There is no right, wrong or definitive way to get the attention of investors.
Sometimes chance encounters at events or cocktail parties lead to meeting invitations. Sometimes years of press mentions and a good track record get you in the door. And on rare occasions, a well-written cold pitch email to the right person at the right time might be just the ticket.
No matter how you get your foot in the door, the real challenge is selling investors on why they should commit their capital. While there are many tips for the best ways to go about negotiating a deal, I thought it best to first cover the investor presentation contents
I am a firm believer in show, don't tell. But there are still several items that must be covered in any investor presentation.
Here are a list of presentation slides and data you should have with you on the big day.
1. Overview. Include a simple slide with a brief series of points you intend to cover during the presentation.
2. Facts About Your Business. This slide should feature a list of your unique selling propositions, real historical revenue data, the names of current big name clients or contracts that your company owns, and a list of any intellectual property you might own.
3. Immediate Sales Growth Opportunities. Show the lead and sales funnel you currently own along with the potential (or determined) revenues for each transaction.
4. Competition & Industry Analysis. Include a general overview of your competitors, why you’re better, and how the market share and overall industry revenues look.
5. Game Plan. This should be a series of points about your strategy and action plan to attain your goals.
6. Use of Proceeds, ROI and Terms. Layout how you intend to use the money by breaking it down into big-ticket, top-level line items (e.g. Marketing, Salaries, etc.). In addition, include your anticipated break-even point and a series of financial projections that show your best, moderate, and worst cases.
7. Management Team. List your core team members and 2 or 3 bullet points about their relevant expertise.
8. Big Picture. This is a series of bullet points that show off your long term vision, new market segments where your business can diversify revenues in the future, and other points that demonstrate how your company can be a grand slam for investors that jump on board now in the long term.
Note: Each of the following slides should be short, sweet, to the point, and highly supported by research, data, and defensible assumptions. The order can be rearranged, however, look to keep the sexy stuff up front.
In addition, as I mentioned earlier, always look to show, don't tell. Be visual. Demo your product whenever possible. Have a conversation, not a lecture. Never let your deck or presentation be the main focus of your pitch. You always need to sell the jockey before the horse. Remember, investors buy into amazing people first and amazing ideas third-- second is always about how much money they'll earn and how fast the ROI will be.
Scott Gerber is a serial entrepreneur, author (Never Get a 'Real' Job), TV commentator and founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.