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How to Write a Convincing Business Plan for Investors

business plan investor meeting

Raising money for your business is a major effort. You need lists of investors to reach out to and you need to be prepared for your investor meetings to increase your chances of getting funded . You need to practice your pitch and be ready to intelligently answer any number of questions about your business. A key to making this entire process much easier is to invest a little time and write a business plan . It’s true — not all investors will ask to see your business plan. But the process of putting together a business plan will ensure that you’ve thought through every aspect of your business and you’re ready to answer any questions that come up during the fundraising process.

Why do investors want to see a business plan?

The business plan document itself isn’t what’s important to investors. It’s the knowledge that you’ve generated by going through the process that’s important. Having a business plan shows that you’ve done the homework of thinking through how your business will work and what goals you’re trying to achieve.

When you put together a business plan, you have to spend time thinking about things like your target market , your sales, and marketing strategy , the problem you solve for your customers, and who your key competitors are . A business plan provides the structure for thinking through these things and documents your answers so you’re prepared for the inevitable questions investors will ask about your business. 

Even if investors never ask to see your business plan, the work you’ve done to prepare it will ensure that you can intelligently answer the questions you’ll get. And, if an investor does ask for your business plan, then you’re prepared and ready to hand it over. After all, nothing could be worse than arriving at an investor meeting and then getting a request for a business plan and not having one ready.

Beyond understanding your business strategy, investors will also want to understand your financial forecasts. They want to know how your business will function from a financial standpoint — what is typically called your “ business model .” They’ll also want to know what it will take for your business to be profitable and where you anticipate spending money to grow the business. A complete financial plan is part of any business plan, so investing a little time here will serve you well. 

What do investors want to see in a business plan?

There’s no such thing as a perfect business plan and investors know this. After all, they’ve spent years, and often decades, hearing business pitches, reading business plans, investing in companies, and watching them both succeed and fail. As entrepreneur and investor Steve Blank likes to say, “No business plan survives first contact with a customer.” 

If this is true, then why bother writing a business plan at all? What’s the value of planning and why do investors want them if they know the plan will shortly be outdated?

The secret is that it’s the planning process, not the final plan, that’s valuable. Investors want to know that you’ve thought about your idea, documented your assumptions, and are on track to validate those assumptions so that you can remove risk from your business. 

So what do investors want to see in your business plan? Beyond the typical sections , here are the most important things that investors want to see in your plan.

A vision for the future

Investors, particularly those investing in early-stage startups, want to understand your vision . Where do you see your company going in the future? Who will your customers be and what problems will you solve for them? Your vision may take years to execute — and it’s likely that the vision will change and evolve over time — but investors want to know that you’re thinking beyond tomorrow and into the future.

Product/market fit and traction

Investors want more than just an idea. They want evidence that you are solving a problem for customers. Your customers have to want what you are selling for you to build a successful business and your business plan needs to describe the evidence that you’ve found that proves that you’ll be able to sell your products and services to customers. If you have “traction” in the form of early sales and customers, that’s even better.

Funding needed and use of funds

When you’re pitching investors, you need to know how much you’re asking for. Your financial forecast should help you figure this out. You’ll want to raise enough money to cover planned expenses and cash flow requirements plus some additional funding as a safety net. In addition, you’ll want to specify exactly how you plan on using your investment . In a business plan, this section is often called “sources and uses of investment.”

A strong management team

A good idea is really only a small part of the equation for a successful business. In fact, lots of people have good business ideas — it’s the people that can execute well that generally succeed. Investors will pay a lot of attention to the section of your plan where you talk about your management team because they want to know that you can transform your idea into a successful business. If you have gaps and still need to hire key employees, that’s OK. Communicating that you understand what your needs are is the most important thing.

An exit strategy

When investors give you money to start and grow your business, they are looking to eventually make a return on their investment. This could happen by eventually selling your business to a larger company or even by going public. One way or another, investors will want to know your thoughts about an eventual exit strategy for your business.

Make your pitch stand out with SBA-approved business plans. All the info investors and lenders need to evaluate your business. Get LivePlan.

What documents do investors want to see?

Even if investors never ask for a detailed business plan, your business planning process should produce a few key documents that investors will want to see. Here’s what you need to be prepared to pitch investors:

Cover letter

These days, a lot of fundraising outreach is done over email and you’ll need a concise cover letter that sparks investor interest. Your cover letter needs to be very brief, but describe the problem you’re solving for your target market. Great cover letters are sometimes in a “story” format that hooks readers with a real-world, relatable example of the problems your customers face and how our product or service The goal of the cover letter isn’t to explain every aspect of your business. It’s just to spark interest and get a meeting with an investor where you’ll have more time to actually pitch your business. Keep your cover letter brief, engaging, and to the point.

If you get an investor meeting, you’ll almost certainly need a pitch deck to present your idea in more detail and showcase your business idea. Your pitch deck will cover the problem you’re solving, your solution, your target market, and key market trends. Read our detailed guide on what to include in your pitch deck here and for inspiration check out our gallery of more than 50 Industry Pitch Deck Examples .

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Executive summary and/or Lean Plan

You might not get a meeting right away. Your cover letter may generate a request for additional information and this is where a solid executive summary or lean business plan comes in handy. This document, while still short, is more detailed than your cover letter and explains a bit more about your business in a page or two. Read more about what goes into a great executive summary and how to build a lean business plan .

Financial forecasts

Investors will inevitably want to see your financial forecasts. You’ll need a sales forecast, expense budget , cash flow forecast , profit and loss, and balance sheet . If you have historical results, you should plan on sharing those too as well as any other key metrics about your business. Investors will always look deep under the hood of your business, so be prepared to share all the details of how your business will work from a financial perspective.

What to include in your investor business plan

When you put together a detailed business plan for investors, you’ll follow a fairly standard format. Of course, feel free to customize your plan to fit your business needs. Remember: your business plan isn’t about the plan document that you create — it’s about the planning process that helps you think through and develop your business strategy. Here’s what most investor business plans will include:

Executive Summary

Usually written last, your executive summary is an overview of your business. As I mentioned earlier, you might use the executive summary as a stand-alone document to provide investors more detail about your business in a concise form. Read our guide on executive summaries here .


The opportunity section of your plan covers the problem you are solving, what your solution is, and highlights any data you have to prove that people will spend money on what you’re offering. If you have customer validation in any form, this is where you highlight that information.

Market Analysis

Describe what your target market is and key trends that are occurring in this market . Is the market growing? Are buying patterns changing? How is your business positioned to take advantage of these changes? Be sure to spend some time discussing your competition and how your target market solves their problems today and how your solution is superior.

Marketing & Sales Plan 

Most businesses need to figure out how to get the word out and attract customers. Your business plan should include a marketing plan that describes how you’re going to reach your target market and any key marketing initiatives that you’re going to undertake. You should also spend time describing your sales plan, especially if your sales process takes time to close customers.

Milestones / Roadmap

Outline key milestones you hope to achieve and when you plan on achieving them. This section should cover key dates for product development, key partnerships you need to create, and any other important goals you plan on achieving.

Company & Management

Here’s where you describe the nuts and bolts of your business. How is your organization structured? Who is on your team and what are their backgrounds? Are there any important positions that you still need to recruit for?

Financial Plan

As I mentioned, you’ll need to create a profit and loss, cash flow, and balance sheet forecast. Your financial plan should be optimistic, yet realistic. This is a tough balance and your forecast is certain to be wrong, but you need to document your assumptions and plans for the business.

Finally, you can include an appendix for any key additional information you want to share. Product diagrams, additional details on how you deliver your service, or additional research can all be included.

What comes next?

Writing a business plan for investors is really about preparing you to pitch your business . It’s quite likely that you’ll never get asked for the actual business plan document. But, the process will prepare you better than anything else to answer any questions investors may have.

AvatarNoah Parsons

Noah Parsons


Noah is currently the COO at Palo Alto Software, makers of the online business plan app LivePlan. You can follow Noah on Twitter .

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How to Conduct a Business Plan Meeting or Strategy Meeting

strategy meeting - business plan meeting

Doing a business plan meeting will help you stay on track throughout the next 12 months. Follow this strategy meeting agenda to review your business plan goals, make tweaks to your business plan direction and update timelines and accountability so that you are farther along one year from now.

Quick note: you can download a free sample business plan for several different industries from Then, edit the business plan to create a custom one for your company.

Table of Contents

Business Plan Meeting

While many companies hold their meetings in January, the time of year doesn’t matter. If you haven’t updated your business plan in over a year, set up a time on your calendar to do it as soon as possible.

You can have your strategy meeting offsite, like a strategic planning retreat, or in your office. Offsite strategy meetings often include team building activities as well as strategic business topics.

We hold our meetings at our office over 5 days, 2 hours per day in the mornings. After each business planning session, we take the team out for lunch (or have it catered in). This allows us to break up the day and keep the creative juices flowing. It also allows our team to keep up with their normal activities in the afternoon so client issues are addressed.

Our goal is to dive deep while having fun. Here’s how we do it. Read our strategy meeting agenda below or watch this 6-minute video:

Strategy Meeting Agenda

Every business plan meeting is broken up into specific topics that we cover. We prepare a strategy meeting agenda for everyone to follow and take notes on.

We also make it a point to connect regularly throughout the year. Doing so helps us make sure we are on track to meet each milestone and enables us adjust the plan as necessary.

1. Create a List of Accomplishments and Shortcomings

It’s important to evaluate where you have been before you can figure out where you are going. You must know what worked and what didn’t. Take an honest look at your business and create a list of what you did well (accomplishments) and what didn’t go so well (shortcomings).

We go through accomplishments first and write a large list on our white board. We take a picture so nobody has to transcribe the list while we are shouting out answers.

Inevitably, during our discussion of shortcomings, we remember other accomplishments so we have a blank space on the white board to write those down.

Encourage your staff to speak without feeling shy about the answers. How comfortable they are in sharing their thoughts is a reflection of your company culture .

2. Review Company Values

Everyone at our company has a framed list of company values in their office. The list is simple, about 4 lines. It provides a lens from which we can ensure that new goals are in line with what is important to us.

This part of the strategy meeting agenda is usually fairly quick, but it is an important reminder that sets the stage for the next series of topics.

3. Answer These Strategic Planning Questions

This is the longest portion of your strategy meeting. Talk about SWOT – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Look at your competitors to see what they are doing better than you and how you could change to compete.

Ask questions like these and take notes without judging any comments:

Your mission at this step in the strategic planning process is to come up with key goals that make sense – and that you can measure (more on that next).

Remember to look at each item with your company values in mind. If a new product idea doesn’t line up with your values, it will not be a good fit for your business.

Next, take the time to create a list of all of these ideas and tasks.

4. Rank Each Task by Difficulty, Value and Priority

Once you have a detailed list of ideas for the next 12 months, you need to prioritize them. Every company has limited resources. If you focus on irrelevant activities, you will limit your growth. Setting priorities is an essential part of your strategy meeting agenda.

Next to your newly created list of goals, add three columns: difficulty, value, and priority. You will assign a number from 1-10 for difficulty and value and 1-3 for priority.

Difficulty : start by ranking each goal or idea in terms of difficulty to accomplish, 10 being the hardest. The difficulty should be higher for tasks that require longer time commitments to complete.

Value : rank each task by the value it brings to the company as a whole, not to an individual employee. Use 10 as your marker for having the most value. For example, if adding a new product line would create a significant revenue stream, that task would have a high rank. Look at each task as “nice to have” vs. “must have” to sort out what will provide the most value.

Priority : once you have ranked each task’s difficulty and value, you can set a priority. Tasks that have low difficult and high value should get a high priority since they are the easiest to do and will provide you with quick benefits. Give those a priority of 1. Tasks with high difficulty and low value should be marked with a priority of “Not Yet” to indicate they are not the best bang for your buck at this time.

