Last week, I had the honour of introducing an entrepreneur I helped to an investor I contacted to raise funds. The meeting was highly successful, and I believe we’ll enjoy a pleasant exchange of minds, which will result in an investment and long-term partnership. Why? What made the meeting simple and the reason I believe that the investor would invest?
The entrepreneur demonstrated passion and vision.
Though I’ve heard of the business case a number of times (and I am now beginning to shape the case), I was fascinated by the tale told by the businessman. The reason is simple: the entrepreneur eats, breathes as well as sleep in his company. The passion he has for his work shines through, and the man is excited to speak about it. He is not just enthusiastic about his company and his field but also about the entire industry. This makes it extremely simple to interact with investors since the investor is now eager to hear the details of the story.
He also has a thorough understanding of the market and his business. He could provide an insightful answer to every question simply because “he is a shrewd oat”. This doesn’t mean arrogance, however. In fact, the investor was eager to share his knowledge and debate topics in detail. This means that the investor interacts on a more personal level. The more lively discussions you are able to have and the higher chance that you’ll be able to attend more discussions and the possibility to secure your loan.
We had everything covered with a clear and professional presentation.
PowerPoint death will instantly end any chance of making a deal. A well-thought-out presentation can balance the need to communicate information while taking the limit of time. Insufficient slides or overly busy slides are an irritant. Clear bullet points with well-designed diagrams, tables and graphs which are covered in no more than 20 slides will spark conversations, which is the goal you should aim for. A one-way conversation in which you discuss each bullet on each page in an orderly fashion is your last chance to meet the potential investor.
We used our presentation to serve as an example rather than a means to show a point instead and not to prove an argument at all. The reason we did this was that the entrepreneur was passionate and experienced, as well as because the investor was eager to inquire as is customary. We let him move through the presentation and dictate it off the discussion, making reference to our presentation when needed or when we wanted to discuss something completely fresh. This resulted in a highly lively discussion.
Do we have to go through each slide? No. Does the investor have to read each slide at any time? If he’s keen (and we believe that it is), Of course, we hope he’ll discover information that will help reinforce the points that we have made during our discussion.
Your presentation is just one tool that is you have at your disposal. It’s not the only one.
Create a vision, and then search for a long-term partnership
If you approach investors with the intention of just receiving their money, it will not work. The majority of investors are looking to become partners, but there are few that will invest without involvement in your company in the future. You need to be able to convince investors of your plan and explain why you’d like them to be involved in your business and what you think they can do to help you realize your dream (and this answer isn’t restricted to their funds! ).
Consider an investor as a long-term business partner, someone who will help you when your business expands as well as someone who is likely to earn money alongside your help and in turn, because of your efforts. Don’t seek out an investor in the same way as a banker, as he isn’t another financial institution to draw on.
Ernest Matthewson advises entrepreneurs on how to raise capital to finance their businesses. He makes use of the network of his investors to locate the right and appropriate funds for a specific company. He only works with investors who are long-term partners. He only offers advice to entrepreneurs that believe in it.