Home > 5 Top Tips to Prepare for an Investor Meeting
Published at 28 October 2023
Take a breath. Don’t panic. This isn’t TV. (Unless you are appearing on Dragons Den or Shark Tank of course! In which case, let us know and we’ll send you a free Rauva T-Shirt to wear on your special day ;))
There is a secret weapon to help you ace that meeting: And that is simply preparation & knowing what to expect.
Here are our top tips:
Getting to know your investor and their portfolio before pitching them is crucial for several reasons.
First, it enables you to select the most suitable investors to approach based on their interests, values, and investment history.
Do they prefer to invest in entrepreneurs with a passion for solving global issues? Are they inclined towards larger teams, or do they typically steer clear of pre-seed rounds?
Each investor has a preferred investment style, so it’s essential to ensure that you are selecting the best investors for you, or at the very least, finding out enough to enable you to tailor your pitch to resonate with their approach.
Familiarise yourself with their portfolio and investment behaviour. This can offer valuable insights into the kinds of businesses and entrepreneurs they generally invest in and can also help you anticipate their concerns and questions. By anticipating these proactively in your pitch, you’ll head off awkward questions before they’re even asked.
Another key factor to research is the investor’s relationship with their portfolio companies. Are they hands-on with their investments? Do they actively promote them? This can give you a sense of their working style, level of involvement, and the value they might bring beyond financial investment, such as industry connections, mentorship, or strategic guidance.
A highly experienced investor who actively participates and opens doors for you can be worth significantly more than any financial investment, especially if you are inexperienced, so don’t fixate on the amount of money they offer if it’s lower than you’d like and think through the value of their expertise.
If you can, speak to other entrepreneurs that the investor has involvement with.
Crafting a powerful business pitch is crucial. It's your chance to sell your vision and convince potential backers that you're worth their investment. To excel, master the pitch delivery techniques. This means communicating clearly, maintaining eye contact, and demonstrating confidence in every word.
Consider the elevator pitch essentials too — simplicity, clarity, and brevity. Don’t take a hundred words to say something if you can say it in ten. Their time is very valuable and they don’t need the fluff.
Telling your story during a pitch breathes life into your business concept by allowing you to convey your passion, purpose, and the problem your business aims to solve. This allows investors to connect emotionally with your venture and envision its potential impact.
To effectively incorporate storytelling in your pitch, start by setting the scene and introducing the problem your business addresses. Use real-life examples or scenarios to illustrate the issue, making it relatable and tangible. Subsequently, introduce your solution and your relationship to the solution, explaining how it addresses the identified problem, the benefits it brings and why YOU are the best person for this gig. Highlighting personal experiences, challenges, and learnings will add depth to your story and demonstrate resilience and commitment.
Concluding your story with a vision of the future, the impact your business aims to achieve, and how the investor can be part of this journey can leave a lasting impression and invoke a sense of partnership and shared goals.
Investors invest in people, and in turn, people buy from people. Humanise your business by intertwining your backstory with the brand, and you'll create an emotional connection with both the investors and your potential audience in the future. Authenticity sells.
Prepare, compile and memorise (the best you can) a thorough list of financial projections.
This task isn't merely administrative; it's about showing respect for your potential investors' time and will give them the confidence that you have the ability to understand and oversee every part of your business.
While no investor would expect you to remember every aspect of all of your financial statements, at least memorise the headlines and key figures, and provide copies of the documents to each investor to look at while you talk through them.
Here are the documents that it’s good practice to prepare and print out for your investors:
* [Financial Statements](https://rauva.com/blog/company-financial-statements-guide-for-new-entrepreneurs)
* Legal Documents
* [Business Plan](https://rauva.com/blog/business-plan-ultimate-guide)
You'll want to present your documents in a professional and organized manner to convey the seriousness of your proposal. Your visual aids should demonstrate efficiency, highlighting key points with clarity and precision. Remember, an engaging design strategy isn't just about looking good; it's about effectively conveying information.
Use clean lines, plenty of white space, and well-placed graphics that allow the eye to move freely across the page. This not only makes your content more digestible but also respects your audience's time by delivering value quickly and getting straight to the point.
Through careful planning and clean, effective execution, you can ensure that each document serves its purpose: To convince investors that you're worth their time and money.
As we mentioned earlier, investors see hundreds of pitches. You need to stand out from the crowd.
Finally, be as accurate as you can with revenue growth; an essential factor in illustrating your business's future financial health.
You'll need to convincingly project your company's revenue growth to secure investor interest. Appropriate use of revenue forecasting techniques and sustainable growth strategies will help you craft a compelling narrative.
Here are key aspects you should consider:
* Accurate Revenue Forecasting:
* Sustainable Growth Strategies:
Get a professional to help you build out your forecasts if you’re not one, and arm yourself with projections on different scenarios.
Having navigated through the complex terrain of projecting revenue growth, let's turn our attention to another crucial aspect - highlighting market expansion.
This isn't merely about showcasing your business's potential growth but also demonstrating your understanding of the competitive landscape. A robust competitor analysis should be your starting point. Know who you're up against and what makes them tick, then use this information to carve out a unique space for your own enterprise.
Product differentiation is key here. What sets you apart? Why would customers choose you over others in the same arena? It's not enough just to offer a different product or service; you must communicate why that difference matters.
You've got this! With these tips, you're well-equipped to impress investors. Remember, understanding their expectations and presenting a compelling pitch are key.
Have your financial documents ready, showcase your business model and value proposition effectively, and demonstrate your team's competence.
Always consider this; There is no bad outcome to an investor meeting. Even if they don’t want to invest in your business, you’ll gain some valuable experience and information about your idea. Take as much as you can from all feedback. Learn, and go again.
You’ll get there in the end!
You should consider cultural implications when choosing attire. Dress professionally, but don't lose sight of your personal branding. It's about balancing formality with authenticity to best represent yourself and your business vision.
Typically, you'd want to keep your investor meeting duration between 30-60 minutes. It's crucial to manage time effectively, ensuring you've covered key points without dragging the meeting unnecessarily. Remember, brevity is a virtue here.
Avoiding common mistakes like pitching blunders and overconfidence impact is crucial. Don't oversell or underprepare. Always respect investors' time, clarify your points succinctly, and don't neglect the importance of a good exit strategy.
After your investor meeting, it's crucial to seek meeting feedback. Maintain communication etiquette by sending a thank-you note and summarizing key points discussed. Keep lines open for further dialogue or clarification.