This process enables you to determine which tasks should bubble to the top of your action item list.

5. Set Milestones and Assign Accountability

Create a spreadsheet for each quarter that lists each task and who is responsible for working on it. Add deadlines and milestones so you can tell if you are on track.

Monthly Meeting

Don’t invest all the time to hold a strategy meeting and then let your action items sit on a shelf collecting dust.

Schedule a monthly meeting to review your strategic planning goals. This means you will have just 3 meetings per quarter. Use these high level meetings to make course corrections and adjustments to your plan.

You should also meet weekly to go over specific tasks that dive into the details of each high level goal. These weekly meetings supplement that strategic topics covered in each monthly meeting.

Download’s agenda for a  one-on-one meeting  (it’s free) to plan and track meetings with each team member.

Over time, you may find that some of the goals from your strategy meeting are no longer appropriate. Be flexible enough to recognize that you may need to make changes before your next business plan meeting.

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Investor Meeting: What Should You Do To Prepare For It?

business plan investor meeting

Don't be intimidated for your next investor meeting by following our 11 expert tips and putting your best foot forward.

business plan investor meeting

If only you could wake up one day and have all the money in the world to fund your dream business idea. Unfortunately, funding a startup is never quite that easy. You can dip into your savings or ask for money from friends and family, but investors come with more experience, resources, and most importantly, access to more capital. These angel investors and venture capitalists will want to sit with you for an investor meeting to decide whether you’re a good investment or not. Here’s how you can hold a successful meeting with potential investors.

What is an investor meeting?

An investor meeting is a presentation of your business idea to a venture capitalist or angel investor in hopes of obtaining their funding. These meetings are increasingly foundational to startup success: Every year, tens of thousands of small businesses are funded by investors who see potential in their business. According to angel investor Basil Peters’ Angel Blog, angel investors and venture capitalists respectively fund 16,000 and 600 businesses per year .

Long after you secure your funding, you can also expect to hold regular meetings with your investors. These meetings typically cover how your company is performing, future plans and projections, and how the invested money is being spent. Hoover, for purposes of this article, we’ll focus on that initial meeting to secure your funding.

11 tips on how to prepare for an investor meeting

As you prepare to meet with a potential investor, keep these 11 tips for success in mind:

1 Perfect your business plan

Your business plan details how your business idea turns into a profitable operation. It explains the strategies you’ll implement to grow and succeed, as well as how much capital you expect to spend on each portion. For someone to put money into your business, they’ll need to be confident it will succeed, and your business plan states your case.

2 Have your pitch deck ready for investors

Your pitch deck includes sections detailing your vision, current traction, market opportunities, revenue potential, who’s on your team, competitor research and how you stand out, and more. All these sections should go beyond stating facts and instead should build a narrative around your startup. Combined, a story and a solid set of data can prove quite persuasive.

Come meeting time, you’ll want to print one copy of your pitch deck for each person in the room. You should also send your pitch deck to all attendees before the meeting so they can review it ahead of time. If you’re preparing an agenda for the investor meeting, this should be sent along as well. Your pitch deck teaser can help potential investors come up with questions beforehand, and your printed deck will make your presentation easier to follow. A more productive investor meeting is likely to result.

3 Share your financial statements

Your business plan and pitch deck should contain information about how you expect your operations to turn a profit. You’ll need to back up these ideas with the numbers that financial statements provide. Investors will want to see how much you’re spending, your projected costs, and your plans for spending their invested funds. Include your current assets, liabilities, and net worth while forecasting how these numbers will differ one, three, and five years from now. Alongside this projection, you should detail your monthly financial plans for the near future.

Once you have these numbers set, you can show your potential investors how their funds could affect your projections. If your calculations don’t show profits for your potential investors, they won’t fund you. You’ll need to spend significant time showing how the investment funds will benefit both you and the people investing this money. You might even want to create a second financial plan in case the first proves unpersuasive.

4 Understand your market size, competitors, and industry

A brilliant idea can flounder in execution if another company has great success with a similar model. Investors know this and expect business owners like yourself to present extensive competitor research. You should explain how you differ from competitors and how you can succeed in your industry despite the obvious presence of another big player.

5 Make the right first impression

These first four tips produce the documents you need for your investor meeting, but the next step is delivering this information during the meeting itself. Think about what may impress your investors and what may rub them the wrong way. Focus on naturally and genuinely incorporating those impressive traits from the moment you first shake hands with your potential investors. Part of making the right first impression includes involves being prepared and organized within your presentation and documentation. To do so, use a meeting software like Fellow .

As you prepare to make this first impression, consider these pointers:

6 Consider the questions you’ll be asked

Surely, you understand that investors have to be careful with their money. Needless to say, they’re going to ask a lot of questions. The good news for you is that these questions often fall into the same categories, so you can prepare satisfactory answers ahead of time.

Expect to be asked about how your startup solves a certain problem better than its competitors. You should also prepare for questions about your growth potential, the qualifications of you and your team, and your traction to date. You might also hear questions about the difference the investor’s funds will make in your plans. Know your answers to these questions in advance so you’re not caught off-guard. 

7 Remain open to criticism

Most investors have been doing this for a while. They have experience with what does and doesn’t work. So instead of getting defensive amid criticism, take your investor’s comments as opportunities for improvement. For example, maybe the investor thinks you could classify your team’s roles differently or believes you should add new key roles, such as a Chief Marketing Officer. Consider their advice – it comes from experience.

8 Know what you know – and what you don’t know

Investor criticism will often come from the investor knowing something you don’t. It’s a bad look to presume that your experience or knowledge invalidates the investor’s perspective. Instead, accept that your investor has more expertise in the area under discussion and outwardly show your gratitude for their perspective. Showing humility and a clear ability to listen makes you a far better investment than a stubborn know-it-all who can’t take advice.

9 Know what makes you comfortable

If you’re working with venture capitalists, you’ll likely trade a stake in your business for the funding you seek. How big this share can be is up to you. If an investor asks for a 30% share and you’re only comfortable with 20%, say so up front. You might lose the deal, but would you have been happy with it in the first place? Probably not.

10 Research your investor

In pitching investors, you might be tempted to focus solely on you and your business. Although that logic makes sense, the best pitches show due diligence regarding both yourself and the entities that may fund you. That means you should research your investor and demonstrate what you know about them during your meeting. No, don’t rattle off a laundry list of facts about the investor, but do tie their interests and style to key parts of your presentation.

For example, let’s say your crypto startup is meeting with an investor known for funding green companies. In this case, when discussing your company’s standout feature of making crypto eco-friendly, you can mention the investor’s history in green investments and tie it to your company’s mission and specific action points, such as migrating to renewable energy. Doing so ties your presentation to the investor’s interests and shows them you’re looking for both their money and their vision. That human touch can help you seal the deal.

11 Remember to follow up after the meeting

Once all is said and done, sending a “thank you” message to the meeting’s participants is an excellent final touch. You can include a summary of the meeting in your email, which includes the meeting’s agenda, any notes, follow-up questions, and next steps. Fello w’s guest users tool can help organize those notes, follow-up points, and next steps while demonstrating your ability to pay attention to detail.

Investor meetings are just that: meetings

Investor meetings can be intimidating. After all, there’s a lot of money on the table, and people who can offer that much money can make for quite imposing figures. But at the end of the day, an investor meeting is, like any other meeting, a conversation among people. By following these 11 tips, preparing for a productive and successful investor meeting ensures you’re putting your best foot forward for this important opportunity.

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Pitch Skills

12 Things You Should Do For Your First Investor Meeting

by admin | Aug 10, 2017 | Pitch

Investor Meeting Tips

Investor meeting tips

For many startups it’s impossible to grow without an investment from an angel investor (informal investor).

Getting an investment from an angel investor is an exciting process, which usually requires several meetings. It starts off by sending the angel investor your pitch deck. If the investor likes your concept, you should be able to get the first investor meeting.

Here at PitchSkills we’ve been to many investor meetings and here we’ll share the most important investor meeting tips.

First of all, the goal if your first investor meeting is not to get the investment.

It rarely happens that you close a deal with an investor during the first meeting. Usually it takes a few meetings to discuss everything the investor wants to know. Therefore, the goal of your first meeting is to get that next meeting.

´The goal of your first investor meeting, is to get to the next meeting’

  The 12 things you should do for your next investor meeting:

  Without further ado, let’s get into the investor meeting tips.

#1 Do your homework

When you meet an investor, it’s important to know more about the investor’s background. Use Google, LinkedIn and Twitter to learn more about:

#2 Have your documents ready

If you want to impress an investor (you should), you should have all your documents prepared. Documents you should prepare:

Probably you won’t discuss of these document during the meeting, you might not even discuss one of them. However, when an investor wants to know more about any of these documents, it looks really sloppy if you don’t have them.

If possible, print all of these documents and bring them to the investor meeting.

#3 Prepare for tough questions

Investors are usually smart people. Quite often, they have founded companies themselves and they know what they’re talking about.

Because of their experience they’ll have an easy time to spot the weak points in your business concept. When they do, be prepared for tough questions on these weak spots.

You must realize that it’s their own money they’re investing, so they want to know every detail about your company before they invest.

#4 Send a teaser or your pitch deck up front

Before you meet with the investor it’s recommended to send a pitch deck or a teaser up front. Not only does this help the investor to understand what your startup is doing, it also increases the quality of your meeting.

#5 Be on time and be well dressed

This is an easy one, but some entrepreneurs still forget it. Never be too late for an investor meeting and never be under dressed.  This doesn’t mean you should be in the most expensive suit you got, but at least go for smart casual.

#6 Know your split

Investors are always interested in the division of shares within your startup. This is because they want you to have a fair amount of shares. Why, you ask?

Investors hate when a company gets a few rounds of investments and the founders are heavily diluted. Their biggest fear is that you have little shares left and you are unmotivated to work for your own company.

#7 Know where the money is going

Let’s say your company is looking for an investment of $250,000, -. Being an investor, you want to know where this money is going. Is it going to sales and marketing? Or does 80% of the money go to ski trips and a fancy office?

Present the investor with a nice overview of how you’ll spend the money. If the investor asks for it, you should even be able to explain how each budget (f.e. marketing) is divided.

#8 Be open for criticism

For many entrepreneurs, this is a tough one.

Your startup is your baby and you hate it when people are ‘negative’ about it. If that’s the case for you as well, I’m afraid I have to warn you:

Investors will have criticism.

If that’s the case, don’t worry, it means they’re being honest. If they wouldn’t share any criticism at all, it would mean that they’re not interested and want this meeting to be over with as soon as possible.

´ It’s great when you get criticism from an investor’

#9 Be honest about everything

When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s tempting to make your company look a bit bigger than it actually is.

Please don’t do this, the investor will find out.

When the investor decides to invest, most likely there will be a due diligence. In this case, they’ll get to know all the ins and outs of your company. If it turns out you have been lying about certain aspects, this could break your deal.

´Never lie to an investor’

#10 sleep well.

Investors are smart people and they will fire tough questions.

If you’re in the investor meeting and you’re feeling sleepy, there’s a high chance you’ll screw it up. Investor meetings intensive and you better be prepared for it.

#11 Don’t ask stupid questions

When you’ve signed a deal with an investor, it’s okay ask (personal) questions. However, when you’re in the first few meetings, stay away from asking stupid questions. Thins you should never ask during an investor meeting:

Of course, when the investor starts about on one of these topics, it’s fine to talk about it. Just be sure you’re not the one to bring these conversations up.

#12 Follow up

After you’ve had the first investor meeting, it’s time to follow up. There are a few ways of doing this:

All of these ways have one goal, which is to get to the second meeting.

