A simple 11-point checklist that ensures you’ve covered your bases
By Martie Cowsert Streit
Have these rapidly changing times sparked new ideas for you? Have you recently started your own business, or are you trying to figure out how to get started? Of course, we all know that everything starts with a plan, so we hope you have put together a strong one and have much success in your new venture!
Over the past 16 months, nearly 90% of my firm’s new clients are in some stage of seeking investments to launch or expand their businesses. For Lilichuks, that is a whopping 78% more clients looking for assistance with investment pitches than the previous two years combined. We advise our clients to keep their pitches simple yet substantive by following the Lilichuks 11 formula.
Investor Pitch Checklist
Lilichuks 11 includes the 11 key components to a winning investor pitch. A successful presentation to potential investors will include clear, crisp messages and relevant data for each of the components that are applicable to your proposed business.
- The Problem: Clearly define the market need for your product or service. Include measurables, metrics and graphics to illustrate why, how, for whom, etc., that the need exists.
- The Solution: Explain in detail how your product or service addresses the stated need. Be sure to address every issue or topic that you identified as part of the problem.
- Opportunity: Who will buy your product or service? Define your target market using measurables, metrics and graphics.
- Business Model: How will you operate? Define your financial and operations models. Include profiles of founding members and key stakeholders. Highlight the value each brings to the venture.
- Differentiators: Why will the business be successful? What makes you different from similar businesses?
- Competition: Who else is addressing the problem? Clearly state who your competitors are, their market share and their competitive advantages.
- Competitive Advantage: Restate differentiators to show how you are different from and/or better than your competitors. Be specific as advantages can vary by competitor.
- Marketing Plan: How will you attract customers? Include information about marketing channels, vehicles, campaigns and other initiatives. Map real and/or projected metrics directly to marketing initiatives. Based on market research, illustrate market-to-sale metrics to support sales projections.
- Customers: Who has used or is currently using your product or service? If you already have customers, include customer profiles and/or use cases. However, if you do not yet have customers, dive more deeply into your target market to illustrate ROI possibilities using consumer response to similar or related products and services.
- Partners: Include information about individuals or businesses with whom/which you are partnering to deliver your product or service. Address why you selected these partners. Be prepared to answer questions about your partners’ financial status, executive teams and business models.
- Financials: Keep it real. If you have real numbers from prior or existing business, show them. Keep projections high level; you can share more detail in follow up. Be specific in defining your customer acquisition strategy, approach and expectations.
Pretty simple, yes? Asking for money is never easy. Being prepared to address these 11 areas of your business will enable you to appeal to investors more confidently. What we like about Lilichuks 11 is that it provides multiple opportunities to highlight your differentiators, thus solidifying your message with the audience and in turn increasing your chance of securing the funding you need.