The way you present your idea or business plan to potential investors could be the difference between business success and failure so it’s vital to get it right.
1. First impressions are all-important. The first thing prospective lenders and investors will see is your business plan. It must be well-presented. It should look comprehensive without being over-detailed. (If necessary, information can be put in appendices).
2. Practise your presentation of your plan. Do this by getting a colleague or friend to role-play or see if a counsellor at an enterprise agency will take you through it. If necessary, approach a source of finance which you regard as very low chance and use it to perfect your technique for those opportunities of which you are very hopeful.
3. The next step will be a face-to-face encounter. Look conventional; the people who have money to lend are middle-of-the-road types, so do not endanger your chances of getting the money by dressing in an odd way.
4. Get the facts at your fingertips. Your plan may look good, but if you sound unsure or muddled about the details, doubts about your management ability may be raised.
5. Be clear in your own mind what is interesting or exciting about your proposal. Do not get so bogged down by the details that you cannot bring out the really important points of your business idea.
6. Find out the names and positions of those who can invest. Try to get the real decision-makers, not their advisers or subordinates.
7. Listen carefully to the questions and make sure you answer what you have been asked.
8. If you are asked for further information, make sure it is as well-researched and well-presented as the rest of your plan and provide it quickly.
9. Do not be too defensive about your idea; assume beforehand that it will be critically assessed.