Good luck with your second investor meeting!

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Raising money from investors is a major milestone for any startup. But even getting the chance to talk to an investor is still a huge opportunity, and needs to be taken seriously by any founder lucky enough to set up a conversation. Luckily, this guest post by business development and marketing specialist  Eric Gordon  outlines what you should do once you've scheduled a meeting with an investor to make a great first impression.

There are many factors that come into play in order to guide your business venture to success over the years. For example, your own efforts at planning, your well-developed and thoughtful products and services, and even the drive and motivation of you and your team members will all play a role in the overall profitability of your venture.

However, perhaps the most critical aspect of all is funding. You simply must have adequate funding available for product development, infrastructure, marketing and much more.

Many business owners will seek funding from investors, but convincing an investor to give up their hard-earned money is challenging. Proper preparation for investor meetings can help you to feel more confident and increase your chance of reaching a successful outcome.

The Founder Institute has helped entrepreneurs prepare their companies for investment. Click here to find out how the Founder Institute can help you.

1. Research the Investor

Some entrepreneurs will reach out to any potential investor they can find. While the adage of leaving no stone unturned can work in your favor in some areas, it actually may waste your valuable time when searching for funding.

The reality is that most angel investors or venture capitalists specialize in certain types of ventures or businesses. They may be interested in specific sectors, companies that are in a specific stage of development, those that produce a specific return and more.

Avoid spinning your wheels unnecessarily by chasing after investors that likely will not be interested in your request. A smart idea is to thoroughly research the investors using public information, such as on their website, through social media platforms, in news articles and more. Pay attention to their current portfolio, and develop an understanding of their backgrounds, investment preferences, successes, failures, interests and more.

It is also helpful to reach out to other entrepreneurs who may have attempted to obtain capital from them in the past. The more information you can learn about them, the better your chances of success.

Keep in mind that some investors also bring experience, influence, market awareness and more to the table, and this “smart money” investment can pay off richly for your company over the years.

2. Write Your Executive Summary and Business Plan

Potential investors want to review your executive summary and business plan to gauge their interest in even holding a meeting with you. This means that your written plan needs to sell the company to the investor in a way that speaks their language.

An executive summary will highlight the relevant facts about the company, your products and services, and your target market. Remember to refine your summary based on the specific investor you are trying to target. You absolutely must demonstrate that you have a firm understanding of your market’s size and demographics, and your customer profile. You also must explain your value proposition to this target audience and demonstrate how you are a better option than the competitors.

Your business plan should identify key milestones that you want to achieve with the help of investor capital over the next 18 months. While you need to write this information clearly and concisely, you also need to be able to discuss it during an investor presentation in a more in-depth manner.

While you want to present your potential return on investment in a positive manner, it should also be realistic. Your potential investor wants to hear about your well-formulated growth strategy rather than just a list of projected numbers. Inexperienced entrepreneurs tend to be overly optimistic. Not meeting your milestones and objectives can be detrimental to your ability to generate future investments. Always back your expectations up with real data.

3. Prepare and Practice Your Presentation and Pitch

An elevator pitch is a well-rehearsed summary of what makes your company an amazing investment opportunity for the investor. This is more detailed and more sales-oriented than the business plan.

Consider using images and chart on a slide show presentation to bring your pitch to life in an exciting, engaging way. In your elevator pitch, delve into the history of the business as well as how it will make the investor money.

The total presentation length should be less than 30 minutes long, and you should plan to spend approximately two to three minutes on each slide. Your presentation should not simply be a summary of what is on the slides. Instead, the slides should be used to support your verbal presentation.

Some investors may interrupt you frequently to ask questions; do not let this rattle you. You should know your material well enough that you can speak confidently about it without reciting a memorized speech verbatim.

Try to keep the meeting structured and professional. Your investors are judging this aspect of the meeting as well as the business opportunity in general.

4. Estimate How Much Money You Will Need and What For

As you might imagine, your potential investors want to know exactly how much money you are trying to raise and what you plan to do with the money. The ideal amount of money to ask for is a sum that will fund your plans for the next 18 months.

Avoid asking for less money than is needed simply because you think investors will then less likely refuse your request. Clearly demonstrate how the funds will be used, such as to hire more talent, to expand your warehouse space, and more.

More than that, explain what you think a reasonable split is of equity for their investment and how you arrived at that figure. While the split should be fair, do not give away too much of your equity. When your own income potential is limited, you may lose motivation and drive. You should always know what your bottom line figure is before walking into a meeting so that you can make decisions on the fly. 

5. Know Your Passion, Energize Your Story

Investors may view dozens of presentations per week in some cases, so you need to ensure that your passion for your venture stands out. Make your presentation noteworthy during the first few minutes so that you grab their interest.

For example, telling a compelling story as an opener is a great idea. Remember that the investor is investing in you and your team as much as they are investing in the company. Therefore, build credibility, and explain your education, background and overall interest in what you are presenting.

They should be able to clearly understand why you feel so passionately about your products or services. Your investment request should make sense from a numerical standpoint, but you also need to develop a relationship with these investors from the start. Focus on selling yourself as well as the opportunity to your investors.

6. Have a Q&A Session With a Hostile Audience

After your sales pitch that lasts approximately 30 minutes, you will next have to go through a rapid-fire series of questions from the investors. Investors will try to catch you off guard to ensure that you know your stuff.

Therefore, anticipate their questions , remain poised at all times and thoroughly prepare for this aspect of the meeting. Everything from your business plan to your credentials will be scrutinized by investors. Consider some of the toughest questions that an investor may ask you, and prepare to answer these ahead of time.

Some investors may make suggestions, and you should not shy away from these. Instead, accept the advice with open arms, and show the investors that you are receptive to using the knowledge they bring to the table to improve your venture. Your first few investor presentations may not go precisely as planned, but remember that they are each learning experiences that can help you to grow. After each meeting, take notes about your experiences, and brainstorm things that you can improve on to prepare for your next meeting. It may take you several attempts, but your knowledge and confidence level will increase with each meeting.

Do you want to build a startup that impresses investors? The Founder Institute is looking for entrepreneurs just like you. Apply to a program in your city today!

About the Author

Eric Gordon is an independent business development and marketing specialist for SMEs. He loves sharing his insights and experience to assist business owners in growing their revenues. You can find Eric on Twitter at @ericdavidgordon

For more information on pitching investors, consult  "What Investors Are Looking for in Your Startup" ,  "How to Craft a Billion Dollar Pitch Deck" ,  "Creating a Startup Pitch Deck? Start with this Easy-to-Use Template" , and  "The One Minute Startup Pitch Template"

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The Do's and Don'ts of Meeting With Investors

Lightbank VC investor Paul Lee gives us the skinny on what young entrepreneurs should and shouldn't do when meeting investors.

By Paul Lee • Aug 12, 2013

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I've been in venture capital for the past decade, and it still amazes me the different approaches and behaviors I get when I meet founders. When I was asked to write this post, it didn't take long for the memories to come back on some of the bad behaviors I've observed from people asking for money.

To help you think about your approach as you think about your fundraising strategy, I pulled together a quick list of do's and don'ts when meeting with potential investors.

The Don'ts:

Ask for money in a first meeting. There's an old adage: "If you want money, ask for advice. If you want advice, ask for money." I can't tell you the number of times an entrepreneur has talked about fundraising before fully explaining his or her business.

As an investor, I need time to digest your business plan and strategy. You can't expect an investor to fall in love with you as an entrepreneur and your business in just one meeting. It takes time to build a relationship. I often suggest to our portfolio companies that they meet with potential investors when they're not actually fundraising. By establishing this relationship -- one that's built on advice and feedback instead of a financial ask -- you're showing respect for the investor and conveying that you seek his or her skills or expertise, not just a check.

Related: 5 Tips for Customizing Your Pitch for Every Investor

Lie about facts . I'm amazed how often an entrepreneur's claims flat out fall apart in the diligence process. It's one thing to highlight certain aspects of the business (and maybe embellish certain features), but it's entirely different to outright lie about milestones, commitments, relationships, among other things. The truth will come out with any professional investor. Don't take this risk -- word travels fast in the small investor community.

Try to set terms, pricing or apply pressure. Let the market speak for your company. You can give guidance to a potential investor subtly. For example you could say, "Our competitor with similar metrics recently got financed at a $20 million pre-money valuation, here is why I think we're better…" Setting terms to the investor by saying something like, "I won't take less than this valuation" is the surest way to turn off a potential investor.

Be confident, yet polite. You should be confident about your business and your ability to execute. It's quite another to be arrogant. My advice would be to give off the vibe that you know something amazing that most people around you haven't figured out yet. That sort of quiet confidence is the way to go. Make claims but don't trumpet them. Show that you can be confident about your company without looking insecure.

Related: Can Your Startup Snare the Likes of Billionaire Investor Richard Branson?

Follow up and provide updates. As I mentioned in the don'ts: Most investors don't invest in the first meeting. It's important to follow up with a thank you email and keep them updated as you progress. Indicate what you plan on doing and show the investor that you're doing it over time. When you continuously show them how you're evolving and building your track record, they'll be that much more likely to want to invest.

Learn when to close the door. Even if the investor elects not to invest, don't be defensive or rage that the investor was ignorant. You never know when you'll run into the investor down the line and there's no upside in burning bridges -- no matter how wrong you may think the investor is. Keep things cordial, push forward, and if things go well, you'll be in the driver's seat the next time you meet.

Following the pointers above won't guarantee that you'll get funded, but they'll materially improve your odds of getting closer to you goal.

Any tips for meeting with investors? Let us know in the comments below.

Partner at Lightbank

Paul Lee is a partner at Lightbank, a VC firm focused on see and early-stage tech startups. Prior to joining Lightbank, Lee was the managing director and group head of digital at Playboy Enterprises and the founding partner at Peacock Equity Fund, a joint venture between NBC Universal and GE Capital.

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Meeting with investors can be an anxious moment for any business owner. Whether you are a new business looking for investment or you are obliged to discuss your business strategy with your existing investors, the situation can seem scary and difficult.

How to Schedule and Hold Meetings with Investors?

© |

If you wish to guarantee your investor meetings are a success, the below tips will help you approach investor meetings from the right angle. You’ll understand 1) the importance of meeting investors , 2) the way to schedule these meetings , and 3) the dos and don’ts of holding investor meetings .


The best strategies for scheduling meetings with investors depend on the reasons you have for meeting them in the first place. Investor meetings aren’t alike and you need to have your agenda cleared beforehand.

There are essentially two different stages for meeting investors. These are:

As you’ll witness in the later sections, the first stage can be a bit more difficult when it comes to scheduling. You aren’t yet in an established relationship with the investor and therefore, a few of them might not be interested in giving you a chance. Essentially the meetings are all about selling your business idea to the investor and to attain them on board with your business venture. You’ll need to prepare well for these meetings, as you are hoping the first meeting you obtain won’t be the last.

The second stage involves meetings, which can have different agendas. You can use the meeting to talk about potential issues relating the business, share strategic information about the business with the investor, and talk about the future direction your business should take. Since the investor is now a member of the business, these investor meetings can occasionally be mandatory board meetings, for instance.

Why are these meetings important?

Scheduling and holding meetings with investors might not sound like a topic worth writing about at first glance. But in fact, investor meetings can be a crucial aspect of business success and you don’t want to consider them as unimportant.

Firstly, the importance of successful first stage meetings is rather obvious. If your business needs financing , being able to schedule and hold meetings with investors can be the difference between a successful and a failing business .

Indeed, meetings at both of the above stages can clarify your business position. You will be able to attract financing, envisage the value of the company in the eyes of the investors and clear hurdles out of the way.

