In all the forums and advice groups in which I participate, this question (and its many variations) is a common one.
Not all businesses look for investors, but the answer to this question serves business owners in general planning as well, so it is always worth addressing.
Indeed collecting the information you may need to convince an investor is a useful exercise to consider your own growth strategies and to identify (and share with) potential new hires.
What investors want
Investors want to know three main things:
- That your offering has a strong market opportunity
- That your business has the right people to make it happen
- That you are smart with money
The right market opportunity
This point is important, as without it, the other two barely get off the ground.
An investor is taking a bet on future success. It is up to you to prove that future is possible.
When building your business plan, focus on this market opportunity by considering who is the ideal client, and why. What does the client want and where could they get that solution now.
Also be prepared to explain how you will serve that need better than the current options. And, of course, how will your product be found, bought, and used.
The right people
The best ideas will not make a dent, however, unless you have reliable and capable people carrying it forward.
Every investor knows that markets change, ideas adapt, pivots happen (all the time). This is why the right team is essential.
People who are adaptable, open minded, and loyal to the company will be able to work through changes and do what needs to be done to stay competitive.
The right financial management
We can’t ignore that investors have given you their money.
They don’t expect you to horde it away, they know you are going to spend it. But they do expect you to make good decisions with their money, and use it on investments more than expenses.
Delight your investors
This work is ongoing – you do it once to pitch to your investors and then you prove it continuously to keep them happy.
Wherever you are in your business cycle, make sure you can always highlight your advantages in these three areas.
Contact me to arrange a half day workshop on how you can address these areas (per business: $1320.- + $40 per person).