This week, I’m all about financing. Financing is a VITAL part of growing a real business. This begins with a killer FINANCING PITCH. Remember, value boosting makes your company more compelling. A compelling company gets financed. Here are the key things you need to convey in your financing pitch:
1) There is a tangible pain or huge untapped opportunity in the market: quantify the pain or opportunity in dollars and market segments and explain how you know who and where the people who need your product are. You know how to reach them.
2) You and your team are the ideal people to remove this pain or tap this opportunity: prove it! Make us believe that you, your team, your advisors, your circle of connections are positioned perfectly to pounce on this pain or opportunity. Remember—at least a dozen other people have the same idea as you and are likely executing on it. What makes your company special? What gives you an advantage over all the current and future competitors?
3) You have a well-thought out sales, marketing, product plan: You know how to build your product, people have already said they will pay for it, you know how and where to sell it and at what price, you know how to generate tons of interest that will build buzz and result in revenue.
That’s it. From there you’ll have them hooked enough to bring in the rest of the decision makers, or you’ll have to refine your pitch to hook the next prospect the next time. Refining and testing your pitch is essential—you generally get one shot to pitch your deal. Use your community, your coach, your mentor (me!) to help you refine your pitch.
Remember, you must build trust and respect with others. Making the two most common mistakes damage trust in you and also make the financier lose respect for you. There are 2 common mistakes I see in almost every financing pitch:
1) Asking for too much money: an entrepreneur says they need $1million in financing but their company is a pure startup with no product, a skeletal team, no real traction. They may only be worth $100k. How can they possibly raise $1 million? They should raise a super small angel round or get a loan, create some tangible business traction and achieve some specific milestones, then take that proven track record out and get the larger financing. There’s no rule as to how many rounds of financing you’ll raise. Just get somebody to take a risk on you. Then more will follow.
2) Having unrealistic revenue projections. Don’t be like Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies. Understate the amount of revenue you expect to generate, then blow your financiers away with your massive results. Here’s a sample plan for fundraising:
Financiers like to see a decent revenue ramp, plus a controlled cost structure. Sloppy cost control will botch profitability pronto. Also, there are key inflection points that are expected in the growth of a business if it is to be considered compelling.
Christine Comaford, CEO Freedom Fighter
CEO of Mighty Ventures, Inc.
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