The second stage meetings are also essential in order to prevent problems within the company. Regular meetings with investors can ensure you don’t run into problems too late. Since you now share the ownership of the business, you must consult investors over business decisions. It is often more desirable to discuss these before you finalize your actions, instead of consulting them afterwards.

Furthermore, investor meetings are an important aspect of due diligence during both stages. You are able to share vital and necessary information about the business to potential and existing investors to guarantee transparency.

In essence, investor meetings are an important part of improving your relationship with investors – be it a potential investor or an existing one. These meetings are not just a formal occasion to share business information, but an informal opportunity to build trust. You’ll get to know the investor better, which is a crucial function of a good working relationship.

In addition, these meetings can also act as another networking opportunity. Your investor might be able to, in both stages, introduce you to people who are better suited to aide you in certain occasions.


Once you understand the importance, as well as the benefits, of organizing successful investor meetings, you’ll be able to prepare your meetings well. The first function of a successful meeting deals with scheduling the meetings.

There’s more to scheduling meetings than picking a date on the calendar. Since the nature of the meetings changes whether you are scheduling a first or second stage meeting, here is a glance at both of them separately.

Scheduling a first stage meeting

Succeeding in scheduling the initial meeting is not an easy task. Professional investors can be a busy lot and they are approached by businesses on a regular basis. In fact, the most successful investors receive a number of pitches a day and knowing the proportion of these investors don’t even read could depress you.

This means cold calling and e-mailing investors can be difficult. But this doesn’t mean that it is impossible; so don’t lose hope. But instead of barging in and asking for money in your first e-mail or phone call, start slowly by building a relationship with the investor.

In fact, start networking with investors as soon as you get into business. Attend events where you can meet investors and generate these essential connections. When you approach an investor to schedule a meeting, the ability to mention how you’ve met at a certain occasion can be a huge advantage.

Don’t be afraid to name drop either. If someone close to the investor told you to contact him or her, mention this! Above all, remember that face-to-face contact often works more effectively than simple e-mails.

The YouTube video below will highlight some channels for getting to know investors before actual meeting:

Once you do get in touch with an investor to schedule a meeting, whether by e-mail or face-to-face, keep these guidelines in mind:

Scheduling a second stage meeting

Scheduling second stage meetings can be a bit more straightforward, since you already have an established working relationship with the investor. Nonetheless, it is still crucial to schedule the meetings with the following guidelines in mind.

First, you must meet with your investor regularly. If they are members of the board , these meetings can, in fact, be mandatory according to the board rules. However, you don’t want to consider these meetings a mandatory evil, as they are a significant aspect of building a solid relationship with the investor and ensuring your business succeeds.

In addition to meeting your investor regularly, make sure you also talk to them on the phone. This is especially important if the investor operates in a different city or region.

Furthermore, if you have a number of investors investing in your company, you want to meet them both in-group, as well as individually. Instead of simply having board meetings or other such events for all investors, ensure you also schedule one-to-one meetings.

Make sure these meetings are organized regularly and both parties agree to the schedule from the get-go.

Second, if you are making changes or scheduling an extra meeting, inform the parties well in advance. Unlike with the first stage meetings, you don’t want to surprise your investors the previous day by calling, “Let’s meet tomorrow at 2pm”. You’d ideally want to give the investor at least a week to schedule and plan the meeting.

Furthermore, try to avoid last minute changes. If something unexpected comes up, always inform the investor immediately and apologize for the situation. You don’t want to cancel without a reason and remember to propose another date and time for the meeting.


Once you have the meeting scheduled, it is time to start thinking the details of the actual meeting. Just as you can’t simply pick up the phone and say, “Hey, let’s meet”, you also can’t just arrive at the meeting and start talking.

So, what does a successful investor meeting look like? The best way to understand it is by focusing on these simple do’s and don’ts of a successful meeting.

Do’s of meetings with investors

Plan your agenda in advance.

As mentioned above, you can’t just arrive at your investor meeting and discover what might happen. Whether you are approaching a new investor or dealing with existing investors, your meeting should always have an objective you are trying to achieve.

In the case of the first stage meetings, this could be to start communicating with the investor and to introduce your business to them. Later meetings with potential investors will move on to building this relationship and eventually to ask for investment.

On the second stage, you might want to discuss matters, such as problems in sales figures or consider hiring additional staff . Whatever the issue, you must have it defined beforehand and have a desired outcome in mind.

In both instances, you want to share this objective with the investor prior to the meeting. This can ensure the investor can prepare for the meeting appropriately, to guarantee the issues you raise don’t come as a surprise. Naturally, especially in stage two meetings, you also want to ask the investor for their objectives.

Provide materials beforehand

In a number of cases, the issues you wish to discuss will involve other materials to view over. These could be:

You want to send this information to the investor prior to the meeting, besides having extra copies available at the meeting. For example, you could send a shorter version of your business plan, as you arrange the meeting – in fact, investors are unlikely to read a full blown business plan, so don’t bother e-mailing them this. At the meeting, you can have a longer version with you and hand it out to the investor.

Follow up the meeting

Finally, you always should follow up the meeting , either with a short phone call or e-mail. This is significant in both stages and could ensure the meetings leave a salutary impression to the investor.

In the follow up message, you want to:

Don’t of meetings with investors

Hide or lie.

The biggest mistake you can utter when meeting with an investor is to lie or hide facts. Whether you are nervous about meeting a potential investor or anxious about pleasing your existing investors, lying about facts is never the answer.

While majority of business owners might understand the dangers of purposely lying, some might not consider how dangerous it is to hide facts. But you don’t want to keep indispensable information away from the investor – eventually, the facts and figures will come out.

The investor-owner relationship has much to do with trust. You can’t build trust if you can’t be transparent over your business.

You should also avoid rushing through the meeting. Try to ensure there’s enough time to discuss your objectives. If time is limited, rethink your objective and recognize opportunities for narrowing it for now.

Furthermore, there are some specific points about rushing for both first and second stage investor meetings. You should:

Pressure the investor

Finally, your investor meetings shouldn’t be about convincing the investor to do what you want. You should be excited over your business, the opportunities it could offer for the investor and the strategies you want to implement, but you don’t want to stuff them down the throat of the investor.

A salubrious meeting will mean you present your argument, with strong facts supporting your ideas and claims, and the investor provides his opinion and side to the argument. It’s supposed to be a change of ideas and views, not you making a point until the investor agrees with you.

The above has hopefully provided you guidelines for scheduling and meeting with investors. It is paramount to prepare, not just the meeting itself, but the way you schedule it and to be firm, yet flexible with the investors.

You should always present the investor with a clear opportunity for the meeting, in terms of suggesting an exact date and time, but also be clear about the objectives you want to achieve. At the same time, you want to listen to your investor and provide them the keys to present their own ideas, in terms of date and time, but also the approach they take during the meeting.

Remember that a successful investor meeting doesn’t always mean you achieve all of your objectives. If you don’t receive the investment or your investors don’t agree with your strategy, try to take something positive out of the meeting.

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Tesla stock down as investor day falls short on specifics


In this article

Tesla shares down 7% after Investor Day despite positive analyst sentiment

Electric vehicle maker Tesla hosted a 2023 investor day presentation in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday. CEO Elon Musk took the stage to share his "Master Plan 3," and to discuss how Tesla plans to scale up in the face of increasing competition.

The presentation was long on vision, and included a review of prior achievements, but short on specifics about any new Tesla products or services.

Near the beginning of the presentation, Musk said: "There is a clear path to a sustainable-energy Earth. It doesn't require destroying natural habitats. It doesn't require us to be austere and stop using electricity and be in the cold or anything." He added, "In fact, you could support a civilization much bigger than Earth, much more than the 8 billion humans could actually be supported sustainably on Earth."

Musk was initially joined on stage by Drew Baglino, senior vice president of powertrain and energy engineering at Tesla. They discussed a future in which the company would play a role in "re-powering the grid with renewable fuels" as they ramp up battery production, both for Tesla's electric vehicles and for the company's utility-scale energy storage systems.

Tesla's goal is to produce 20 million electric vehicles per year by 2030, executives reiterated. The company reported full-year deliveries of around 1.31 million vehicles in 2022.

Tesla shares dip more than 5% after hours as Investor Day falls short on specifics

During a question-and-answer session following the three-hour presentation, executives fielded a question about how Tesla could grow its market share in China.

Elon Musk passed the question to Tom Zhu, who is heading up global production and has run the China and APAC businesses for Tesla for years. "As long as you offer a product with value at affordable price you don't have to worry about demand," Zhu said. "We try everything to cut costs," he added, "and pass down that value to our customers."

Musk then added, "Demand is a function of affordability not desire." He said, "Even small changes in the price have a big effect on demand."

Zhu also announced that as of Wednesday, Tesla had produced 4 million cars in total.

"It took us 12 years to build the first million, and about 18 months to the second million. The third million, 11 months. Then less than seven months to build the 4 millionth," Zhu said, touting the company's improving operational efficiency.

He said Tesla plans to construct new car and battery cell factories, and also to produce more cars per year at its existing factories.

Tesla charging leader Rebecca Tinucci said that in 2022 the company provided 9 terawatt hours across charging methods, including home charging including 40,000 Superchargers. (By way of comparison, the entire U.S. consumes about 4,000 terawatt hours of electricity per year.) Tinucci also noted that about half of the company's Superchargers in the EU are open to other vehicles, and that the company just opened 10 Superchargers in the U.S. to non-Teslas.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

Here's what every major analyst thought of Tesla's investor day

Top auto analyst Jonas stays bullish on Tesla, says investor day showed competition can't keep up

JPMorgan downgrades electric vehicle stock Nio, says expectations are too high

Tesla design leader Franz von Holzhausen and the company's vice president of vehicle engineering, Lars Moravy, took the stage to show off a number of planned manufacturing changes meant to improve the efficiency of Tesla vehicle production. But von Holzhausen said that Tesla would not yet reveal its "next gen" vehicle.

The company's powertrain vice president, Colin Campbell, said that Tesla's next powertrain factory will be 50% smaller than the one in Austin but will have the same capacity. He also said the company is working on a new kind of drive unit that is compatible with any battery cell type, and a motor that will be built without any rare earth metals.

Ahead of the 2023 investor day, at a news conference on Tuesday, Mexico's president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, said Tesla had agreed to build a large factory in Monterrey, Mexico . He said the company agreed to use recycled water and take other initiatives to cope with water scarcity in the region.

Musk confirmed the factory plans on Wednesday, and said production there would supplement, rather than replace, any manufacturing at other Tesla facilities.

Tesla shares have rebounded from declines during 2022, and are up more than 60% for the year so far. However, the stock dropped 1.43% on Wednesday before the event, and 5% after-hours.

Mizuho Securities analysts maintained a buy rating on shares of Tesla ahead of investor day, seeing the company in a leadership position in a growing market for fully electric vehicles. They wrote in a note earlier this week, "Near-term, we see continued strength in TSLA's market share, but see cheaper competitor EVs coming to market as potentially dilutive to TSLA's share of the US EV market."

Currently, the lowest-priced Tesla available is the Model 3 sedan, which starts at a price point of around $43,000, they wrote. Seven models from other automakers are currently priced below that, Mizhuo noted.

Musk's ambitious "Master Plan, Part Deux " was published in 2016, and has not been completely fulfilled. It included four main objectives:

— CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed to this report.


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Tips on presenting your business plan to investors

Find out what you need to know before you walk into an investor pitch. Presented by Chase for Business .

business plan investor meeting

You put days, months — maybe even years — into crafting your business plan. You double- and triple-checked all the numbers. You had it professionally designed. And now the day has come. All that hard work has paid off and you have a chance to present your plan to a potential investor or group of investors. And while who you know is often a big advantage in business, in this case, what you know is even more important.

