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20 ways to impress your investors and secure funding

It is all about the money, honey-or is it? Du’s John Lincoln gives you the skinny on how to secure funding for your SME.

May 30, 2012 5:58 by

11. Unique value proposition

How do you differentiate in the market vis-a-vis your competitors? Are you a “me too” player? If you are a “me too”, you do not have much of a chance to get funding from established sources. You have to clearly articulate as to how and why you will have an edge over your competition.

What are the entry barriers for others to replicate your business model? What is the window of opportunity that you have to get scale before other imitators follow your model?

12. Go to market model

Do you have a clear view as how you will take your proposition to market? Do you have a view on how you will promote the business? What channels would you engage to take the product to market? How would you compensate them?

13. Sales and marketing capability

Do you have the right folks to market and sell your proposition? This is one of the most important functions critical for the success of your business. Having a bunch of talented technology folks alone are not going to cut it for you. Likewise, having all the marketing and sales superstars, without the relevant technology talents, is equally not a viable proposition.

14. Technology

Is the technology unique? Is it patentable? Do you have the right folks to develop the proposition? Is it easily imitable?

15. Suppler and partner commitments

Have your secured commitment to supply from your vendors and suppliers?  Are your vendors and partners reliable and dependable?

16. Execution capability

Are you able to execute and deliver a superb quality proposition with a high degree of probability? Your plan is not worth a penny if you cannot execute. What are the weak points in your execution? How are you going to mitigate this weak area?

17. Management capability

Do you have an experienced team running the business? Are they credible? Are their experiences verifiable? Do they have the relevant functional and managerial expertise? Have they worked in the industry before? Or, do you have your brother in law as your Chief Marketing officer just because you had to hire him? J

18. Level of risk of the owner/s

Do you have “skin in the game?” What have you risked for this venture? Are you counting on a full “OPM” (other people’s money) funding strategy? If you counting 100% on OPM and if you don’t have any sweat equity, you can forget about raising any money!

 19. Socio-economic benefits and ethics

Is your business legal? Is it an ethical business that the investors can be proud of being associated with? No established and honorable person will fund you if you for example, plan to open a adult website!

20. Multi-scenario financial projections

Do you have an optimistic, base case and pessimistic scenarios based financial projections for your business plan? Have you projected your income statements, balance sheet, and cash flow statement? Do you know well, your sources of funding (both equity and debt)?  Do you know when new injection of funding is required and how you plan to secure it? 


John Lincoln is the VP, Marketing (Enterprise Segment) at du.

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