I seem to remember a few years ago on Dragons Den that an entrepreneur walked into the Den wearing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and Peter Jones said “If you were taking this seriously you wouldn’t have come in like that”.
Whilst the jeans and t-shirt look is now common place for entrepreneurs, the same ‘casualness’ should not be replicated into facts and figures.
During the last six months I have personally seen over 30 entrepreneurs ‘pitch me’ for investment and what I find incredible is that they may have a great idea but they just do not have any handle whatsoever on the numbers or the strategic plan.
Before you even think about approaching an investor, I would always ensure that you have the following documents ready:
1. Investor Presentation or “Pitch Deck”
This can be presented as a Word Document, but I personally find it easier to create it as a Powerpoint as it looks better and forces you not to make it too ‘wordy’.
There is no hard and fast rule about what to include in the pitch deck, but you ought to be including things like: What does the business do, What problem does it solve, Who are the team behind it, How much money do you need, Why do you need the money, What are you going to do with the money and most importantly – How and when does the investor get his money back with a profit.
2. Financial Projections
You should be including a forecast profit and loss account, forecast balance sheet, cashflow forecast and an anticipated burn rate (if loss making initially).
3. An Operating Plan
Similar to the pitch deck but more detailed – setting out what your journey looks like, key goals and drivers over the first 12-36 months and key milestones (such as when you are buying a piece of equipment or anticipate winning a big deal)
You now have your documents ready!
The next blog will talk about how to carry out the “kill” test and how to find your perfect investor.
Here are Fusion we have worked with a number of startups and established businesses assisting them with business planning, financial modelling and getting them ‘investor-ready’.
Why not get in touch and see if we can help.