Know your business plan

Once you’ve made it to the step of presenting your winning business plan  to potential investors, chances are they’ve already read it, or at least part of it, and want to hear more. Be sure you know your plan inside and out. They may ask you to give a 30-second elevator speech, which is a high-level summary of your business, your customers and what sets you apart. Or they may want you to recite the entire executive summary from memory. The point is, you have to be ready for anything. Prepare to reiterate, elaborate or consolidate what’s in your plan, and anticipate any questions investors may have.

Know your audience

Many career investors will speak about their experiences, their backgrounds, what they look for in business partners, what they like to hear during a pitch (and what they don’t), industries they’re interested in and more. That’s why it could be valuable to do some research upfront. Look for any interviews they may have given, articles or blogs they’ve authored and what’s on their social profiles. If you know anyone in their network, talk to them. The better you know the audience you’ll be presenting to, the more you can cater the presentation to appeal to them. For instance, if you know that a potential investor is a staunch environmentalist who believes in saving trees, you may not want to bring a dozen copies of a 30-page business plan to the meeting.

Know your customers

Investors want to know the people they may be getting involved with, and that includes your customers. Thoroughly research your target audience. Instead of presenting a bulleted list about your customers, you might engage investors by telling a story. Walk them through a typical day in the life of a customer. Where do they live? What do they like to do? What are their needs? And how does your product or service help fulfill those needs? If investors become vested in your customers, they may be more likely to invest in your business.

Know your data

When it comes to letting go of their hard-earned money, most investors just want you to show them the numbers. It wouldn’t be unusual for a potential investor to ask for market statistics, revenue forecasts or customer acquisition costs during a pitch. Be sure you have realistic data and can back it up. After all, no matter how much investors like you as a person or believe in your product, their main goal is to make money. Their wheels are always turning as they try to figure how much of a return they can get on their investment and how long it will take.

Know your environment

You were so excited to get the meeting invite with a potential investor that you glossed over the details. But taking a closer look can make all the difference between being well prepared and scrambling at the last minute.

For an in-person meeting, the invite most likely includes the address, floor number, conference room name or specific location. If you’re close enough and have the time before the meeting, you may want to consider visiting the location. And if you’re able to get into the conference room, even better. If it’s not possible to visit, think about calling the meeting coordinator to ask any specific questions about the meeting room. Either way, here are some things you may want to confirm before the big day:

If the meeting is virtual, you’ll still want to prepare but in a different kind of way. With this type of meeting, you may have to work a little harder to keep your audience’s attention. Be ready with these tips:

Know your time

The last thing you want to do is prepare an amazing 30-minute presentation, only to find out you only have 10 minutes to present. Even though the meeting invite may indicate a one-hour meeting, things change and some meeting booking programs don’t allow customizations. It wouldn’t hurt to confirm how much time you have to present so there are no surprises.

The bottom line

In the same way it helps to develop a business plan checklist when crafting a business plan, it’s also important to put the same time and effort into creating a strategy for presenting that plan to potential investors. Following these tips can be a great place to start. As with anything in business and in life, knowledge is key. The more you know, the more prepared and comfortable you’ll be come pitch day.

For more ideas on how to get funding to grow your business, speak with a Chase business banker .

For informational/educational purposes only: The opinions expressed in this article may differ from those of other employees and departments of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Opinions and strategies described may not be appropriate for everyone and are not intended as specific advice/recommendation for any individual. Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but JPMorgan Chase & Co. or its affiliates and/or subsidiaries do not warrant its completeness or accuracy. You should carefully consider your needs and objectives before making any decisions and consult the appropriate professional(s). Outlooks and past performance are not guarantees of future results.

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. ©2023 JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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Five Points To Remember Before An Investor Meeting

What if you wake up one day and have all the money to fund your dream business idea? Unfortunately, financing a startup business isn’t that easy. You can take out all your savings or borrow money from friends and family. However, investors have more experience, resources, and, most importantly, access to more capital. 

These investors and venture capitalists can sit with you to decide whether you’re a good candidate. If you don’t make a positive impact, you may have to walk away empty-handed. Accurate preparation for investor meetings can help you feel more confident and increase your possibility of achieving success.

What is an investor meeting?

It is a presentation of your business plan to a financer or investor to obtain funding. After receiving funds, you may have to hold regular meetings with your financier, focusing on your company’s performance, plans and projections, and how to use the investment funds.

Here are five tips that can increase your chances of a positive outcome and enhance your confidence during investor meetings:

Person in Beige Long Sleeve Shirt Using Macbook Pro

1. Research about investors – Some entrepreneurs turn to every possible investor. Not all of them will invest in every business; some may be interested in a particular business sector. While searching for any investor benefits you, it can also waste your valuable time.

Most investors and capitalists specialize in certain types of businesses. They may be interested in specific industries or companies at a particular stage of development, those that yield good returns, and more.

Avoid getting tangled down unnecessarily by chasing investors who may not be interested in your business plan. Learning about investors through their websites, social media platforms, and other sources is good. 

Pay attention to their current portfolio and get an idea of their background, investment preferences, successes, failures, interests, and more. However, micro loan app like Lendee make it simple to get small loans in one place. 

Contacting other entrepreneurs who have tried to obtain capital from them is also helpful. The more information you can get about them, the greater your chances of success. 

Remember that some investors also bring experience, influence, market knowledge, and other perks.

Gray and Black Laptop on the Table

2. Prepare a business plan – A good investor wants to review your business plan before meeting you. Your written plan needs to be appealing and in a language, they want to hear.

An executive summary highlights the relevant facts about your company, products and services, vision statement, and target market. You must have a thorough understanding of the size and demographics of your market. You must also explain your value and why you are a better option than others.

Investors are interested in the outcome of your business plans and care about making a profit. Your business plan should outline the key milestones you plan to achieve over the next 18 months with the help of investor capital. You must state this information concisely and discuss it during an investor presentation.

While you want to positively present your potential return on investment (ROI), it should also be realistic. Your potential investor wants to hear about your well-articulated growth strategy, not just a list of projected numbers. Although numbers play a crucial role in the meeting, they should be accurate and realistic.

Female Engineer Holding Presentation

3. Practice presentation pitch – You can use a well-rehearsed, persuasive speech to spark the interest of investors in your startup . Ensure it’s more detailed and sales-oriented than the business plan.

Consider using images, animations, and graphs on a slide show presentation to bring your pitch to life. In your business pitch and summary, dive deep into your business’s history and how it will benefit the investor’s money. 

The total length of the presentation should be less than 30 minutes, and you should present each slide accurately within one to two minutes. Use your presentation slides as a support to your verbal explanation. Investors may lose interest in your presentation if you stretch your points unnecessarily.

Some investors may interrupt you frequently to ask questions; do not let this shake you. You should know your material well enough to speak confidently about it without memorizing the speech. 

Try to keep the meeting structured and professional. Investors assess this aspect of the forum, which can impact the chances of your success. 

Woman in White Long Sleeved Shirt Holding a Pen Writing on a Paper

4. Define your requirements – Before meeting the investor, you must know how much money you want. If you request too little, you may not have the resources to grow your business effectively. The ideal amount can fund your plans for the next 18 months.

Don’t ask for less money than you need just because you believe investors will be less inclined to reject your request. Clearly state how the funds are required for the assets, resources, equipment, hiring, and more to expand your business.

In addition, explain what you think is an appropriate allocation of equity for their investment and how you arrived at that figure. Even if the division is fair, you should keep your maximum share.

When your income potential is limited, you may lose motivation while working, which may have consequences. You should always know what your bottom line is before you enter a meeting so you can make decisions on the spot.

5. Prepare for questions – Since investors need to be careful with their money, they will ask many questions. They will scrutinize everything, from your business plan to your credentials. If you are well-prepared, it won’t be that hard for you to answer their questions.

They can ask you what makes your startup better than others and questions about your growth potential. Consider some of the most challenging questions an investor might ask you and prepare to answer them.

Some investors can give you suggestions, and you should stay open to their advice. Listen to their insights with a smile and show them that you are receptive to the knowledge they bring.

Your first investor meeting may go differently than you had imagined, but remember that each forum is a learning experience that can help you grow. Take notes after each session and brainstorm what you can improve for your next meeting. 

You can get success after several attempts, but your knowledge and confidence level will certainly increase. Eventually, you’ll have a successful investor meeting after learning each time.


Investor meetings can often be intimidating. Sending a ‘thank you’ message to the meeting participants is an excellent way to end. You can include a meeting summary in your email mentioning the agenda, any notes, follow-up questions, and the next steps. 

But eventually, an investor meeting is like any other meeting, a formal discussion among people. 

Preparing yourself can ensure you’re putting your best foot forward for this chance. Prepare yourself for a productive and successful investor meeting by following our tips. You don’t need to find investors separately and reach out to them individually. 

Lendee can help you raise a loan request on one seamless interface and connect with multiple investors in one place.

It’s a money-borrowing app for small businesses looking to get help instantly. You can send your proposal and share supporting documents to improve your chances of getting approved quickly. One of the biggest perks of getting a small business loan on Lendee is that you can improve your credit score since it reports your payment activities to the credit bureaus. 

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What to prepare before you pitch.

A good fundraising effort requires great supporting documents. Once you have the basics down, it’s pretty easy to prepare all of these documents as needed. Here’s a comprehensive list of what you’ll need to prepare when you’re ready to initiate your Fundable Plan.

Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a short, consistent synopsis of your business, usually in just a few sentences. Perhaps surprisingly, getting your pitch to be short and consistent can be pretty difficult. Although the amount of content you need to create is tiny—just a few sentences—the amount of thought that goes into it is extraordinary.

A good elevator pitch conveys a few things quickly: the problem you solve, the solution you provide, and the people you do it for. For example, “We allow anyone to easily rent movies from their home computer” would have been a succinct and effective elevator pitch for Netflix.

You will use your elevator pitch often — in introduction emails, in presentations, and yes, actually in elevators during chance meetings. Keep rehearsing it and keep it short. It will inevitably prove very useful.

“If you’re constructing a way to present your story, you should be aware that most investors have small attention spans. They may be late to the meeting, they may be reading other stuff on their iPhone. So you want to organize your information in a way that allows them to process it more efficiently.” Dave McClure - Pitch Founder / 500 Startups

Your pitch deck is your business plan translated into slides, typically in a PowerPoint document.

While a business plan tends to be a long narrative of the business intended for one person to read on their own (which rarely happens—but more on that later), the pitch deck is what you’ll use to present your concept directly to a room of investors.

The pitch deck is often requested by investors ahead of your presentation so they can get a quick synopsis of your idea, so be sure to have it prepared and ready before you start contacting investors.

Unlike an executive summary, which is also a summary of your business plan, the pitch deck tends to be more visual, highlighting a few key points very well. It’s particularly useful when showing off graphs and visual assets that help communicate the value of your idea.

Executive Summary

The point of your executive summary, as the name implies, is to briefly summarize your business plan into just a few pages. Make no mistake though, it’s effectively the sales pitch for your business. Not only are you communicating the mechanics of the business, you are selling the value of your idea.

The executive summary tends to distill each key area of your business plan down to a paragraph or two, so that investors can get the gist of your plan easily.

There are two schools of thought on the executive summary. One suggests that you should write your entire business plan and then summarize it in your executive summary. This makes obvious sense, however it overlooks the fact that many people start companies without writing an entire business plan.

The alternative, then, is to try to summarize all the key points of your business clearly in a few pages, using a standard business plan as your guide.

Whichever path you choose, the executive summary will be helpful to have on hand for those investors that want a slightly more detailed narrative behind your elevator pitch.

Business Plan

It may seem as though entrepreneurs must prepare a business plan before approaching investors, but in reality few do.

