Preparing for investment can be a pretty daunting, but exciting and very rewarding task if it all goes to plan.
You may be right at the start of your investment journey, in which case you’re probably considering which option is right for you. We’ve explored a few funding options historically on our blog, so be sure to read up if you need some extra help!
Or you may be in a position where you know exactly what you need and you need to prepare for your potential investors’ questions, but what exactly do you need to do? What should you check? And how do you know that your business is investment-ready?
We’ve put together an investment-readiness checklist so you can answer all three of those questions!
I have a business plan and know my business inside out
This may sound like a silly place to start, but trust us when we say, you really should know your business inside out. Here’s a checklist within a checklist, so before you do anything else, ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s our key product or service and why?
- What are our goals and ambitions?
- What’s our 5-year plan?
- What’s our strategy?
- Who are our key team members and why?
- Who is our primary target audience?
- Who are our competitors?
If you can’t answer any of the above, it might be best to regroup before you progress any further in your investment journey, as a potential investor will expect you to know the answers.
As well as being able to answer the above questions, it’s best to put together a business plan that clearly outlines what your business is about and how you’ll be successful. You’d be surprised at how many business owners don’t have a business plan, and your investors are very likely to ask to see it.
I understand my numbers and I’ve created a realistic forecast
An investor will ask you about your numbers and forecast, so make sure you’re familiar with both. By understanding your numbers, we mean being able to recall things like your turnover, outgoings, income and profit (if you’ve made one), whether these are your predicted numbers or your real numbers, you’ll need to know them.
Keep in mind that a realistic forecast isn’t just plucking numbers out of thin air, you’ll need to have looked at and considered your current and previous cashflow. If you can forecast and outline your potential revenue for the next few years, this will help build confidence with investors.
I know how much I need, on what terms and how it’d work
It’s best to approach an investor knowing exactly how much you need, what the funds would be used for and how the agreement could work. It won’t necessarily instil confidence if you approach an investor with no idea what you need, what you’d use it for or how the investment deal will work.
It’s best to seek advice and guidance if you’re not 100% sure how much you’d need. You don’t want to ask for too little and run out too soon, or ask for too much and give away a higher than needed stake in your company!
I have an exit strategy
Investors will want to know how they’ll make their money back, and what your overall business exit strategy is. So having some answers prepared is a good idea.
If you’re unsure what your exit strategy would be or where to even start, you should take some time to establish this.
You also need to ensure that your company founders are aligned on the proposed exit strategy, as investors will expect the team to be in agreement.
I’ve prepared a pitch deck and mastered it
You need to wow your potential investors with your pitch deck. Show them exactly why your business is investment worthy and why they shouldn’t miss out.
A strong pitch deck will demonstrate your potential success, as well as the demand for and interest in your product or service. You should be including engagement and operational metrics, a clear roadmap, strategy (including any marketing strategy), and a summary of your finances, including a realistic forecast and information on how you intend to create profit.
Keep your pitch deck to the point and informative, don’t include excessive slides.
I’m ready for a grilling
In order to gain investment, expect to be asked many, many questions by your potential investor(s). They need to check if it’s safe and beneficial for them, so you should expect a grilling. Keep it in mind that you both need to ensure you can work together, so it’s best to have open and honest conversations.
Don’t go into an investment pitch or to meet a potential investor without running through your pitch first. Practice answering challenging questions, do your research to find out what an investor is likely to ask about (you could speak to a business owner who’s been through the investment process) so you’re not caught off guard.
Ready for investment?
Get in touch! We’ve helped many businesses prepare for and go through the investment process.