Launches are scary, even more so if you don’t have an investment winning launch pad. Here are some ABCs to remember.
Let’s start with what you should think about when defining and defining your tone.
• The goal of the speech is to open discussions about investment, mentoring, and start-up assistance.
• All investors receive thousands of applications per year, so putting yourself in front of an investor is a great start.
• Always know your audience. Does your potential investor invest in your particular market and products? Do they invest at the level of investment you are looking for? What are your investment priorities? For example, do they invest in renewable products, pets, real estate, etc.?
• Always remember your manners. Don’t dive right into your presentation without some basic etiquette, like waiting to be introduced, asking about coffee, etc. Don’t take your jacket off unless others do, and obviously dress to impress.
• Accentuate the benefits of your business. You are there to sell your business and your equipment, not to sell your products.
Here we talk about what you should remember when raising your pitch.
• Brief so that the potential investor does not get bored. Most successful presentations have between 10 and 12 slides and the accompanying narration should be just as short and no more than 20 minutes before the investor feels sleepy and has probably heard it long before. Key facts and information is what the potential investor is looking for and they don’t want to have to take you out of your story about how Aunt Mary suggested you solve your bunion problem. AirBnB’s launch pad was very short at 12 slides, but they raised millions of dollars.
• Get to the point and don’t waver on your launch pad content. Look at some sample presentations from some now massive companies and see how they didn’t give up on the point.
• A storyteller. Tell an interesting story as you progress through the slides and it will hold the potential investor’s attention.
• Accurate in everything you say. No company can solve all business problems, so try not to overstate the size of the market or the effectiveness of your products. Be precise on your finances and how established your business is currently. Make sure someone you trust reviews your presentation and gets your opinion.
• Be honest, as falsehoods will be found during the discovery process and you will be banned. Investors are a tight-knit group and the word will get out. Investors are also highly skilled entrepreneurs.
• Clear in your presentation. This means there are no distractions from overly crowded or complicated slides and tries to keep vignettes and multiple graphics on one screen to a minimum.
• Original: Investors must see so many potential launches that say “Uber for X” or a “Google competitor” that they must be very bored. Remember that great companies became great very quickly because they found a niche and a window of opportunity, because they copied another revolutionary business model. All investors are looking for the next Unicorn, very rare, which is why this type of investment is called Unicorn. Be the Unicorn, not the Zebra.
• Appropriate. Remember what you are there for. Keep your launch pad pointing in the right direction and make sure it tells exactly the story you want to tell.
• Accurate as to what you will do with the investment. If you need to find better manufacturers to lower the price, please say so. It is better not to seek investment so that the directors continue to pay. The initial investment is to grow the company without maintaining the status quo and the founding investors are destined to make their profits by increasing the value of their shares.
• Equitable in terms of investment available elsewhere: If you are looking for investors elsewhere to supplement the initial investment, please indicate this. No Angel Investor wants the value of their shares to dilute immediately. Likewise, if you already have investors on board, please indicate so.
• Clear about the investor’s responsibilities. What stocks are you offering for investment? Do you expect them to mentor the directors as well? Open your black book, etc.?
• Be sure to include an exit strategy. Therefore, the investor knows when and how he will recover his investment, as well as what his remuneration and profit will be in response to his investment in his company.
• Legible. A slide is not the place for 10 or 12 points, 16 points and preferably 20 points of a clear and professional font should be used on your slides. Similarly, have a light background and not too many graphics on one slide. The text should be minimal.
• Safe to use your headlines. Instead of standard titles like “business model”, use interesting and memorable titles like “the magic that we are.” Try to tell a story with just its headlines before adding all the other texts.
• Memorable. In what you say and in what you present. Stand out from the crowds. Try not to use recognizable stock images. Not all of us are great photographers or design gurus, so when doing your search in the image directory, scroll down multiple pages instead of taking the top images.
Now let’s look at the important part: creating your presentation.
The content of a great presentation should include these slides and preferably no other slides.
1. Cover Slide – Displays the company name, logo, website address, and an appropriate graphic. You could put a short catchphrase to spark interest in the next presentation. Uber is a famous launch pad and its motto was “Next Generation Car Service.” AirBnB was “Book rooms with locals instead of hotels.” They were both interesting, concise, and informative.
2. Vision and value proposition: why does your company exist and what you plan to do, what value does it provide
3. The problem: what business problem you are seeking to solve or have identified.
4. The Solution: how are you going to solve it with the products you have on hand.
5. Target market and opportunity: where you are going to solve the problem and who is likely to buy the solution. It should include the size, shape, and expected changes within the market.
6. Competition: who else is in this market and can slow its growth and expansion. Show how you are better than them and include your PVU.
7. Business model: how you will operate within this market to generate income. Here, a business model canvas is ideal.
8. Traction – How your revenue is doing so far, how many current customers you have, your customer acquisition rate, and your company’s roadmap into the future.
9. Marketing and Sales: How will this traction act and attract customers to your company’s offers?
10. Team: who will assume the management of the company. Include key advisers and key qualified personnel.
11. Finances: sales forecast, income to date, and so on. Include some important KPIs
12. Investment: how much you want, when and how it will be used. Investors proposed the ROI and shares that were offered after their exit strategy.
13. Thank you – Thank them for the opportunity, show the way forward, and most importantly, your contact details. This is the slide that will remain on the screen as you discuss the issues further, so make it memorable.
Now that you’ve done the hard part, you should briefly summarize your speech in a few words, emphasizing how you will solve this business problem, grow your business, and make the best use of the investment.
Now take a breath and let the potential investor ask a few questions and make a short statement. Listen carefully and trust your answers. Do not get defensive if you do not fully understand what he has said. Be prepared to learn from them. Now shake everyone’s hand and ask for a future meeting to discuss the future. This is your call to action, so don’t leave the room and wonder what just happened. After all, you may have gotten your investment.