Every year, the executive team at Grow Utah Ventures reviews over 300 business plans. Traditionally, entrepreneurs have focused on making sure they have a well-written business plan. However, we’ve found that the written business plan itself will not secure funding, just as a résumé alone will not land you a job.
The process of preparing a business plan is a tool to help entrepreneurs or small business owners get ready for, or secure, second and even third meetings with potential investors. The business plan really, then, becomes the script for the entrepreneur to use during the presentation.
During an initial meeting you should be prepared to make a concise verbal elevator pitch in which you tell the investor, this is what I do, this is how I’ll make money, and this is the market demand. The elevator pitch should be suitable for any number of audiences and should be used to rally people around your idea.
Some key questions to consider when approaching potential investors may include:
•What’s the model you plan to use to make money? •What markets are you targeting? •How are you going to generate sales? •How are you going to attract talented people to work for you? •Who do you network with? •What mentors have you have you found who are willing to help you, work with you, or give you their time?
Remember, an important part of rallying investors to your idea is concisely answering any questions that might arise during your presentation.
T. Craig Bott, President and Chief Executive Officer Grow Utah Ventures Salt Lake City, Utah