“Don’t get too excited about the possibilities of winning an investor’s heart when you present your proposal, don’t stop to consider the consequences. Just when you get too cocky, investors have a way of putting you in your place.” But when you follow the six steps below, you are sure to win your investor’s heart before the presentation is over.
Less is always more.
An elevator pitch is vital. much presentations and lengthy explanations will not impress investors, and most likely will turn them off. Present your business in a manner that’s short, sweet and to the point. Investors need to be confident that your business will attract and retain customers. If they don’t grasp your concept in a short time span, they may presume that customers won’t understand it either.
Inspire confidence with facts, not fiction. Most investors seek out low-risk businesses with proven managers that are as close to guaranteed as possible. A company with cash flow, a track record, and real-world experience has a better chance of getting investors than a business plan forecasting large returns. Find ways to test your business’s viability on a shoestring budget, and turn your idea into a functional business before you seek investment.
Excite investors about your big picture. But be reasonable and responsible. Avoid being enthusiastic in a way that annoys the investors. Respectable investors will not take you seriously if you present them with nonsensical financial graphs that claim your company’s revenues will grow from 100,000 to 50 million Naira in three years. Show investors that you have a grasp on reality with three versions of financial projections: best case, moderate case, and worst case. Base each of these models on facts, past and present performance data, industry and competitor analyses and a series of well-thought-out, defendable assumptions.
Learn to love discount stores.
Being cheap is chic. In an age where spending is out of control, you’ll need to prove that you are a fiscally responsible manager who knows how to get the most out of a buck. Give yourself wiggle room in your operations and marketing budgets, but avoid being excessive. Never ask for a large salary or big-budget perks. Investors want you to be in a position where everything is on the line.
Your business won’t be built in a day.
Investors are wary of funding over-eager businesses that seem destined to bite off more than they can chew. Before asking for millions of Naira to fund 50 divisions and hundreds of product lines, prove how well you can create, manage and fulfill the demand for a single product. Demonstrate that your business can crawl before you say it can walk. Perfect your marketing tactics, sales strategies, and operational procedures. Investors appreciate companies with sustainable step-and-repeat business models that are poised for exponential growth. Remember, even Dangote’s success is based on a single product before he diversified.
Don’t be the smartest person in the room.
Know what you know, know what you don’t know and find the people who know what you don’t know. Build a team of credible experts. The smartest leaders in the world are those who surround themselves with smarter people. Investors are funding a management team as much as they are investing in a great business concept.