There are a few reasons for this. First, authoring a 50-page manifesto on how your future business will operate is typically the domain of MBAs and academics, and entrepreneurs rarely have the time, resources or desire to dive into a project of that scope when they just want to get their business launched.

The second is that it’s an incredibly time-consuming process if you really want to dig into every step of a business plan from start to finish.

That said, it’s also an invaluable exercise.

The real value of a business plan isn’t in the actual document itself — it’s unlikely anyone will ever read it. The value comes from the planning, brainstorming and research that goes into crafting the plan. The result of this effort makes your assault on your new business idea far more credible.

If you decide to build your entire business plan, you’ll certainly want to have it handy, but make sure if you’re introducing yourself to investors you start with more digestible documents like an executive summary or pitch deck. This is a nice teaser that will prompt a request for a business plan if you’ve piqued their interest.

Not every business absolutely needs to have a website in order to pitch for capital, but it is highly recommended. Your pitch assets tend to be things you’ll either print or attach to an email. What the website provides is a reference point that provides supporting information for people who are interested in learning more after hearing your pitch.

You don’t have to put your company’s financial forecasts or secret sauce on your website. You can save that information for more personal communications.

The website should serve as a virtual brochure for your company. That could include screenshots of your product, a short explanation of what you’re setting out to do, a personal blog discussing your thoughts on the industry, etc.

What’s important about the website is that it gives people a professional view of your company, along with a taste of who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish. Your website is a convenient destination for anyone — both investors and consumers — who want to know more about your company. Plus, it’s much easier to direct people to your website than to a document.

Financial Documents

If everything is going well, you’re going to be asked for your financial documents. These should cover a few aspects of your business, from your revenue forecasts to your operational expenses to your cash flow.

The complexity of these documents can range from a single slide in your pitch deck showing some baseline guesses on where revenues will come from, to highly complicated Excel docs that involve macros and formulas changing outcomes based on key assumptions and scenarios.

For general purposes you’ll need to cover at least a few aspects of your financial picture.

Revenue Projections. You’ll need to explain where your revenue is going to come from, and within what periods. A four-year revenue projection is a good place to start. Of course, no one really knows exactly how much revenue is going to get generated in the years to come, so this is more an exercise of what’s possible, not what’s guaranteed.

Operational Expenses . As the company grows, it’s critical to point out where your expenses will grow accordingly. This is where you will explain how staffing, product costs, marketing and overhead (rent, supplies) will scale with the growth of your business.

Cash Flow. The value of this information tends to vary with the type of business. Seasonal businesses, for example, will have particular cash flow concerns when they are heavy on cash in one period and light on cash in another. Similar to your revenue and operational expense projections, your cash flow should detail exactly when you expect cash to come in and out of the business.

You may be asked for additional information such as a balance sheet, pro-forma income statement (a fancy word to mean “projected” revenue and expenses) and others. As long as you’re communicating the three main tenets of the business — revenue, expenses and cash flow — you should be in good shape here.

It is possible to start your capital raising without all of these documents in place — it’s just not as advisable. The documents require you to do a lot of homework and preparation, which is exactly the kind of exercise you need to go through in order to become more fundable as a company.


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business plan investor meeting

business plan investor meeting

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How To Prepare For Investor Meetings

by Alejandro Cremades

business plan investor meeting

Are you asking yourself how to prepare for investor meetings? Do you want to make the best impression during an investor meeting so that you can land a check to continue scaling up your business?

It’s easy to have a great business idea and still fail to secure investment. Much of that is down to preparation. If you prepare well for an investor meeting, you need to maximize your chances of getting the investment you need.

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The ultimate guide to pitch decks.

Here is the content that we will cover in this post. Let’s get started.

1) Do the Ground Work

The first thing to do when thinking about how to prepare for investor meetings is to take care of the groundwork. There are two things you should categorize as the groundwork for your investor meeting. These are:

I’ve written extensively about creating the best pitch to secure investment . It is a way to both grab an investor’s attention and to educate them about what your business is so that there is no misunderstanding during the meeting.

Your pitch deck works well as a concise, 15 to 20 slide presentation. This describes the why, the what, and the how of your business. In essence, you share how this solves a problem for consumers and only one or two stats about the potential market size for your product/service.

For a winning deck, 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.

Please subscribe to unlock this content. Just enter your email below.

If you go into an investor meeting having poorly described what it is you do or are hoping to accomplish, then the investor will grow frustrated with you because they may have granted the meeting based on what they thought your product was, rather than what it is. Here it is key to show the investor that you know the customers that you are serving inside and out. The more data you have to back this up the better. 

With regard to your investor research, you should have a good understanding of the investor, their history, and how they can help your business. This includes:

This will show the investor that you understand how they can help you and that you have done your homework ahead of time. 

You can also supplement this information with anything you find out about their interests and passions. I’m not saying you should go “full stalker”, but a simple search of the investor’s social media accounts should allow you to see the types of things they are interested in. You can see on Twitter the things they are following and like. Or also you can see on Linkedin schools they attended or perhaps the groups they are part of which will give you a better understanding of where there are similarities between you and them. 

This can be used to connect with the investor during the meeting, especially if you have shared interests or hobbies.

2) Have Your Pitch Deck Ready

The biggest mistake you can make when wondering how to prepare for investor meetings is not having your documents ready to go. By in large, this means you have your full 10 to 20 slide pitch deck ready, along with a separate condensed business plan, team resumes, and more in-depth financials to support your deck.

No matter how good a business idea is, investors will not invest in you as an entrepreneur if they feel you haven’t put in the work to prepare properly. In terms of success remember that ideas are 5% while execution accounts for 95% of it. 

By entering into an investor meeting with all your documents ready to be reviewed, you imply that you are a serious business person who is willing to put in the hard work of preparation. This create a great impression of you and your business.

Also, make sure that your pitch deck emphasizes where the investor’s money is going to be spent and why it is needed. This is the use of proceeds. You need a clear and detailed breakdown. 

3) Prepare to be Challenged

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In doing this, they are going to ask you tough questions. You need to be prepared for those questions. This means not getting flustered. It also means having concise and truthful answers to important business questions at hand.

Remember, investors are smart. This is especially true of venture capitalists who have negotiated the business world effectively. You need to be truthful, even when the truth may paint a less rosy picture of your business. 

You’ll also need to look at your business plan and your pitch deck. Put yourself in the shoes of investors. What are the weaknesses of your business plan? What are its biggest challenges? How will you overcome them?

Investors will try to find these weak spots, so prepare to have the answers ready at hand to put their minds at ease. 

4) Know Your Limits

There are two parts to knowing your limits. They are:

With regard to the first point, you need to have a solid idea of how much of your business you’re willing to trade for investment. This means having precise ideas about the share structure of your business, and how this might be divided up given new investment.

Important to note here is that the last thing you want to do is to present a valuation first. Let the investor talk first and have them suggest a valuation. Then you negotiate it them up on the valuation. If you present the valuation first then you are essentially negotiating against yourself which is a big NO NO.

Investors also want to make sure that the founder does not become too diluted in your stake. It’s a counter-intuitive concept, but the reason for this is that they don’t want your stake in the business to become so diluted with each investment round that you lose interest in the project.

To know your investment limit then is to have a clear idea of the share structure and the amount of equity you’re willing to give away at a specific price.

The second part of knowing your limits is to recognize any gaps in your own expertise. This comes back in some ways, to be honest about you and your team. If the investor has more knowledge than you about something, then show your appreciation for this.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t challenge ideas, but you should be open to criticism. Investors, especially if they are investing large amounts of capital, want to know that an entrepreneur will take criticism and advice.

They will not want to invest in a person who is not willing to listen.

5) Make a Good First Impression

Lastly when thinking about how to prepare for investor meetings – and this applies to any interview situation – make a good first impression! Schedule the meeting so that you’re early for it and dress appropriately. Depending on the investor, this means either being in a suit or dressing smart casual .

Be enthusiastic, confident, and agreeable. All these things matter. Investors are not just investing in your business, they are investing in you. Show your best side.

In the video below I cover in detail how to prepare for investor meetings.


Hello, everyone. This is Alejandro Cremades, and today we’re going to be talking about how to prepare investor meetings. Let’s face it; the investor meetings are super nerve-wracking. You don’t know what you’re going to be encountering, who is going to be in front of you, what you need to prepare. So, there are many ingredients that you need to have in place in order to really nail it. Today, we’re going to be covering everything in detail, so let’s get into it.

The first thing is that you really want to do the research here. Before you enter into that room with the investor, you want to know the hobbies that they’re into, the skill sets, the experience, the expertise, where they’ve worked in the past, and have a clear understanding on the background of this investor because here is the thing: at the beginning, it’s all about that personal connection rather than you entering the meeting room and shoving your pitch deck down the throat of the investor, you need to have that personal relatedness, that meaningful relationship that you can start to build there because, ultimately, investors want to invest in you. 

They want to invest in your business, too, and help you build it, but they need to like you. With that being said, you want to understand what they’re tweeting about, what groups they’re a part of on LinkedIn, and things where you can find a common interest that you can go over during your meeting at the beginning. 

Next, you want to make sure that you have your pitch deck in place. You want to have those 15-20 slides that you can showcase to the investor. Also, when you’re meeting in person, you want to make sure that you have a pitch deck that is a little bit more visually oriented with more visual appeal to it, versus the pitch deck that you would be distributing via email, which has a bit more information.

Essentially, you can actually use the pitch deck template below that founders are using all over the world to raise millions. I think you will enjoy using that pitch deck, so you don’t start from scratch.

Next, you need to be ready to be challenged. The investors are going to challenge you. They’re going to challenge your assumptions. Those are people that are speaking with your competitors, that are already doing research on your market, on your segment, and you need to be authentic. 

Don’t try to make stuff up. If they’re asking you a question that you’re not sure about, don’t make it up on the go. Just say, “Thank you so much. If it’s okay, I will follow-up with you on that.” Later in the day, you send them an email, and you thank them for their time, and you also add whatever that question is around numbers that you didn’t know on the spot and that you want to follow-up with.

Again, you need to know your assumptions; you need to know your projections, your numbers over the course of the next three to five years, and be ready to answer the tough questions, and be authentic. Don’t try to be superficial; just give them the answer that they want. It may not be the best answer, but you’ve got to give it anyway.

Next, you want to know your limits, especially when it comes to valuation. The investor is going to try to ask you the tricky question, “What do you think the value of your company is?” Here, you definitely do not want to negotiate against yourself. What you want to do here is, you need to let them talk first. Basically, what you say is that based on the market, Company A to Company C that are your competitors, direct and indirect – maybe they’ve raised between a range from x to y, so you’re keeping it a little bit broad. 

Then, you also say that you really believe in a partnership where there are two parties that win versus one that loses, which is what happens in a negotiation. And you’re basically putting the ball back on their court because the problem here is that the minute that you through a number, they’re going to try to negotiate you down. So, if they come up with a number first, you can actually negotiate them up from there, and that’s why it’s very important that you don’t negotiate against yourself.

Then, you really want to make a very good impression. Let’s face it. You don’t want to be late; you want to be on the dot, really. And also, you want to dress nicely. You don’t need to dress up with a suit and a tie, but perhaps business casual with maybe a blazer, or a shirt and trousers, and then also shoes. They’re going to look you up and down; it’s the way it is. Also, again, you really need to be on time. Be on time; really be respectful of their time, too, even if they make you wait because these people are busy. Just try to be there. Don’t try to hold them accountable for being late or any of that stuff, and just try to make it a smooth-type of an initial meeting.

With that being said, hopefully, you liked this video, and if that was the case, make sure that you hit the Like button. Also, leave a comment, and subscribe to the channel so that you don’t miss out on all the videos that we’re rolling out every single week.

