The 4 Simple Things to start with presented to investors in a way that is virtually 100% certain to be read
Once your business plan is complete, the first thing that you should do is to create a one-page profile document on your business.
You need such a profile on hand to send to prospective investors or funding resources. That way you do not disclose too much information and most importantly, people will not mind receiving and reading something that is only one page. That is what you want to accomplish ... get them to read something about your business or venture. That gives them an opportunity to become interested (and want to know more about your business).
Do not send anyone your complete business plan unless and until they ask you for it. Even then, I recommend that you start out simple to gage their level of interest and to make sure that what you send them will really be read. Send them your one-page profile first.
The truth is that your business plan when sent to a busy investor or business professional, may not be read but a well-written and formatted one-page profile is almost 100% certain to be read. A profile is also usually, what you want available to post on some of the online venues where you can advertise that you are seeking funding so that investors see it and can reply to you. You want to give them just enough to get their interest so that they ask to see your business plan.
Here is a list of what a company profile document should consist of (you can email me and request an example of a finished, professionally prepared Company Profile format that has worked well for my clients):
1) Business description and market opportunity:
A brief summary of the business description (what you do, products/services etc.), and your market opportunity.
2) Competitive advantages over other companies offering a similar product or uniqueness of your product/service:
Talk briefly, about how you feel your company can compete against other companies serving the same market as yours.
3) List recent positive news or significant accomplishments of the Company:
Briefly discuss recent positive news you have for your company or your accomplishments (what you have done so far with your business). If you are a start-up or pre-revenue company, it is important to show funding sources and investor prospects that you have accomplished some level of "proof of concept" for your business. That shows them that there is a basis of business viability and that you as the owner have put some effort into the business to get it to its current stage.
4) Briefly describe your background, experience and capability to effectively manage and grow the business:
You and your abilities will be one of the key factors in an investor(s) decision whether to put money into your company or venture. Its crucial that you show them that you are a capable and effective manager and that you have the skills and vision to make your company (and their investment) grow.
Finally, be sure to add your contact information to the profile. It should consist of the following:
- Email address
- Website address
- City and State where you are located
- Telephone # (where they can reach you or at least leave a message)
About having a website
A website is not required before you approach investors or funding sources for your business or venture but if you do not have one, I think you should go ahead and consider setting up at least a simple one.
Two main reasons for this:
1) You should send your contact emails from a business email account with a business email address for reply. Example: JDoe@ABusiness.com sounds much more professional than sending from a Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail email account. A simple web site account, with a service like GoDaddy (hosting costs about $5 per month), comes with an email account that can be set up for your business or venture.
2) Today, everyone in business expects you to have a web site. It can be a simple one with some basic information; which is better than not having one at all (considered a negative when people you contact see that you do not have a web site).
If you cannot do it yourself and need help, email me for information on a service that can do that for you. A "brochure" style site with an overview of the business (your business summary or profile), your bio (about you) and a contact form can be set up for as little as $75 (personalized and uploaded for you).
Again, a web site is not necessary but is something we recommend to help you. And it is so inexpensive and quick to set one up that it just makes sense from a business perspective (and you want to make a good impression, right?).
I hope the above helps you prepare in the best way, to present your business or venture to investors and funding prospects.
Dennis M. Lowery