buy into your idea.
  3. Know exactly what you want. Clearly ask for exactly what you want.  Be specific and clear and show that you have done your homework. A well-structured and organized presentation will get results.
  4. Be knowledgeable. Know your industry inside and out. Know your product and know your customers. Knowledge about your potential investor’s area of expertise will make for an impressive and tailored presentation.
  5. Understand your numbers. You will need to impress your potential investor with your financial projections. Make sure you understand the figures or else bring in an expert to help you.
  6. Accept feedback.  Gladly accept business advice from an investor. They are usually very knowledgeable in their areas of expertise and want assurance that you will be prepare to accept their advice when they give you their money.

 

Please email your feedback or questions to chichonip@smebusinesslink.com

 

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