We want to help companies achieve strong growth. This is done through a carefully planned and implemented funding campaign. In this article, we cover thirteen steps to a successful funding campaign.
When planning your funding round
The time of the financing round is often when a company seeks growth. Launching a new product, expanding into a fresh market, or setting up a new business area are all situations where additional capital may be needed.
Before you start your funding round, make sure you plan at least the following things carefully.
- Focus. The funding round requires time, resources, and strength. It’s not just a fundraising operation, as at the same time you market your business and create credibility for it. That is, set aside enough time for the tour.
- Story and vision. Before investors invest their money in your business idea, you need to be able to convince them. Prepare to share the background, story, and vision of your business. Learn to put into words the direction you are going to take your business, what your long-term goals are, how your business is going to change the world, etc.
- Funding. Your job is much easier if you already have an angel investor ready to support your business idea before the round. Many are skeptical about rounds where they should be the first investor, so you need a few backers who believe in your idea and help get the round started. A round is much more likely to succeed if it is not announced until you have collected about a third of your goal.
- The team. Company management is an important factor in ensuring investors. Make sure the core team members each have a high-quality LinkedIn profile and are prepared to market the funding round on social media, industry events, and through their networks.
- Presentation of your product or service. You should have a clear and convincing description of the product or service your business offers. Explain what problem the product solves, how you can use the data to show its quality, how your background research shows that there is a market for the product, etc. Of course, the exact details here depend on the stage of development of your product.
- Marketing plan. Go through at least what channels you will be using, what marketing materials you already have, and what you still need to do, as well as how much budget you plan to spend on marketing. Consider making a video for your campaign: if successful, the video will cleverly package information about your business and the nature and style of your business, and support your message visually. Also contact the media: many journalists write about growth companies.
- Valuation. For the funding round, you must provide certain basic information about your business, including its valuation. Condensing your business into a single chapter can seem difficult, but don’t worry: there are ways to do it designed by experts. Be realistic in your valuation: low optimism and healthy self-esteem are not bad, but completely overstated numbers are misleading and gnaw at your credibility.
Once you have a waterproof plan, it’s time to prepare for the round. There are several ways to make a working funding round work, but we always recommend a few things to keep in mind. First of all, state the matter concisely: try to summarize the most necessary information for each case in 1-2 paragraphs of text. Focus on telling the things the investor needs to know.
Second: test your material. Ask an outsider for an opinion: we will be happy to help either by providing our insights or by directing you to the speeches of professionals who can evaluate and develop your pitch. If you have a marketing or PR partner on your own, feel free to ask their views.
Third and most important point: always be truthful. Don’t miss out on essential facts that will affect your company’s prospects. Problems tend to emerge before long: by misleading investors, you will lose their trust, your reputation will suffer, and you may also run into legal problems. Besides, talking about things directly should not be feared – investors value balanced information that helps them perceive the investment opportunity as a whole.
Tips for the funding round – and beyond
Once your material is designed and tested, it’s time to put it into practice. Here are a few tips on how to act during the funding round and what is good to remember after that.
During the tour:
- Be active. Tell your company’s followers, partners, potential investors – everyone about the ongoing round. Take advantage of your marketing materials and spread your message to the world. Share information about the tour on your channel and try to make it a topic of your network. The company’s activity can take the side of a failed round to success – or elevate a “just fine” round to a huge success.
- Track the effectiveness of your marketing. There are plenty of analytics tools available for online marketing in particular. Decide which metrics to use to evaluate the success of the measures and monitor them regularly – if something doesn’t work, come up with something new to replace it. Be sure to set realistic goals for your marketing and discuss with your team regularly where they are going and whether the goals are being met.
- Be prepared to act. The world will not stop for your tour. Reacts quickly when something interesting happens. For example, if a supplier contacts you, put it at the top of your to-do list; media visibility isn’t worth a blunder just because there happened to be a rush at the moment. Follow the industry news just in case you can grab something and turn it to your advantage. Follow your channels and quickly answer questions about the tour coming through them.
After the round:
- Message. Investors rarely feel they are getting too much information; often on the contrary they would like to know more. Give them interim updates as things go on. It may also be the case that the plan presented during the round will not be implemented as such. This is not the end of the world, but be sure to explain and communicate your changing plans to your investors well in advance.
- Take advantage of your fresh network. Investors are growing your professional network: they have invested in your business and want it to succeed. This is likely to include people who can provide you with new resources and opportunities to grow your business. Meet your investors, get to know them, and find out how they can support your business.
- Be the length of your words. The ideas you pitch during the round are kind of a promise. Your investors believe in you and support your business with their capital. That is, deliver on your promises to them and work on your vision! Remember that as with any business, trust is the A and O of everything: you want to maintain your good reputation because you may continue to raise new funding for your next growth leap.