Below we have outlined key areas that often play an instrumental role in raising capital. Combinations of communications, finance and strategy are closely linked together.
A summary ranges from 1-4 pages and should include a brief overview of the key elements of your business plan. It can be the culmination of your business plan. Ideally, however, the Executive Summary is the overview, road map, disposition and structure for your entire business plan. If it is unclear or indistinguishable from the competition, the business plan is likely to lacking the same qualities.
The abbreviated business plan goes beyond the Executive Summary and ranges from 10-20 pages. It has an ideal form factor: it allows for the expansion of ideas, findings, business models, milestones and organization, yet it is generally limited to a concise 20 pages. Lay out all the core components of your products, its unique features and positioning before expanding into in a full-fledged business plan You now also have a working document directed towards investors or external revenue sources.
Often created in power point, this is the key communication tool in many initial investor’s arsenal. It allows the use of visuals, graphs and represents your visual identity and your brand. Thus, investors will get a more comprehensive impression of your business. Crafted as a hybrid document that can be read both on its own and as part of presentations, the IM is a vital tool. Trimming, structuring, visualizing and refining the message are key.
Whereas Executive Summary, Abbreviated Business Plan and IM provide overview and structure, the business plan gives depth. Authenticity in strategies, organization, projects, milestones and sales efforts can best be appreciated through a carefully crafted business plan. Of equal importance is the business plan; beyond raising capital, it should be used to guide decisions, to recruit and to guide management meetings.
While the business plan may go deep it rarely encapsulates your entire business. Technology and products require detailed explanations. Financials are more than just what is reported in the business plan. Supporting marketing, operational, quality and activity plans is part of the due diligence portfolio of documentation. By working in tandem with these documentations to the business plan, you will save time and make sure you maintain consistency between attachments and main documents.
What is your plan or traction with raising alternative capital? Having exhausted the opportunities for acquiring “free” money or financial means at favorable terms is both important in the founding years, and also a positive signal to investors. The messaging and positioning must align with investor-material. At the same time focus, structure and terminology must be adjusted to match the grant terms.
6 Communication Programs
Raising capital is the multidisciplinary art of visualizing your ideas, strategizing the road ahead and making a case so compelling that others support it with their capital, then to repeatedly improve the process through multiple rounds of financing.
Road Map to The Full Service Program