Six Ways to Help Potential Investors Evaluate Your Crowdfunding Campaign
Investors are busy, motivated people. Their job is to evaluate your business, and your job is to make their job as easy as possible. After all, if they can’t quickly and easily understand what you’re doing and why it’s worth investing in, they’re likely to move on to the Next Big Thing. Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to help potential investors quickly and easily understand your campaign.
Show Why Your Revenue Projections Make Sense
We’re leading with this point because it’s the most obvious: Investors offer up their money when they believe they’ll get more in return. You’ve got tall revenue aspirations over the next few years. Great. But how exactly will you get there? Who are your sales partners? What entities will license your IP, and for how much? How big is the market, and how much of it is yours for the taking?
As important as your revenue projections are, the rest of this post is about how to make your investors believe you’ll make them real.
Show Off Your Skills
When a startup company begins, the person behind each great idea is just as important as the idea itself. Why are you someone whom investors can believe in? How did you acquire the vision and drive to see the project through to completion? Whether this is your first foray into entrepreneurship or you’ve shepherded several companies to an exit, investors care as much about your resume (previous jobs, education, awards, and such) as well as the intangible qualities a resume can’t communicate (your passion, your mentors, your command of the market). Be proud enough to toot your horn, but practical enough to acknowledge potential problems.
Show Off Your Team
You might be a superstar, but nobody knows everything. When investors evaluate a team, they often look for its weakest member. Let them know you’ve assembled a group of colleagues with complementary skill sets to round out the body of expertise necessary to bring our product to market. Each member of our team brings something unique to the table, and together you provide the collective expertise necessary to get the job done right.
Relate Your Aha! Moment
Like Archimedes in his bathtub, many inspirations come from that AHA! moment, when the path to a solution suddenly becomes clear. Tell us the story behind your invention. How did you come up with the idea? What was the inspiration behind it? And why is it so very important to you to make that idea a reality? Inspirations come from everywhere, and we often talk about those on our Successfully Funded podcast, which offers a deep dive into the Why behind the How.
Describe the Problem You’re About to Solve
Often, your idea is important to you because you detected (or possibly experienced) a particular problem. Have you discovered a foolproof method for efficiently boarding passengers onto a plane? Invented unmeltable ice cream? Formulated a plan to help people who need it most? The most adept problem solvers see beyond what’s in front of them, into the hidden problems that others don’t even know exist. Discussing this experience will build faith in your investors that you’ll be able to address subsequent problems when they inevitably come up.
Shout Out to Your Community
You’ve heard it a billion times, but it’s true: A new startup effort takes a village. And not just among the smartypants you’ve surrounded yourself with; it’s also about the people who love your brand and are prepared to show support for it. The wisdom of crowds dictates that if potential investors see that you’ve already amassed a following, they’re more likely to join the line. Not all companies have a fleet of cheerleaders and ambassadors at their beck and call, but if you do, starting up and marketing your company becomes easier. A strong community of users can also turn investors into customers.
As complicated as a company’s early life is, the recipe to keep it afloat is comparatively simple. Make sure you have as many of these tenets in place, and you’ll have the best chance to keep the lights on long into the future. Stay strong, and good luck!