So you’ve come to the conclusion that your startup needs investors to be successful. Whether you’re considering crowdfunding or angel investors or capital funding, there are certain elements that potential investors want to see in your business plan. When investors see these items, they know that they’re working with a CEO who has done their research and is ready to take their idea to the next level.
Know your niche
Step one is to know your customer base and the problem of theirs that you are trying to solve. Building a clear understanding of who your ideal customer is, what their pain points are, and how your product can help to solve them.
You also need to know key demographic information about your ideal customer; what is their gender, how old are they, do they have kids, where do they get their news, and how much disposable income do they have? Knowing the answers to these questions tells investors that you’re prepared to be smart with your targeting.
It is impossible to please everyone; if you think your target audience is “everyone,” you’re wrong, and you need to try again.
Just like you can’t sell to everyone, you can’t fix every problem, even for your ideal customer. Successful products come to market with a laser tight focus on the one problem that they’re going to fix. Similarly, having a dozen ideas that you could develop at any moment might seem like it would entice an investor, but what they want to see is that you’re committed to the idea you’ve chosen.
Focus shows them that you’re ready to do what it takes to make your business idea a successful enterprise.
Keep it simple
Your product might be infinitely expandable, and that’s great. But don’t start there. From great games to great software to great services, the first offering is tightly focused and does one thing very well. Building out from there is fantastic, if you can do it, but show investors that you have an achievable plan in place before you start talking about all the applications and possibilities of your project.
Why does this matter? Because simple products are easier to pivot, when necessary, to capture a new audience or change direction. The more complex your product, the less likely you’ll be able to get it to market intact and on time.
Make sure your values are consistent
Your brand is made up of your product, your values, and your presence. You need to make sure that your values are consistent with both your product and your presence. If you offer a Cadillac product but scrimp on offering customer service, your customers will not be satisfied. If you present a Kia like a Cadillac, your customers will similarly not be impressed.
Showing investors that you are prepared to do what it takes to keep your brand consistent on all fronts also helps them to believe that you have considered all options and are ready to bring your product to market.
Limit your goals
What are the goals for your product? Do you want to simplify your customers’ lives, or enhance a particular experience, or let them connect in a new and exciting way? The truth is that if you have more than a few goals for your product, you are going to struggle to achieve them, at least at first.
Just like having too many options in your first rush to market, having too many goals can cause you to lose focus.
Investors want to see your focus on the issues at hand. Keep your goals concise and achievable.
Prioritize your marketing
The days of just slapping up a Facebook page and claiming your online marketing strategy complete has passed, but that’s not the same as saying that you need to be on every social media channel on Day 1. This is especially true if you’re managing the marketing on your own.
You should have a clear reason for each social media channel you plan on joining, and a precise strategy for what you will do there. Yet again, this will help investors see that you aren’t just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks; you have a clear plan and a road map towards success.
Basically, what investors want to see is that you’ve thought about your potential business from many different angles. You’re ready to move forward because there’s nothing else you can plan. You’re looking for their money because you can make this product happen, and you can do it now. All you need is the capital to move forward.
Show them that focus, and convince them that your business is their unicorn.