1. Have a written business plan. A good business plan includes the following:
Outline your contact information so potential investors can easily reach you.
Your Executive Summary is critical. Describe what your business does and what market need it solves. Include your “unique success factors,” 4-6 reasons why your business will be successful.
Also detail your top-line financial projections and amount of money you are seeking to raise.
Describe your company profile including where you are located, when you were formed, and what your legal entity form is. Also discuss the stage of your company: what successes has your company already achieved?
List the details of the market that you are competing in, how large it is, and what trends are affecting it.
Identify your target customers and their needs. Be specific with regards to the demographic and psychographic make-up of your customers.
List who your competitors are and their key strengths and weaknesses. It is also important to identify your competitive advantages, what propels you to be more successful than the others.
Describe your products and/or services and your desired brand positioning. Detail how you will get customers to know about your company (e.g., social media, newspaper ads, direct mail, etc.). Discuss where customers can purchase your products and/or services
Outline the key operational processes your organization will accomplish on a daily basis to achieve success. Also identify the milestones you need to accomplish over the next 1-3 years in order to achieve success.
Prove the qualifications of the key company personnel that will execute on the business model.
Also talk about who you need to hire to fill any gaps.
This is a key component of your business plan. It details the ways your company generates revenues. Include the key assumptions that are used in your financial projections. If you are looking for funding, state the amount of money you need to start and/or run your business, and how the funds will be used.
2. When pitching for money, remember it is all about what’s in it for the investor or lender.
When writing your plan and making your pitch, be sure you address it in a way that makes it very clear how they will benefit by working with you.
3. Be very clear about the amount you need, why you need it, how it will be used and the expected outcome from the investment.
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