Do you think you’re prepared for a fundraising?
While you’re thinking about the answer let me ask you just few more questions:
✔️ do you have a business plan with well defined business model?
✔️ did you make customer development?
✔️ did you make market research and designed your marketing strategy?
If all the answers are yes - well, congrats, you seem to be really well prepared for negotiations with investor. You don’t need to continue reading this post then, go and focus on your fundraising instead. But if one or even more answers are No - I have to say that you’re not prepared for fundraising yet.
Yeah, I realise that my professional opinion may be not so convincing for you, even given over 10 years of experience in this field. But I hope that the investor’s feedback will be enough persuasive and relevant. So let’s see what do they think.
On previous year the global startups and investors direction InnMind was doing research of investors behaviour and decision-making process. We organised hundreds of interviews with the top VCs and business angels from variety of regions from USA until Japan. During these interviews investors were asked about most important criteria, critical information and other elements that finally bring them to the decision to invest in a startup or not.
✔️ Over 85% of investors consider market data to be essentially important for making investment decision
✔️ Every 2 of 3 investors don’t even consider startup requests without business plans
✔️ Every second investor would avoid financing a startup without a marketing strategy and plan
✔️ Over 90% of investors mentioned among the TOP startup mistakes the lack of clear and detailed business model
Do you realise now the importance of having done your homework and get well prepared before start pitching to investors? If you do - half work is done ;) But now you need to know HOW to do it.
If we try to write a comprehensive guide on all the necessary steps to prepare for investments - this longread will last for many pages (By the way, leave in comments if you want us to write it and if we see the demand - we'll do it, prommise!). Instead of this let me briefly give you some useful links and outcomes below.
If you seriously think that a modern, innovative, lean startup doesn't need a business plan at all, read what a well-known entrepreneur and angel investor Tim Berry has said:
I'm pretty sure that, if asked, both Ries and Blank would agree that even with a lean startup, you constantly need to think through the goals, steps, metrics, tasks and basic numbers. Just as the business is constantly subjected to measurement and learning, the plan is subjected to frequent review and revision, which brings us back to fundamental planning.
And that's true, without a detailed execution plan (which is a major part of a good business plan) you increase your chances to fail increasingly. That is why irrespectively of new trendy ideas and tools which may partly substitute business plan, the vast majority of investors still want to see a detailed business plan when they consider a startup for investments. And if you don't have one - it will mean huge minus in investor's eyes.
But writing a business plan sometimes can be a real challenge. Oh, why I say "sometimes"? To be honest - all the times. To help you in this hard task here is a Definitive guide on How to Write a Business Plan for an early stage startup with a set of advice and useful resources which was created to help startup founders to write a great business plan without any headache.
If you read this guide, explored many other useful info and still deal with the headache on how to write a good business plan yourself - you may ask professional support in business plan writing. It will save your time and lot's of nerve cells and as a result: experienced specialists will guide you through all the steps, help you to make the research and put your data in a right direction, review your business plan or even write the one for you.
Someone has said: "If you don't have enough skills and time - spend money to buy the skills and time of others. But if you have now money - spend your own time and skills for this task". So it's up to you to decide ;)
"How many articles have been written about marketing, how many videos recorded, how many insights shared at numerous events and seminars.."
(c) Kate Voronova
Yeas, thats true: Tons of useful information about how to design a marketing strategy and write a marketing plan for startup is available in nowadays. But still the majority of founders ignore this direction, believing that if they have a good idea and potential market demand, after product launch clients will knock their door and purchase a product without any additional efforts. That's a huge mistake which unfortunately is done by every secong startup.
And the other mistake in this regards is thinking that your startup doesn't need a long-term marketing strategy and plan, believing in some magic growth hacking formulas which may bring you to success after few months or even weeks of their implementation. Don't be naive, it will never work like this! Do you know that the most effective well-known and successful growth hacking strategies were found after many months or even years of consistent marketing efforsts and experiments?
Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. And to win this marathon you need to have a well-designed marketing strategy and marketing plan, which won't let you forget the priorities and will help you to reach your audience and your goals.
Here you can find a free to use template of a comprehnsive marketing plan for startups with explanations, tips and advices for every chapter. With this template it would be easier for you to understand what to do and what should be included into marketing plan.
It will also be very useful to watch this video of the special webinar about startup marketing: "Marketing in Startups - step by step guide" by the cief marketing officer of InnMind Ekaterina Voronova, who explained in details all the milestones, todos and must-haves in a startup marketing strategy.
And if you want to get a professional advice and help of an experienced marketing expert in designing your marketing strategy and writing a marketing plan - answer the questions of this survey and apply for a Free consultation with a startup marketing expert.
And your BONUS: Hope this article helped you to understand better why and what should be prepared for your communication with potential investors. But if you still have any questions or need support - you may fill in the questionaire and get a free consultation from the experts of the global startups and investors direction InnMind.
Knowing more about our users, we learn what we can do to deliver maximum value and support startups in the most effective way.
Open the following link to answer questionaire (it will take 5-7 minutes):
If you want to learn more about startup fundraising here is the record of InnMind webinar "How to make investors love your startup?".
Here you will find answers to questions:
As you can see, it is lot's of work to be done. But the good think that when once you did it - you will have a very strong positions and high chances both to succeed in fundraising and in business development. So finally it worth it, be sure!
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