10 Top Tips for Pitching to Investors
Guy Rigby, Head of Entrepreneurial Services at accountancy and investment management group Smith & Williamson, is an expert on the topic of raising equity finance.
Guy argues that businesses often leave it too late when thinking about raising finance: "Last minute planning will not impress your potential investors, who will wish to approach their investment in a measured and structured way...The smartest approach is to prepare and act well before the funding becomes a necessity."
With this in mind, Guy offers his top ten essential tips when it comes to thinking about and raising equity finance for your business:
1 - Ownership determines outcomes - consider whether you need external equity or can you keep it in the family.
2 - Plan your fundraising thoroughly and be fully prepared.
3 - Research your potential investors carefully to make sure that they are a suitable fit for you and your business.
4 - Make sure your management team is up to scratch - you don't want any weaknesses in your line-up.
5 - Be open and transparent in meetings with potential investors.
6 - Get good advisers who care about you and your business.
7 - Understand your financial position and forecasts - it isn't okay to leave this to your financial team, so make sure you know the figures.
8 - Be clear about the amount and purpose of your fundraising.
9 - Remember that investors back people so be likeable and believable, not arrogant and over-confident.
Read Guy's critically-acclaimed book From Vision to Exit, published by Harriman House.