Practical steps for creating your plan
Many people find talking about money difficult, and asking for it can be even more uncomfortable. So we understand the apprehensions you may have when it comes to seeking funding for your startup.
These concerns make even more sense when you’re pitching your startup. No one wants to appear too eager, too green. You want to come across confident and knowledgeable.
After all, you’re not just selling investors on your idea and business. You’re selling them on you, as a person and a leader. Your pitch ultimately reflects on you, your expertise, and your ability to turn your concept into something that will not simply grow, but thrive.
But if you have worries about requesting funds, there’s another way to think about it—funding is simply part of the process. And investors want to fund your startup.
It’s true. After all, they have something to gain from it. So, if you pique their interest enough for them to tap into their wallet, it means they see potential in your idea or business. And when there’s potential, you can build a mutually beneficial relationship.
Investors put billions of dollars into startups each year. They’re out there, waiting for you. You just have to catch their attention, and we’re here to help you do that.
Start by considering your backstory.
What makes it special and unique? While this may sound like the advice of your long-forgotten kindergarten teacher, it’s important to consider. Your investors want to know about you.
What moved you to come up with this idea or product? Is it solving a personal problem or challenge you’ve encountered along the way? Your story demonstrates your passion and enthusiasm for your concept, and your investor will see and appreciate that.
What’s your problem?
As in, what problem is your product solving? How does your idea solve said problem better than other existing products? What needs were previously unmet before your product came along to save the day?
Be specific. Use examples from your competitors and explain how your product does a better (or different) job.
Know your worth.
Meaning your quantified financial worth. You can start with an idea of your perceived worth, but crunch the numbers and come to your investors well-prepared with this information.
Your investor wants to know about your profitability and market share assumptions. What are your future projections? Reliable forecasts? Providing your investors with a precise company valuation is crucial. It allows your investors to estimate whether it’s worth it for them to give you money and how much, and also how much they might make in return.
If you find this type of stuff intimidating, ask your investor if they’ll help you figure it out. Chances are, if they’re already considering investing, they’ll be happy to help you sort out your company’s approximate worth.
Show up with a plan.
Investors care about action. They want to see that you’re serious and ready for growth. Arriving with a concrete plan that lays out steps for forward-momentum shows preparedness.
Your plan should include:
- Goals and objectives, plus how you plan to achieve each one.
- Mission statement with a clear company summary including the customer problem you’re solving in a better way.
- Market analysis, including your company’s market potential, the current economic climate, notes on competitors, and customer acquisition strategies.
- Revenue projections, including current sales, expenses, assets, and liabilities.
Prove you’re low risk.
Include a due diligence folder containing relevant data about your business. Your investors will use this information to decide whether you are worthy of funding or not.
Format your due diligence report like a checklist. Be sure to list all loan obligations, supplier agreements, stockholder communications, and financial reports. Make it easy to read and scannable for your investor.
Keep your eye on the target.
Aim precisely. Spreading yourself too thin and attempting to overtake entire industries will come across as lofty and overly ambitious. Hyperbolic goals make you seem sophomoric. Instead, plan smartly, be precise, hone in on your specific verticals, and demonstrate a concrete action plan detailing how you will reach your audience.
Don’t keep secrets.
Everyone appreciates transparency. It’s necessary for establishing trust. Your investor doesn’t expect you to be flawless, so sharing your concerns and vulnerabilities shows you’re human. If you’re honest, you lay the groundwork for an open relationship with your investor.
Always have an exit plan.
Having an exit strategy shows that you have a long-term plan. Investors want to know about your end game. What happens if your company gets bought out or sold? An exit strategy should demonstrate your flexibility and future goals.
Consider partnering with a startup studio.
Venture capital or angel investors are only one way to get your startup moving. At Procter & Gamble, we’ve created another way to help: a startup studio we call P&G Ventures.
P&G Ventures is different from your average venture capital fund. We don’t just cut checks; we help you solve the entire puzzle. We love a good conversation, and we’re excellent listeners. We always start by asking, “What do you need?”
Yes, we help with financial resources. But we strive to go beyond that, offering human resources, too. We provide more than just funding. We provide a team of well-connected experts to fill in the gaps. From nitty-gritty details to scaling for immense impact, we’ll lend a hand with all the stuff you might not anticipate—let alone have time to do.
Ultimately, we want to form a partnership based on your needs. We’re here to help you level up your startup in whatever capacity is best for your goals.
P&G Ventures offers customizable partnership options.
Each partnership is unique. People come to us with a specific idea and individual circumstances, and we honor that. PGV establishes partnerships based on creative problem-solving in real-life scenarios.
We’re happy to take risks if it gets you from zero to interesting. We strive to turn possibilities into action plans and help bring those plans into action. We hit milestones. We build brands. When it’s time to take your concept to the next level, we’ll do it—and on a global scale.
Short-term growth isn’t our thing. Our brands and businesses endure. There are always speedbumps, but we navigate them intentionally and patiently. We want to cultivate your brand into a household name. Ultimately, we want to be as proud of it as you are.
If you want to learn about how P&G Ventures can help you with funding and even more, visit www.pgventuresstudio.com.