Also, don’t forget to check out the fundraising training, which is the program where we help founders from A to Z, all the way on the fundraising journey. We have templates, live Q&As. We have a community of founders all over the world, helping each other, and I think you will find a lot of value in it. Thank you so much for watching. 

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Alejandro Cremades leads the vision and execution for Panthera Advisors as its Co-Founder and…


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Elon Musk unveiled Tesla's 'Master Plan 3,' hinted at new cars, and confirmed the company's push into Mexico during Tesla's first-ever Investor Day

Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla's next Gigafactory would be in Mexico during a meeting with investors on Wednesday. 

The factory will be located "near Monterrey," according to Musk, who reiterated that Tesla plans to expand production at all of its factories. 

The news was confirmed during Tesla's first-ever Investor Day at the company's Austin Gigafactory, where Musk unveiled Tesla's "third master plan." 

The billionaire previously unveiled earlier iterations of long-term plans for the company in 2006 and 2016. While the previous plans focused on the development of more vehicles, energy storage initiatives, and autonomous driving, Master Plan 3 revolves around "sustainable energy for all of Earth."

"I really wanted today to be not just about Tesla investors who own stock, but really anyone who is an investor in Earth," Musk said. "What we're trying to convey is a message of hope and optimism and optimism that is based on actual physics and real calculations, not wishful thinking."

Musk's plans to turn Earth into a sustainable energy economy in a few decades center on a five-step plan, which includes repowering the existing power grid with renewable energy, completing the switch to electric cars, and electrifying planes and boats.

In the past, Tesla has stayed away from boats and planes, but the announcements could be a hint at the carmaker's future plans.

The billionaire joked that someday riding a non-autonomous gasoline car will be analogous to "riding a horse and using a flip phone."

Here's a breakdown of the five-step plan:

During the presentation, Tesla also teased a next-generation car that would be smaller and cheaper than the Model 3, which currently sells for as low as $42,990.

In the past, Musk has said Tesla eventually plans to sell an electric car for about $25,000.

The company showed a slide with two unreleased vehicles but indicated they do not plan to officially unveil the new car until a later date.

Tesla's executives also reiterated that the company's much-hyped Cybertruck would come out this year, though they didn't provide an exact release date. Musk initially unveiled the truck in 2019 and has since pushed back the production timing 3 times, according to Reuters. 

The carmaker revealed plans to ramp up production, announcing that it produced the 4 millionth Tesla on Wednesday.

The company said it plans to meet ambitious production targets by changing its manufacturing process so more people and robots can work on the car at once — the shift would allow the company to reduce its factory footprint by over 40% and streamline the process. 

"If we're going to scale the way we want to do, we have to rethink the manufacturing," Moravy said.   

The stock tumbled more than 5% in after-hours trading after rebounding in recent weeks.

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Engaging with Your Investors

business plan investor meeting

To create long-term value, corporate boards must focus on managing talent, strategy, and risk. But they also have to satisfy their shareholders, who often have competing demands. Activists, for example, might press for short-term profits, while index funds and other long-term shareholders are more concerned with the company’s longevity.

Drawing on years of work with boards, top executives, and the investment community and on interviews with the heads of public and private companies and investment firms, the authors offer a playbook for managing stakeholder relationships productively. They argue that regular, open communication is key; whether aligned with or hostile to the board’s long-term objectives, investors often have valuable information about a company and its competitors and can be a source of fresh ideas.

The authors provide guidance on how and when to meet with investors, how to get useful feedback, how to understand what each type of investor is looking for, and how to anticipate and ward off activist attacks. Although the advice is directed at board members, the insights will be valuable to CEOs, other members of the senior management team, and large shareholders as well.

A playbook for the board

Idea in Brief

The tension.

Institutional investors have become a vocal constituency, pressing the board to act in ways that will ensure the company’s long-term survival. At the same time, directors cannot ignore the interests of activist investors who seek short-term wins.

The Opportunity

By meeting regularly with big shareholders, board members can gain valuable information about the company and its competitors and build alliances to help defend against activist attacks.

The Way to Engage

The board should be transparent about its approach to talent, strategy, risk, and oversight of management. It should leave financial disclosures to the CEO but encourage open dialogue with investors—including activists, whose analytical rigor can be useful regardless of their goals.

Index funds and other long-term investors are no longer a silent majority of shareholders. They have become a vocal constituency, asking boards to resist short-term pressures and act in ways that will ensure the perpetuity of their companies. This development gives boards an opportunity to help shift the center of gravity toward long-term thinking—something that many management teams, academic experts, and public policy makers advocate.

Boards can make their biggest impact by bringing that long-term focus to what we call the new TSR—not total shareholder return but talent, strategy, and risk. When a company gets those aspects of the business right, sustainable success will follow.

Yet as boards attend to shareholders who favor patient capital, they cannot ignore the interests of others aiming for quick profits. They need a new playbook to manage the inherent tension and complexity that come with an increasingly diverse range of shareholders and stakeholders.

We’ve spent years working with boards, top executives, and the investment community, and we’ve interviewed the heads of dozens of public and private companies and investment firms. In this article we provide guidance on how and when to meet with investors, how to get useful feedback, how to understand what each type of investor is looking for, and how to anticipate and ward off attacks from activists pressing for short-term wins. Although our advice is directed at board members, the insights will be valuable to CEOs, other members of the senior management team, and large shareholders as well.

Think of your investors as a resource. Whether aligned with or hostile to your long-term objectives, they often have fresh ideas about the company and its competitors.

Why Meet with Investors?

Some boards resist talking with investors, reasoning that management has that base covered. We think such a mindset is a mistake. Investors can be an independent source of information, supplying important details that management may not convey but that the board should be aware of.

For many years Estée Lauder discouraged its directors from talking with investors. But Vanguard, which has a sizable stake in the company, recently asked to meet with the board member in charge of the compensation committee. Following much discussion, the member agreed. After the meeting, the director returned to the boardroom with several insights that management hadn’t shared about its investor interactions. Board member Lynn Forester de Rothschild says the report was an eye-opener. “I was skeptical of board engagement with institutional investors, but I now think it is a really good idea for both sides,” she told us. “It makes management nervous, for obvious reasons. But I think we should try to do as much of it as the investment community wants.”

When you meet with investors, they are likely to ask questions designed to expose your vulnerabilities—operational, financial, and competitive.

Engaging with big shareholders can help you identify which are committed for the long haul and which might support activists pushing for a quick profit. It’s an opportunity to build alliances. The point at which an activist arrives on your doorstep is not the moment you want to start educating major investors about your story and strategy. Communicating clearly all along can keep them on your side when you stumble or encounter opposition.

Sharing a clear rationale for what you’re doing and what to expect may also head activists off at the pass. When Rajiv Gupta, now the chair of Aptiv, was on the board of Tyco International, an activist fund took a position in the company. Gupta recalls that the fund’s representatives met with the chairman of the board and the CEO and concluded, “You guys are doing just about everything we would do.” Three months later, Gupta says, “they walked away and sold their position.” A potentially bruising battle for control had been averted. (Disclosure: One of us, Carey, recruited board members to Tyco, and Charan consulted for the company years ago. Charan also previously consulted for four other companies mentioned in this article—DuPont, Ford, Nokia, and Microsoft—and gave several presentations at a Microsoft CEO summit.)

What Investors Want to Know

When you meet with investors of any sort, they are likely to ask questions designed to expose your vulnerabilities—operational, financial, and competitive. They will also probe your oversight of the management team. They want to satisfy themselves that you are managing talent, strategy, and risk to enhance shareholder returns, whether for short-term gain or long-term value.

To prepare for this scrutiny, you need to adopt an investor’s mindset. For starters, that means candidly sizing up your fellow directors. Dan Riff, the head of investor relations at Advantage Solutions, advises looking to see whether directors who are former CEOs bring the same expertise and urgency to their board work that they exhibited when running their companies. “Sometimes,” he says, “they retire from CEO roles where they were amazing and settle back a bit on the board and rubber-stamp a lot of what the others are doing. When was the last time the board really got in the field and got its hands dirty with upper-middle management?”

Be mindful of time constraints and pacing; you want to keep investors engaged rather than crushed by information.

Investors might also ask how you prepare for succession, both in the company and on the board, and how you ensure that the company is building the capabilities needed for sustained growth. In addition, they will want to know how you are developing sources of information so that you can make independent judgments about the market for talent.

You should also be ready to discuss executive compensation. The level of pay, along with the types of compensation and the triggers for enhanced rewards, will tell investors whether the company is emphasizing short- or long-term growth or balancing the two. For instance, annual bonuses and rewards often rise in tandem with the stock price; that’s normal. But if the CEO gets a 200% bonus for exceeding the target price, that’s a driver of short-termism. And if the company wants to pull money from the future to meet short-term goals, investors will want to know whether management must first seek board approval.

Investors will be curious, too, about the board’s operations. What are your biggest debates about? Are discussions truly focused on strategic opportunities and risks, or do they devolve to procedural matters? What skills will the board lack as the business evolves, and how is it addressing the holes? How much time do you spend on each important matter in your purview? Do you engage with outside experts when making decisions about large capital allocations?

Investors will also ask questions related to social impact. What has the board done to help the company be a good corporate citizen, to promote diversity in its ranks, and to respond to climate change? In most companies, management decides how to track value creation. Do directors ever question management’s methods or ask for changes in them?

You can be certain your investors are poring over your proxy statements, looking for insights about what metrics the board uses to assess performance, along with information about incentives and stock ownership levels among managers. Make sure you know as much about your company as those who are researching you do.

When to Meet with Investors

Creating a relationship with an investor takes time—and you want to solidify it before you need that party’s help. We believe regular meetings are key. Former Xerox CEO and board chair Anne Mulcahy aimed to meet with the top 20 or 30 investors every 18 months to two years. “The intent is to have a regular cadence so that you can actually have relationships,” she says. “It’s both listening and sharing messages that you’d like them to hear.” Be mindful of time constraints and pacing; you want to keep investors engaged rather than crushed by information. But Mulcahy recommends accommodating any sizable investor who asks for a meeting: “Try to say yes 99% of the time.”

Some people advise a lighter hand. “I wouldn’t prescribe boards to interact on a regular basis with all sets of shareholders,” says Daniel Pozen, of Wellington Management. “It would be responsible practice for a board to invite one shareholder per year to give a presentation on its perspective of the company.” With this approach, the type of shareholder should rotate: One year it could be a passive shareholder, another year a long-term active shareholder, then a former shareholder whose exit holds important lessons.

Investors’ desire to meet with your board, and the optimal frequency of meetings, will depend on your company’s size and the size of the investment. Tailor your approach accordingly.

Who Should Take Meetings—and What Should Be Discussed

We recommend that boards establish a talent, compensation, and execution committee to oversee the recruitment, pay, and performance of the company’s senior leaders. Ideally, the chair of the strategy and risk committee will be part of this new group. Thus, it is the one place on the board where the key areas of the new TSR converge, and its members are the directors who are best prepared for investor engagement.

Whoever takes such meetings should limit what’s disclosed. The board’s main task is to find out what investors think of and know about the company. It’s appropriate to tell them how you oversee talent, strategy, risk, and the management team. But it’s not your role to disclose material information about financials or future plans; that’s the job of the CEO, with advice and coaching from the board. Some best practices to encourage:

Be transparent, and honor your commitments.

Companies should do what they have promised, even if that doesn’t align with an investor’s favored strategy. General Motors, for example, has a highly diverse investor base, with widely different timelines for realizing returns. It tries to manage the relationship with each investor but always does what it believes will foster long-term value.

