We do have some tips and suggestions. You probably know all of this already, but here are some refresher tips:
- Polish your business plan. Reread the executive summary, management team, competitive edge, and financials. If you’re operating in Internet space, in the present market, make sure you are generating traffic and focusing on the ability of the company to generate strong cashflows.
- Develop your summaries. Summaries are critical to the VC process. You don’t send business plans to VCs until they’ve asked for them. Instead, you send summaries to establish interest. Many VCs prefer emails, just a few paragraphs, to faxed or written summaries, so you need to prepare both: a compelling business plan executive summary to communicate with investors, and a brief but exciting email, one page at most, outlining the growth prospects, type of business, and potential investor payoff. Prepare an investor summary memo, 5-10 pages at most.
- Select VCs carefully. Don’t shop your plan. Instead, research your VCs carefully, looking for dealsize, industry, and geographic preferences that match your plan. When you find the right VCs:
- Approach selected VCs correctly. For the VCs whose criteria match your plan, find out how they want you to submit your plan to them. Know whether they prefer email summaries, summary documents, phone calls, or whatever. This can be a matter of millions of pounds, so do it right. If you have Business Plan Pro, then you can eventually email a potential investor with your Secureplan.com reader password for viewing the plan.
- As you sense you are getting closer, make sure you have a good relationship with an experienced lawyer. You definitely need the right legal help to make a real deal. Make sure your advisor has been through similar deals; if not, then they should recommend a specialist instead. Investment deals are serious business.
- And if you don’t find anything, what’s next?