Creating a convincing investment proposal is one of the primary goals of startups that look for funding. This business presentation alone can get you the financial support you need to grow. What should be included in an investment proposal is thus required data before you get up in front of investors. And we’ve sought to make that read more straightforward for you with 12 detailed steps to create a compelling investment proposal. Here’s a list of action items to achieve a high-quality project. We’ll kick it off with a brief description of what an investment proposal is all about.
What is an investment proposal?
An investment proposal is the driving tool during a meeting with potential investors. It’s a presentation that covers critical company information and metrics, hoping to get investors interested in funding a company, product, or project. The best investment proposal for business will present data in terms of ROI. And it will describe the strategies and methods a company will use to get that capital out of a sizable market.
What should be included in an investment proposal?
Here are the essential steps to an investment proposal. You can find them all live in our free investment proposal template, as well:
1. Describe your company
Besides your company name in your cover, start your presentation off with a second slide on your startup’s brief description. Think of this as presenting your executive summary, and title it as such. This slide should include a few sentences of what you do and your company’s current status. Also, show your traction very briefly.
In terms of your pitch start, think of a pitch deck hook that will captivate your audience. A well-thought-out yet straightforward question might help get potential investors drawn to your pitch from the very beginning.
2. State the problem
Next, state the problem you’re aiming to solve. And strive to do so succinctly. This is typically presented in a sort of chain. Describe what customers usually need or try to achieve, followed by the pain or obstacles they face in doing so and how current solutions in a market fail to address that need and barrier.
3. Give out your solution
As with any problem in a presentation, it should be followed by a solution. Describe your product or service and include how your target audience will benefit from it.
Investors will be quite interested in this slide, so make it easy to read if you’re just emailing your deck. You can edit this as much as possible and even have different versions to discuss with people for feedback before deciding on the final version for your investment proposal.
4. Show market research
The next 3 slides will be about your market research and how you plan on inserting your offer in a particular niche. You’ll be looking to show potential investors valuable knowledge you possess thanks to your thorough research about the market you’ve chosen. What should be included in an investment proposal in this sense is a transparent display that you know all of the practical actions to compete successfully in a given sizable market.
Your first slide in this series should include your differentiator—state what differentiates you from other options currently available, especially in terms of distribution. Also, add to it what you know about your user acquisition strategy. Consider valuable channels for that, any past testing, and any tech in which you’re working.
In general and for data in this section, think of projected production volumes and unit prices, sales methods, marketing channels, and overall strategies. Show you know your product can be profitable and the step-by-step of how you’re going to make that happen.
For slide number 2, expand on the size of the market in which you plan to insert. Give out clearly visible amounts for your total addressable market, and the served available market and clearly define the percentage of the market share to which you aim.
And for your last slide in this go-to-market section, graph out your primary focus, priorities, and the tasks that stem from that. A clean table should help you achieve the goal of showing how you’ve considered all steps to come up with exact dates for your growth and to get traction.
5. Display your traction
There’s not much to it for traction than showing it off visually. Make sure this graph is top-notch! Traction is of particular relevance to investors. It can be crucial for a VC to decide towards funding a company or staying away from that early stage kind of risk.
We’re aware of the top three traction challenges SaaS startups face, for example. Yet, there are ways to show your traction even if there’s no revenue.
If you have no traction whatsoever, it may be best to work on it before seeking early-stage funding. Here’s a word by our CEO on seed funding for startups to help raise venture capital as an entrepreneur in case it helps.
6. Define your goals
It should be clear how much you’re looking to raise in terms of funding. And how that money will tie in with your intended goals. Define as you give out the required investment amount how it will be spent and what areas will be nurtured with it.
We included a proceeds table in our investment proposal template that you might find very useful. It works on projected headcount, revenue, other expenses, and cash burn per quarter per year that should be easy to fill.
Use customer validation in your favor to strengthen your case and describe your product roadmap as visually as possible.
7. Present your team
Getting to know you have a perfect team to face this endeavor is essential for your potential investors. They need to be able to form an opinion about you, who’s behind your company and everything you do.
Show your key team members’ accomplishments at an individual background level as much as a part of your company. Investors need to trust you know how to make the best of challenges and opportunities.
8. Reveal your financials, if advisable
Disclosing your financials might not be the safest (and even legal) option for all in every scenario. Check with your legal and financial team about this. Under green light, this part should be a lengthy set of slides. If you’re going down this route, then disclose your unit economics in bullets as much as graphs and tables.
Not all pitch decks include a financial slide. But, as we’ve proven before, if you add one, that’s the first thing investors want to see. Your financial projections say a lot about how you conceive business. And part of financial disclosures are your intended sources for funds, projected gains and losses, loans, and more. Be as realistic as possible here, it’s the only way to earn much-needed trust in this essential area.
The investment proposal should also have a clear timetable. This way, investors can track how long you plan on completing each of the different stages of your project and goals. You should also be very clear on what you’re asking, the technical feasibility, breakdown of costs, scalability, and more. Our investment proposal template helps you out with various traction deep dive graphs, as well.
9. Detail your exit strategy
State how your investors will get their return based on your proposal. Now’s the time to put that into a slide. Define if you consider an acquisition, selling out to a buyer, or going for an IPO, for example. Give comparisons of your possibilities as we facilitate through our template slides. It can’t hurt to define these in terms of your potential business partners at different stages. You should also consider envisioned timeframes.
10. Describe how you plan monetization
With a clear sales strategy, you can fill your monetization slide with pricing as detailed as possible. Consider users per month, for example, and your operating margins at that.
11. Recognize your challenges and risks
Acknowledge the challenges you’re up against and the risk those signify to your company and a potential investor. Admitting these should show your contemplation of your areas for competitive strategies that are effective. They shouldn’t bring down your investment proposal.
12. Stress good timing
To finalize, highlight what makes your present moment the best one for this funding. Timing is everything in business, it can make or break many areas of your efforts. Give trends, factors, and as much supportive data to back up why now’s the perfect time for your company to be moving as you propose.
Excel in your slides for a perfect pitch
We hope our 12 steps of what should be included in an investment proposal are of great help as you sit down to contemplate your pitch. Remember never to leave out how your slides look. It’s also a fundamental part of making a compelling statement.
Do your best to make sure you’re walking out of a meeting with an assured investment in your hand. If working with templates or furnishing compelling design is not your strength, consider our consulting and design services to give you a hand. Starting at $29 per stunning slide, we have different pricing options to suit everyone!