There are 2 most typical stumbling blocks for people in your position. 1) they are too in love with their idea and 2) they have little-to-no real market acquisition plan. The first is dangerous because you will spend a lot of time focusing on why your product is cool instead of what an investor wants to know: what is the deal, what to they get, what kind of payout can they expect, etc. The second is more dangerous long term as many new bussinesses and products have a "if I build it, they will come" attitude, which simply does not work. How exactly will you get customers? Can you model that at all? These are the questions you should be considering at this phase.
The framework I use, and recommend highly, is referred to as OUTSIDE IMPACTS. Each letter stands for part of the pitch you need to cover. You don't necessarily need a full-on business plan as some people are suggesting - most investors will never read that crap anyhow. What you do need, though, is to cover these bases:
You can read more on the OUTSIDE IMPACTS framework here: https://research.chicagobooth.edu/nvc/docs/PT2Kaplan.pdf
The document is written from the perspective of how to analyze a deal, but if your proposal & pitch can line up well with this, you should gain traction. My career is focused on helping people with exactly this type of process, so if I can be of any help, feel free to reach out to me directly. http://www.tandemspring.com
Hi Violet, I agree with Jerry - meet investors' needs. Certainly, develop the detailed business plan with process and projected financials for yourself so you're prepared to answer any questions, but develop your presentation around feasible revenue-generating timelines and value (or cause-supporting, depending on investor interests.) The top three things I've found investors seek, generally:
1. Earning power and value proposition
2. Market adoption (valuable or not, will people buy it)
3. Owner's (your) demonstrated knowledge of the product as well as resources and timelines for points 1. and 2.
A word of advice? Investors are not your friends. That may change over time, but early on, share only what you need to. It's important for You to find a 'good investor match' as well. They're evaluating you, but you Have to evaluate them as well. Remember, this is often a long-term engagement.
At the risk of being repetitive. First you need a business plan with a focus on a "large market", a great team behind and with you, and financial projections that will look good to an investor when they are cut down to 1/4 to 1/2 of what you project. Finally you need to decide how much you of the company you are willing togive up for the investment. Have you done the research to see that you will be developing something salable and scalable?
This is a very high-level, skim the surface answer, however:
If you're looking for outside investment you're almost certainly going to have to write a complete business plan. You'll need to include:
a. executive summary
b. general company description
d. marketing plan
e. operational plan
f. management and organization
g. personal financial statement
h. financial plan including startup expenses and capitalization
Of course, the key when going after investors is to convince them that they'll make money on the deal and the way to do that is to show not just that your idea is great, but that you and your team have the chops to make it happen. You'll need solid financial projections based on in-depth market research and a clear understanding of how you will grow your business and make money for your investor(s).
There is a lot that goes into creating a good business plan that would be attractive to an investor. I used to work at a VC firm and review business plans to help decide which companies to invest in, so if you need assistance, please feel free to send me a private message.
Without mowing exactly what your product is it is hard to give specific advice, but to put it simply make sure you state the problems your technology solves and how it can make lives, or conducting business, easier.
In my experience we all naturally tend to spend to much time describing our process. Most investors and clients are not particularly interested in this. They are interested in a solution to a problem or issue they have. If you state your benefits in terms of calling attention to the problems that your target market has, people tend to sit up and take notice. They will ask, how do you do that!! I want that! Now they are ready to hear about what YOU do to make it a reality.
Have you written a business plan out for this investment you are seeking?