Are you ready for the questions investors will ask you after reviewing your pitch deck?
A lot of work can be involved in just preparing your pitch deck, the attachments to send along with it, and rehearsing your pitch. Only you can’t stop there. Putting on a great presentation and sales pitch is one thing. It can be another to successfully field and answer inbound questions from investors well. This is where your ask and funding campaign can really succeed or fail.
Here are some of the questions you may not have already answered in your deck and pitch, and which investors are sure to test you on.
How are you different?
Hopefully you have already differentiated yourself from your tagline, through your SWOT analysis, competitor and product slides. Many don’t.
You have to own something that stands out and have a strong USP. Otherwise, why should anyone invest in your startup over the competition?
What is the one thing you can excel at and defend? Not just this week, but between now and through an eventual exit?
Keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
Tell me about a time when things didn’t go your way, and how you handled the challenge?
What protects an investor’s investment? There are going to be challenges every single day. Things won’t be easy. There will be many days you are tempted to give up, and it will be a lot easier to quit than to continue. Even if it works, you may have to pull off significant pivots. Most people don’t have what it takes to stick with it. Those who can, will find a way to create value and to deliver investors both the return of their capital, and a return on their investment.
So, how can you demonstrate your grit, resilience, and problem solving in a way that will give investors the confidence they should take a risk on you?
Are you willing to move?
When wondering about the questions investors will ask you after reviewing your pitch deck keep in mind that investors are used to being able to operate locally and hands on. They are used to being able to command aspiring entrepreneurs and startups vying for funding to relocate near them. So, decide in advance whether you are willing to make that move. Who on your team will and won’t be willing to go with you, and how much has to be offered to make the move worth it for you?
Why do you want to do this?
Your why is a huge piece of the funding puzzle. It is your why that will keep you going. It is also what will drive your decisions at each fork in the road and influence how you operate on a daily basis.
Is it just for the money? It is out of a deep personal frustration you have been peeved by for years? Is it because you are uniquely qualified and feel it is your duty?
Why do you think you are uniquely best to execute on this idea?
Ideas are cheap and rarely unique. Even if you don’t see any existing competition in this space, investors will likely see more than one pitch similar to yours this month. They are inundated with choices of startups to invest in across many markets and market segments. It really doesn’t matter if you are first, or cheapest. It matters that you have the best team to execute on this idea.
Beyond grit and passion, why is your team the best? What collective experience do you have in this space? What deep experience do you have in this industry? How about business, startups and scaling large companies in general? Who can you point to on your team, between founders, executives and advisors that are the best in each of these areas?
You may find interesting the video below where I cover how to find a million dollar business idea.
What is your marketing plan?
As part of addressing the questions investors will ask you after reviewing your pitch deck note that it doesn’t matter if you are the smartest, best connected, most educated, and most technical. It doesn’t matter if you are already the most funded or have a fantastic looking and functioning product that everyone needs. Not if you can’t market it well. All of those other things may make up 10% of your success. Marketing is the other 90%. All of the capital they give you will be wasted fast if you don’t have a great handle on marketing.
So, what is your marketing plan? What channels and strategies will you use? What are your customer acquisition costs? What are your plans based on? Who is your marketing genius and what have they accomplished before?
Who absolutely needs and must have your product?
Nice to haves are risky products and ventures to gamble on. Your marketing will be much more successful, and so will your business, if you not only have an urgently needed product, but also have absolute clarity on ecstasy who your customers are.
What feedback have you received so far?
First when looking into questions investors will ask you after reviewing your pitch deck ask yourself how do you know your product is a great fit? How many people have you received feedback from so far? Who are they? What common threads have you seen in the feedback?
How have you funded this business so far?
Can you show credibility by showing notable investors who have backed your startup in previous rounds? Or can you show grit, commitment and great financial sense by telling them how you’ve bootstrapped and self-funded this venture so far?
How many months of runway do you have left?
How long before you run out of money? What is your monthly burn rate? What is your level of desperation or negotiability?
Who else has committed to invest in this round?
What other investors have pledged to invest in this fundraising round? Who is the lead investor?
Hopefully this post provided you with some perspective as you are looking into the questions investors will ask you after reviewing your pitch deck.
You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.