12 Nov CAPITAL RAISING: Be Prepared for Success
Building a viable, long-term business requires ample capital, a robust growth strategy and a brand experience that resonates with target customers. While client acquisition is always front of mind, capital raising is also a critical driver of exponential growth, and smart preparation can help attract the right investors, clients and strategic partners.
Capital raising presents challenges—it takes time, it requires C-Suite focus, it’s resource intensive, and it can distract management from running the business. On the flip side, a capital-raising exercise offers an opportunity to coalesce corporate strategy with branding, marketing and business development and serves as a forum to reexamine operations, supply chain and administration.
Often, entrepreneurs seeking to attract institutional capital or to raise money via an initial public offering (IPO) focus primarily on their pitchbook and the financial models within. While these are essential, they’re only part of the story. Investors look for an authentic narrative with clear proof points that sets a business apart from its competition. They’re looking for transformative companies breaking into new and/or vast markets with well-honed strategies and marching plans. Now more than ever, investors are looking for the “Whys?” the “Whats?” and the “Hows?” that underscore a company’s value proposition. Some questions to ask as you prepare to meet with investors:
- Why did you form the company? What passionate belief drew you to create a new business?
- Why do current and prospective clients value your offering?
- Why do you feel you are better than your competitors?
- Why should an investor give you money? Why should they believe in your offer?
- What will you do with an investment? You’ll need to be very specific.
- What new markets / market share can you capture?
- What people / systems / investments do you need to make to meet your projected revenues?
- What risks are out there, and what are you doing to protect the business?
- How big can your company become?
- How will you continue to gain traction (brand, marketing, business development strategies)?
- How agile and protected are you (patents, trademarks, brand value, etc.)?
- How does your corporate culture support client acquisition and retention?
Ensuring your presentation answers these questions clearly, succinctly and memorably (and looks great) is vital, but it’s table stakes. For capital raising to be effective and efficient you need to attract the right investors and strategic partners through a rich brand experience that complements and supports everything you say about your offering — from your website to your products to all client touch points. You need to be on point and consistent.