Attracting the attention and interest of potential investors is one of the most exciting aspects of launching a business. Clearly, something you are doing is working, and working well enough that others now want to consider getting involved.
These five tips will help you prepare for the most successful investor meeting.
Tip #1: Develop a concrete plan for using the invested funds.
While some companies may receive a call from potential investors out of the blue, the more realistic scenario is that your company has done some legwork to attract an investor's interest. This means you are aware your company's growth could benefit from an infusion of funds. You probably also have some ideas of how you would use those funds.
So now it is time to write those ideas down and attach dollars and cents to them. This will be your first big preparatory task before you walk into that investor meeting. You want to map out the big picture of why the funds are needed and then break that down into smaller steps that show how the infusion of funds will help you achieve those goals.
In this way, you can show investors you are serious about partnering with them to grow a profitable company.
Tip #2: Do your homework on the potential investors.
Just as prospective investors want to meet with you to determine whether there is potentially a mutually advantageous match in the making, so too should you be equally thorough in researching their background and history.
In particular, look for past funding decisions and outcomes, major interests and motivations, the involvement level of each potential investor (if there is more than one or you are meeting with an investment firm) and other relevant facts you can base your decision upon.
You want to be sure the prospective investor has funds available to dedicate to you, that their goals are a match with your goals and that they are as financially sound as they appear to be on paper.
Tip #3: Ensure the company website is available for translation into multiple languages.
In today's ever-more international business arena, translation services are increasingly becoming a must for facilitating productive partnerships and alliances. By taking the help of a translation management system, company owners can demonstrate a strong, pre-existing international focus to potential investors.
As well, having this type of management system already in place shows a strong emphasis on creating maximum efficiency within your company (through automating repetitive tasks through the system). This demonstrates a bottom-line commitment to increasing profits through making smart business decisions.
Tip #4: Make your pitch personal.
Passion and personality can sell ideas like nothing else can. When you prepare a pitch that highlights your passion for the company and why you are the perfect personality to spearhead the company's growth, investors are more likely to feel confident about investing in you.
After all, you are the face of your company in the investor meeting, so strive to be a face the investors want to see again and again.
Tip #5: Come prepared with equity details.
Different investors have different goals when using funds to support growing companies. Some investors want to participate in the process, while others prefer a share of the profit proceeds. Still others are charged to disseminate grant monies in accordance with a foundation charter.
Part of your research (see tip #2 here) is to figure out what motivates your potential investors and craft an equity offer that can fulfill those motivations.
Doing the right advance research will help you identify a good investor match, craft a practical funding plan, prepare a compelling equity split pitch and move your company's growth forward in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. Following these tips will give you the edge your company needs to score the funding you want.