Infographic created by Donnelley Financial Solutions, an SEC reporting software company
Your idea for a new product or service, as great as it may be, is nothing more than a seed. Seeds won’t grow on their own — they require soil, sun and water to unlock their full potential. Whether you’re attempting to start a new business or scale up your existing enterprise, capital is the primary resource you need to make sure your ideas can germinate into something new and exciting.
Although plants receive everything they need from nature, funding is something that requires you to be more proactive. This means you have to know what it takes to successfully secure your funding round so you can get your ideas planted and feed them.
Understanding Your Audience
One of the most important steps in your funding round is knowing which investors you want to target and how to appeal to them in the most successful manner. Often, having a lead backer with a strong reputation means others will follow in his or her wake. Choose your primary targets with care and do what you can to maximize the impact they will have on other potential financiers.
When it comes to crafting your pitch, you need to be able to highlight the unique appeal of your plan. This is not the time for modesty ¬— if you believe you have a revolutionary concept, be sure to put that front and center, however, you also need to keep one foot on the ground. Your potential investors will want to see that you’ve done your homework, not just dreamed about what you might be able to accomplish. This means proving a comprehensive understanding of the market, your customers’ needs and how competitive you expect to be.
It’s critical that you demonstrate you can meet expectations in a realistic and plausible way. Showing forecasts that reasonably predict how you’ll stack up against the competition will go a long way to show financiers you mean business. You need to be able to back up your assertions of success with a timetable that provides a picture of when your investors can expect a return.
Unlike a seed planted in the ground, you can’t just wait for the rain to come if you want your ideas to become reality. Being able to convince investors you have the goods is the only way to make sure you receive the funding you need. For more details, take a look at the accompanying resource.