Today I decided to prepare a blog that shares the lessons that we’ve learnt from our recent experiences in preparing investor pitch decks. As some of you may know we’ve built our first product, BusinessManage.com, which helps businesses to proactively and effectively manage all facets of their business – projects, tasks, employees, human resources, sales, marketing, finance, knowledge, facilities and the list goes on. As part of this experience we’ve been rewarded with a lot of positive attention from investors in Ottawa, Canada and Los Angeles, California.
If you’re planning to perform a pitch to investors, these tips will really help.
Where do I start?
Every investor pitch deck should have two decks – one for presentation and one to hand out at the end including all of the information you discuss. The reason for this is because if you put too much text in your slides then the potential investors you pitch to will be reading your slides while you’re talking. This is bad, because investors make decisions based upon their belief in you being able to make the business succeed. You need them to listen to you.
Today I was asked for the top lessons that I’ve learnt along my entrepreneurial journey. It took a lot of thought and consideration and as a result I’ve assembled this list of the biggest lessons that have been vital to our success. Take a moment to read and consider them carefully, they very well could be the difference between success and failure for you as well.
- Know, Like & Trust
This is the single most important point any entrepreneur must know. People do business with those they know, like and trust. You need to invest the time to allow a client to get to know you, to learn about who you are and what motivates you to succeed. Once they get to know you and see that you care about the products/services that you provide and that you genuinely wish to help them then a bond of trust is created and strengthens as time goes on. Like is the intangible item in this list. In most cases it is easy to build like, but, occasionally personalities are incompatible and it’s unlikely that a sustainable ongoing business relationship will succeed. People are emotional beings, the decisions we make, investments we choose and alliances we form are based upon these three pillars (know, like & trust). If you are able to achieve and maintain all three of these then you’ve acquired a client for life.
- Build Your Team
Building businesses requires a team of all-stars. Even solo-preneurs require support from external parties (partners, accountants, lawyers, banks, investors, distributors, resellers, suppliers, and the list goes on). Take the time to build an all-star team; without it you’ll struggle when trying to push through many barriers. Even worse, you’ll miss out on transformative opportunities and the opportunity to push through other barriers because you won’t even know that they exist!
Over the last several years I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to mentor some of the brightest entrepreneurs in North America.
Each and every mentorship is a learning opportunity, not only for the startup but also for myself. I get to learn about new and exciting industries and enhance my knowledge in various established industries on a daily basis.
Each mentorship relationship is unique; every startup possesses a different combination of strengths and weaknesses. Successful mentorship requires an investment of time and energy in order to learn about the business, understand the opportunities, assess the competition and determine the best way to provide value to the mentee. A level of trust is absolutely critical because a successful mentorship requires entrepreneurs to divulge a lot of behind the scene details.