Your business plan can only carry you so far and now you have an hour to talk investors into sinking a ton of cash into your company.
But your biggest problem is that your new to the whole business plan presentation thing and you have no idea what how to go about structuring a business plan presentation meeting with investors. Where do you even begin?
The most effective business plan presentation meetings follow a basic structure that mirrors the outline of the business plan. But to really impress your investors, you'll need to know about some of the other characteristics that define a well-structured presentation meeting.
Prepare a Powerpoint deck.
A Powerpoint presentation is an effective tool for structuring a business plan presentation meeting. It lends itself to presenting complex information in a concise way and creates a framework for your meeting. It's possible to go overboard, but if your Powerpoint deck consists of 10-15 carefully constructed slides you should be fine.
- Create a timeline.
- Investors aren't kidding when they give you an hour for your presentation. If your presentation goes long, you will be out the door before you even get around to the investment offer. To avert disaster, create a timeline for your presentation that includes a generous buffer for interruptions and other contingencies.
- Hit the ground running.
- Don't waste time on small talk at the beginning of the meeting. You'll have plenty of time for chit-chat after they agree to finance your request. Given your time constraints, no one in the room will be offended if you jump right into the presentation.
- Start big, go small. Your business plan presentation should begin with a general overview of your company, your products, and your markets before moving into specifics. If you present too many details too soon, it can be difficult for you audience to understand how they fit into your company's big picture.
- Be thorough, but concise. You have to walk a fine line between moving briskly through the sections of the business plan and thoroughly covering key aspects of your business. Bullet points can help, but in the end you will need to strike a balance between speed and content.
- Leave time for questions. Remember how we said you have an hour to present your business plan? That's not exactly true. In fact, you need to shorten your presentation to 40 minutes or less to leave at least 20 minutes for questions and conversation with your investors.