I am coaching a seasoned entrepreneurs to help him get monies to help his company until acquisition by a company in a foreign country. As I prepare the information to present to investors I looked over his pitch deck. Not a pretty sight!
So, here’s some things entrepreneurs need to think about before presenting their deck and their business to investors. Below are things you should and shouldn’t do:
1) Is your business model simple and clear? (Business model is NOT a business plan. Business model is how are you going to make money. That’s why investors invest! )
2) Is your team a substantial one? Investors do NOT like to see a one man band because if anything happens to you they are toast - no ROI. They want to see people with good experience in your area up there with you. Put the team on your deck with their title and if they have impressive credentials include those in a sentence.
3) Once you’ve defined the problem don’t keep going over it. Move on to your solution and why its an effective one.
4) A rookie mistake is thinking that because there is a huge demand in the general category that your company is in there will be a huge demand for your product/service. Not so. Make it clear why your product/service stand out and why people will buy them.
5) Your executive summary does NOT belong in your deck.
6) No more than 4 or 5 points per slide. So you have to make sure you have the most important ones up there.
7) Make all written words VERY large and VERY easy to read!
8) Having an article written about your company or an interview about your company is NOT traction. Traction is a LOI or MOU, customers if you are in retail. Real and concrete things that produce income.
9) Your forecasting MUST be bottom up. Again, the size of your market doesn’t matter. How you are going to reach your market is what’s it’s all about and based on that how you forecast for 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years.
10) You must be able to articulate clearly in very few sentences what your company is all about on your first slide. You want investors to be able to grasp your concept VERY easily. DO NOT make them work for it.
11) Investors are very busy and have many, many entrepreneurs vying for their time and money. You have to keep things simple so they can get what you and your company are about from the get go. Find what make your company stand out and why it will be successful and put that out there.
12) When you get a meeting with an investor. Be respectful of their time. Keep it simple. Keep it clear.
13) LISTEN to investors' feedback. You are getting if from the best. I have seen entrepreneurs arguing with investors when they get feedback. You are getting free information that is going to help you. THANK them!
14) You should have a 3 minute, 5 minute and 10 minute version of your deck. Investor groups will be very clear about what they want. A 5 - 10 minute deck is usually best.
15) Keep on going. If the first investor you talk to doesn’t invest in your area or like what they perceive as your product/service for their portfolio move on to the next. Research to find the best investors for your product/service. There you have it. Even if you are not pitching to investors there is wisdom in there to use in any business. You will get there. Keep on going!
My best to you, Dianne www.entrepreneurmindworld.com