October 14, 2010
Did the following question occur to you while you were writing your business plan, preparing the executive summary or rehearsing for the pitch? “What do these investors expect from me”? Have you got your answer?
Thinking that business investors are focused on the sole purpose of obtaining a high return on investment transforms them into simple sources of cash, rather than into real business partners. This thought also turns you into a source of revenue, instead of revealing your other entrepreneurial qualities.
Investors expect from you what you expect from them. Does this statement seem plain? Well, if you want a lot of money, they definitely want more; if you appreciate their business knowledge and their willingness to provide management assistance and expertise, they are also enticed by your knowledgeable, highly-qualified and experienced management team. If you would like them to invest for noble purposes, such as job creation, development of technology, promotion of valuable ideas, then consider these your own purposes as well.
So, what do investors want from you?
A Unique Vision
You need to be motivated by the ambition to succeed, to see your business get off the ground and promote a meaningful product or service, possessing unique features that will differentiate you from your competitors and will satisfy the needs of your target customers. State your organization’s core values, to which you are committed, value such as integrity, social responsibility or excellent customer service.
How you will implement your business plan, the feasible strategies chosen and the sensible arguments of your choices demonstrate your ability to manage a company throughout its intricate development process. Your worst-case scenarios will show that you are ready to face challenges and solve unexpected issues.
A Valuable Management Team
Your team members’ business –oriented personalities will be highlighted by their academic background and also by their experience in running other companies. Their previous accomplishments in enterprises dealing in the same field as yours should be mentioned in a special chapter of your business plan.
Your financial projections backed up by data resulting from market surveys and authentic case studies should be the proof of a down-to earth vision. Investors will ask you how much money you are going to need, how you plan to use it and when.
You will have the chance to prove your qualities in your business plan, in the executive summary and during the pitch. How will you make sure the chosen investors have the desired qualities? You can also check their investment history, their proven success with other companies in their portfolio. To increase your chances of getting funded and to ensure a high-quality partnership, select only investors that have a preference for your stage and industry. To benefit from their expertise whenever problems occur, consider their geographic location.