You have set up a brand new business, you have found enough support to overcome the first hurdles and you are ready to move on to the next step. We are in 2018, so you plan to collect money on an online investment platform. Super – now what? With the pace at which the sector has evolved in recent years, where do you start?
Here are 26 words to make you think.
A – Audience
Know your audience. Most people will not be specialists in your market or product, so do not treat them as they are.
B – Company Plan
As a general rule, investors want to know what you have in mind for the coming year. Concentrate on what you know to be closest to what is achievable and "real".
C – Competitors
Do not just talk about the "status quo". Do your research and find out about other startups in your space – and be careful that there is not one! Articulate your cutting edge.
D – Due Diligence
Investors often want to know who has done due diligence. Being able to point to respected law firms, accountants, angel investors, etc. already working with you (or even better, investing) is great.
E – Engagement
Answer questions as quickly and as completely as you can.
F – Financial Services
All historical data that you can share is vital. Forecasts are useful, but do not worry too much – most investors know that they are only rough estimates. Nevertheless, think carefully about the assumptions that underlie your numbers.
G – Good, Solid Product or Service
Obvious point, but make sure you have a USP. If you have not done your market research to prove that there is interest, you must do it and you must demonstrate it.
H – HMRC
Know what about tax benefits for investors. Most investors are strongly incentivized by EIS (S) systems. There is a lot of advice on the HMRC website.
I – Background of the Industry
Know the industry in which you work. What is his size? Is it growing? Maybe that's not – and it's okay, as long as you have a demonstrable place.
J – Jobs
How many people will you need to grow this thing? To be realistic. Start-ups typically raise funds to hire more staff. Prove that you know exactly who you need and where you will find them.
K – Know your place
Do you build a new part of the market or take a piece of market from someone else?
L – Lead Investor
Not all platforms require one, but some do, so pay attention to that. What these platforms seek to see is an active and independent investment in your business to legitimize the cycle.
M – Marketing Plan
How do you reach your customers? "Social media" is a tool, not a strategy. Do not be vague, and think about the momentum when it comes to marketing the campaign itself.
N – Structure of the candidate
Know what each type of nominee structure means to you (and your investors).
O – On line
When you collect money online, it is essential that you have a video to get to know you better. The Meetups are also great if you have the opportunity.
P – Platform
Choose your platform appropriately. Take a look at marketing and do your research on the companies that they have funded and look for parallels with what you offer.
Q – Quality
This is an obvious point, but if you do not check the superficial signs of quality (beautiful pictures, good spelling, passable grammar), it's off-putting for investors.
R – Income
You do not have to be in income. If you are, scream about it; If this is not the case, be comfortable with that, but know when it will happen.
S – Sales
Always be clear on the status of sales conversations. Of course, a contract is ideal, but any written or verbal interest is also worth mentioning!
T – Team
Why should an investor believe YOU have the team to do it?
U – Undercapitalization
Investors expect you to know exactly how much you need. Do not raise anything else (more or less).
V – Rating
Have it checked. Some platforms insist that you got an investment at a particular valuation before you take a closer look at your round of financing.
W – Work
Be prepared to put a little time. Raising on an online platform is effective, but that does not mean it's effortless.
X – eXit
(A little cheat, sorry.) Investors want to know that you care about the exit, so provide at least one or two precedents from the industry. However, you certainly do not need to have planned your IPO.
Y – Gardens
Be careful to make promises; investors can, and will, hold you to them. This is not an excuse to be vague, but it is best to provide a handful of indications indicating where you want to go in X years. Ask yourself, how will you know when you have done the business you want?
Z – Zero
Do not give up if it does not work the first time and you get "zero" money. An unsuccessful fundraising campaign is a great opportunity for feedback for the future. Listen hard and try again.