Your Pocket Guide to Capital Raising, Business Consultancy, Sales, and Email Precision
Capital Raising a Helicopter View
In your journey of capital or fund raising you are in search of Companies, Qualified Investors, Family Offices, High Net Worth Individuals, Angel Investors, Private Equity & Venture Capital Funds, and Institutions.
In order to reach such sources of capital or funds you need to have a fundraising unit in place which requires building a team, a plan, and a procedure.
The best time to reach for investors to meet them is on holidays, they are available and have more time, you should always start by building relations to find what are they looking for before you bring a deal to the table, you might be raising for your project or your company, or you might be raising for a client which might be a company or a new startup, in both situations you are not just a capital or fundraiser, actually your a business consultant as well.
You don’t need to be an MBA or have technical expertise or skills to be a fundraiser and a business consultant for a project or an investment deal, you need 85% communication and networking skills, and 15% knowledge about the field, industry or sector which the project or business you are raising for is operating within, that’s why you need to spend almost a month to get educated and learn about what you are raising for.
You should sit with your team or your client’s team of analysts, researchers, and/or business development executives to study their Business Plan which should include:
- Company or business overview (investment overview)
- Strategy and competitive advantage (What differentiate you from peers and competitors, what standards are you raising and/or creating within your respective industry which create gains, what pains are you eliminating or reducing)
- Short and long term goals
- Customer or client segment, and traction if available
- Information on the product, service or investment opportunity
- Revenue streams, Sales targets or target return
- Expenses, budgets, and cost structure as well as uses of funds
- Marketing plan
- Operation plan
- Historical financials if available, and future financial projections
- Key partnerships you have
- Resources you have being it Intellectual, financial, or assets if available
- Management team and their bios
- Any appendices if necessary for any technical details, drawings, or data sheets
Capital Raising Process
Capital or Fundraising is all about the story telling which is more of a sales role while marketing materials act as assisting materials, its always about the story telling and how you sell the idea or the concept.
Before you start generating meetings with potential investors you should prepare for the sales process, remember you are selling your project or idea, or your client’s project or investment opportunity, and it all depends on how you tell the story while you are pitching to investors and a compelling executive summary for them to read and attract their interest.
Sales or Pitch Deck
Keep your Pitch Deck brief and concise and try to limit it around 5 slides, don’t load the slides with a ton of lines and details, just the headlines, remember its all about the story telling, so any details you want to demonstrate you can say them while you are pitching or putting links to them in the slides, investors and CEOs don’t like to read a lot of details at first.
The First Slide should address a relevant change in your business sector or industry with big stakes and huge urgency for prospects, you can show how the world changed or shifted from one theme to the other over the past years or decades.
The Second Slide should show the positive impact or future of adapting to the change and how adapting to change is a winning decision as well as the negative impact or effect of not adapting and how this can result in losses, you can show which companies or market or industry players have went out of business in the last number of years or decade and how winners shifted and adapted to change.
The Third Slide will be a teaser of the promised land or goal you are trying to reach with your project, business or investment, you must show how difficult is it to reach it and how obvious is it that your product, service, or platform is the solution, Investors or clients (in case you are just selling a service or product on B2B or B2C basis) are expecting you to show them what value do you provide, the experience from investing with you (or clients from using your product or service, how does it fulfill their needs or demands, how can your service or product reach clients or users and delivery time, and how it can be personalised or customised according to clients’ preferences. You need to show from this slide how life will be like with your product or service.
The Fourth Slide should introduce the features of your product, service or platform and how they overcome the obstacles or deliver the deliverables described in the Third Slide.
The Fifth Slide should provide evidence that the team behind the project are capable of delivering what they promise and make the story you are telling come true, you can demonstrate this by showing the Management Team’s Bios as well as testimonials if possible.
The 5 Slides presentation is not a standard, you can add one or two or even more slides if necessary or sometimes a slide extends to 2 slides and can’t be fitted into one, its OK, but try always to make it as close to 5 slides as possible.
An executive summary should be an attention grabbing short synopsis of 1 or 2 pages which provides:
- Name of the company and its location
- Mission statement
- Company description and a brief history
- Management team and advisors
- The product or service and its positioning in the market, and how it differs from competitors
- Financial requirements and how it will help you accomplish your mission and goals or returns
Always start the subject line with Bold keywords according to the reply you need from your email:
ACTION: (Which indicates that this email requires the recipient to take action), followed by the bottom line of the email.
SIGN: (Indicating that this is for signing documents and reverting back), followed by the bottom line as well.
INFO: (Indicates that this email is just for providing information), followed by the topic or domain of knowledge or the task or mission you are providing information on.
DECISION: (Indicates that the recipient needs to make a decision upon or in response to this email), followed by the issue which needs a decision to be taken on or the bottom line of the email.
REQUEST: (Indicates that your email is requesting something), followed by the request topic or the bottom line of the email.
COORD: (Which indicates that the email is for coordination, like scheduling a meeting or a phone call, coordinating with a team member or a colleague, or requires coordination from the other side whether its a client, investor, partner, manager, or a colleague), followed by the bottom line or the matter of coordination.
The bottom line should always be the first line of the body of your email on Bold font and Blue color, and should always indicate Who is this email addressed for, What this email is about, Where is this email coming from, When do you expect a reply or within how long, and Why a reply is important or needed.
Then you write your message or the content of the email, always be economical with your writings and make the email as brief as possible so as it all fits within the screen view without the need for the recipient to scroll down as much as possible, if your email has essential details or explanations write them in bullet points, it will be much more easier for the recipient to go through them, remember or memorize them, and refer to them later.
Always use an active way of writing by putting nouns before verbs, for example: “The project/investment has yielded x% growth over …” not “x% growth was the yield of the project/investment …”, or “The strategy resulted/achieved ….“ not “x,y,z were the results of the strategy”.
And the final line of the message or content should be the bottom line highlighted in Yellow, so the recipient read it twice at the beginning and the end of the email, this way you are reinforcing the recipient to pay attention to it.
One last consideration; always stay compliant and have your legal documents, financials and pitch deck in place.
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Till we meet again, enjoy rereading this article again over your favourite beverage.
About the Author:
Ahmed Refaie is a happy smiling human by day, crazy dreamer by night, living a life that is worth living, you can reach out to him as he is always more than happy to exchange culture and share thoughts. You can also ask him for answers to your questions.
Read other articles by the Author here