A Toast to New Investors

Advice comes cheap when looking for investors. It’s amazing how advice seems to come out of the woodwork when people discover you are searching for business funding. Most of the advice will come from people who have little or no experience in finding investment money. Amazingly, some of the ideal advice you can find is the same advice given to toasters by Toastmasters International. You should keep your business presentation to potential investors personal, concise, customized and sincere.

One unfortunate aspect of many efforts to find business funding is that requestors wait until cash flow is a problem before asking for money. When you appear desperate, investors will assume there is a high level of risk embedded in the proposal. Desperate pleas for money seldom succeed in the business world. Investors can spot desperation quickly. They can quickly identify a high risk gamble and a business plan that attempts to hide the risk and the desperation.

The personal aspect of your presentation to potential business investors refers to the reliance investors will place on you as being fully qualified to manage the business. You are the one who has the creative business idea and is familiar with the industry the business will operate in. You are the person who has created a well thought out business plan. You are a business asset with experience, talent, abilities and competencies. You need the funding which is why you are looking for investors which is why investors will also want to know about your business experience and the knowledge that makes you so certain that business success is possible.

A business plan presentation, when looking for investors, should be concise. The in-depth details are presented in the written business plan. Investors will carefully study the plan at a later date. During the presentation, investors will ask questions and get clarification on topics gleaned from their first readings of the plan. The presentation needs to be concise and to the point, but the business plan needs to cover important topics in full detail.

  • Business description
  • Type of product
  • Market description
  • Description of customers targeted
  • Nature of competition
  • 5 year projected operating plan
  • Plans for investor repayment
  • Necessary documentation
  • Collateral for funding
  • Financial information including statements and budgets

A customized presentation will focus on the type of investor being approached. For example, venture capitalists are considering large investments and will expect a return through business growth in a reasonable amount of time. Angel investors often invest in business startups in which risk is high, so the subject of risk must be well covered. Equity partners may be interested in hearing about their expected role in managing business operations. Each presentation must be adapted to the audience, in other words.

Finally, your presentation must be sincere. Sincerity means you are honest and aboveboard about your business plan. The explanations or information you give to the venture capitalists, angel investors or equity partners needs to convey how the money will produce business growth and success.

There is more advice to be gleaned from professional toasters. You should:

  • Ensure you are well prepared
  • Speak with confidence
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Stay on topic
  • Summarize the most important points

You can get professional assistance in your efforts dedicated to looking for investors. However, in the final analysis, it’s up to you to present your business in a convincing manner.

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by Julie-Ann Amos, professional writer, and owner of international writing agency www.ExquisiteWriting.com

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