Warren Buffett, the CEO and chair of Berkshire Hathaway, argues for a high degree of openness. He treats stockholders as he would co-owners who are siblings, discussing what worries him, what the various businesses are worth, how durable their competitive advantage is, and how he plans to allocate capital. “The CEO absolutely owes that to the owners,” he says. “I believe strongly that everybody’s entitled to the same information, and that means information about valuation prospects and personnel—exactly what you would tell a silent partner.”

Avoid or limit earnings guidance.

Whether to issue earnings guidance is one of the thorniest issues public companies face in dealing with investors. Our advice: Don’t do it unless you absolutely have to—and if you do, give yourself plenty of leeway. “As a public company ourselves, we avoided issuing guidance like the plague,” says former T. Rowe Price chair Brian Rogers. “Companies and management always want to underpromise and overdeliver, but all too often management teams get caught up in the overpromise, because it feels good in the short term. And if you disappoint, there’s hell to pay.”

Moreover, while it can cause companies grief, guidance is rarely very useful to investors. If a stock goes down because of a nonstructural issue, it will usually bounce back soon, because in most companies the 10 biggest shareholders—likely to be institutional investors who won’t pull their money out—own at least 50%. The rest is in the hands of activist traders, who have no choice but to react.

Giving guidance will change analysts’ advice, however, focusing them more keenly on short-term performance. So if you can get out of the guidance business, or at least make guidance very long-range, you will have more room to pursue long-term objectives.

Keep an open mind.

The information flow with investors operates in both directions, and companies stand to gain valuable insights from it. General Motors CEO Mary Barra considers input from any investor. “The first thing we do when we get a suggestion is ask, ‘Hey, is this a good idea? Let’s go research this,’” she says. After every earnings call, she and a few other executives reach out to some of the firm’s top investors and to short-term-focused hedge funds and listen to them all. The conversations have sparked new initiatives, especially on environmental issues, and contributed to GM’s adoption of a more comprehensive set of sustainability goals.

business plan investor meeting

Anne Mulcahy recalls that when she sat on Target’s board, the activist investor William Ackman, whose Pershing Square Capital Management owned 10% of the company, approached with proposals for restructuring. Although much of what he recommended didn’t resonate, the directors benefited from hearing him out. “He had one good idea, which was to sell our financing arm—and we did,” Mulcahy says.

How to Deal with Activists

If you want to manage for the long term, activist investors pose a special threat. Be on guard, but don’t assume they are the root of all evil. Even if their goals are wrong, they can be a fount of information.

In our experience, activists do much more extensive analytical work than any other players to identify deficiencies in a company’s strategy and structure. They might invest millions of dollars consulting experts and interviewing former and current employees, suppliers, and customers. You might not act on their analysis in the same ways they would, but they do get to the bottom of performance issues. So be prepared to learn from their questions and to discuss their input with the CEO.

Activists also pour resources into evaluating portfolios and mergers and acquisitions; for example, they will typically investigate how many of your acquisitions created value and how many destroyed it. They will look at whether your answers jibe with their research, which will tell them how solid and knowledgeable the board is. So prepare for such inquiries thoroughly.

Know what type of activist you’re facing.

Activists come in different stripes. Some may want to break apart your portfolio; some may try to create opportunities for a merger; some think a lot like long-term investors.

The greatest threat comes from activists who operate on a short timeline and are prepared to launch a takeover bid if earnings are disappointing. Smart companies anticipate and head off issues that might make them vulnerable. For instance, although liquidity is important as a hedge against crisis, you must balance the benefit against the risk of carrying too much cash on your balance sheet, which could make you an appealing takeover target.

But don’t abandon long-term thinking because of concern about activist threats. “When we go on [a corporate] board, we find that management is the one that is short-term-focused,” says Ed Garden, the chief investment officer at Trian Partners, speaking of companies in which the hedge fund invests. “They’ve been conditioned by the market to think short term. We’re the ones saying, ‘Let’s plan for 2025.’”

Be pragmatic when activists buy into your firm—even if they join your board.

You can’t control who owns you, but you can sway the conversation. If activists take a position in your company, engage them and try to help them understand your objectives.

Most hostile suitors don’t act alone. Remember that the top 10 investors in a company usually own at least half the shares. Without their support, no activist can split up the company or oust its board or CEO. So the best way to defend against short-term activists is to keep your large investors close. Focus on communicating with them and persuading them to remain on your side.

If activists force their way onto the board, your best move is to listen closely and judge them by what they are saying, even if you don’t like how they are saying it. It may pay to actually invite activists to join the board, if they have demonstrated a genuine interest in long-term growth.

In some cases activists come onto the board because the fundamentals of the company aren’t working. After ValueAct Capital bought a $2 billion stake in Microsoft, the software company made several bad bets, such as spending $7.2 billion to buy Nokia’s mobile-phone business. ValueAct used its clout to place its president on the Microsoft board, after which Steve Ballmer stepped down as CEO—changes that helped set the company back on course. (Ballmer has said that leaving was his idea, though insiders attribute his exit to pressure from ValueAct, which prefers not to comment.)

And consider what the activist investor Nelson Peltz, a founder of Trian Partners, does when he joins the board of a company in which Trian holds a sizable stake. He will install one of the firm’s most knowledgeable industry partners in a war room with the board members and insist that they hold meetings with multiple layers of management. The tactic can feel like an invasion, and it can rattle the other directors. But it generates valuable questions and information.

If activists force their way onto the board, your best move is to listen closely and judge them by what they are saying, even if you don’t like how they’re saying it.

Here’s another example from Trian of positive change triggered by an activist investor, although in this case the firm didn’t secure a board seat. In 2013, after Trian took a position in DuPont, its team had a series of meetings with leaders of the chemical maker to discuss three imperatives in the activist playbook—cutting costs, reshaping the capital structure, and rethinking the portfolio of businesses—plus strengthening corporate governance. One idea Trian proposed early on was to split the company in three. But according to Nick Fanandakis, who was DuPont’s CFO at the time, Trian’s estimates of savings were over the top. “They said we could cut $2 billion to $4 billion from overhead costs,” he recalls. “We only had $4 billion to $5 billion in overhead costs.” DuPont wanted instead to merge with the Dow Chemical Company.

The conflict raged for two years. Then, after a downturn in DuPont’s agricultural business, the CEO retired, and Ed Breen—a recent addition to DuPont’s board—took the reins. DuPont eventually combined with Dow, realigned the collective businesses, and split into agriculture, specialty, and commodity companies—an amalgam of Trian’s suggestion to divide the company in three and DuPont’s preference for a straight-up merger.

The transformation from a conglomerate to a trio of focused businesses unlocked tremendous value. Under Breen’s leadership, DuPont jettisoned its long-standing matrix organizational structure for one based on business lines, generating direct and indirect savings. As the businesses got their costs under control, Fanandakis says, they took a more critical look at expenditures. In all, DuPont shaved $1 billion from annual costs—just a portion of what Trian had claimed it would save, but still a significant sum.

Looking back, Fanandakis thinks the company was too quick to perceive Trian Partners as the enemy. “Because the information Trian hit us with in the first meetings was so extreme,” he says, “we hunched our shoulders and went into battle. If we were going to do it tomorrow, I wouldn’t be so defensive.” In the end, the activist’s presence helped DuPont cut expenses, improve its capital structure, and revamp its portfolio, all to the benefit of long-term value.

Prepare for destructive activists.

Unfortunately, some activists will live up to your worst nightmares. Former Vanguard CEO Jack Brennan argues that having one on the board almost always changes the dynamic for the worse. “The market should be the force ensuring that boards and management teams are as productive and cost-effective and driven to succeed as they can be,” he says. “Having a person with an agenda—that’s different. The activist takes advantage of an aberration or creates an aberration to be disruptive.”

The disruption may come from demeanor alone. Shelly Lazarus, the chair emeritus of Ogilvy & Mather, believes that some activists go too far in board meetings. “The content of what activists bring is really important,” she says, “but it doesn’t make a board more effective when you have somebody throwing firebombs every half hour.”

Sometimes disruption from investors—of any type—takes the form of obsession with minor details. If you’re an old-line company, you may suffer from a double standard in the way investors treat you. State Street’s Ron O’Hanley says that when Mark Fields was Ford’s CEO, Wall Street and the media subjected him to a lot of nit-picking, although his plan for leading the automaker proved to be pretty good. Meanwhile, investors gave the more-impulsive Elon Musk, at Tesla, a relative pass. “We let the disrupter get away with the conceptual charts, and we’re boring away at the incumbent, looking at spreadsheet line G42 and saying why is it x as opposed to 1.2x?” O’Hanley recalls. “We may be asking different questions [of legacy firms and upstarts], but we should have the same level of scrutiny.”

Be cognizant of such frictions; that way they won’t blindside you. And remember that even the most challenging relationships can bear fruit. Remain open-minded, but also be prepared to stick to your guns. The most important thing is to engage with your long-term shareholders early and often—that is, before a crisis. Regular dialogue will help your permanent investors understand what you’re doing, and they’ll be more likely to help you if a proxy fight erupts.

Think like an activist.

As a director, you need the backbone to support managers in taking the long view, but you should also understand why they might be tempted to emphasize the short term. So you must be aware of all the pressure points and opportunities an activist shareholder might identify.

Activists evaluate companies in a number of ways. They look at capital structure and cost structure—both operating and marketing costs. Legacy companies tend to treat sales, general, and administrative expenses as one item. Digital companies, however, break out the cost of sales and consider it an investment in growth. Investors measure the efficiency of these firms by seeing how their sales expense as a share of revenue compares with the same ratio for their peers. At the software company Citrix, for example, sales and marketing expenses amounted to 40% of revenue in 2014—well above the industry average. Activists moved in the following year.

Activists look at a company’s portfolio too. If it contains unrelated businesses, does each piece perform better than its industry peers? Do management claims of synergy translate to dollars and cents? Would any pieces be more valuable to somebody else? Managers of diversified companies sometimes allocate cash from a healthy business to a sick one—a red flag. Sears did so in the 1980s and 1990s when it branched out into financial services, real estate, and online network services and consequently failed to invest enough in IT, causing the company to flounder.

Regular efforts to communicate will give your investors a fuller picture of the company they own, and you will gain insights into their concerns.

Companies that are slow to adapt to the digital age—such as brick-and-mortar retailers—are also common targets. And activists look for undervalued stock. The market may not see the potential in a company’s strategy or its latest initiatives, perhaps because management has failed to earn investors’ trust. The board must create allies in the investment community to ensure support for well-founded long-term plans.

Throughout, the role of directors is to build credibility with investors. You need to help managers find ways to meet quarterly performance milestones even as they forge the company’s future. If your firm makes investor calls, encourage the CEO to provide detailed information about what is happening on the ground—the progress of a product launch, say, or an update on a plant expansion announced the previous year—while heading off discussions focused on quarterly results. When responding to investors’ questions, executives should connect the short and long terms. Listen carefully to the calls, and watch for defensiveness on the part of management and within your own ranks.

Some companies hold so-called investor days. Smart executives use them to talk about strategy. JPMorgan Chase holds a conference for investors every year, covering every line of its business. Three months beforehand, managers start grilling one another on questions they might face. When getting ready, Mary Erdoes, the CEO of the firm’s Asset & Wealth Management business, asks her staff to “tell me the truth, nothing but the truth, so help me God.” She says, “You prep like nothing else.” Regular efforts to communicate will pay handsome dividends: Your investors will get a fuller picture of the company they own, and you will gain insights into their most pressing concerns.

Leading for the long term is easier said than done. After all, the long term is made up of many short terms, and some shareholders are simply looking for quick profits. It takes courage, vision, and will to balance the siren call of short-termism with a truly long-range vision.

Boards have a key role to play in this effort. A company’s sitting directors may collectively span decades of service—far longer than their CEO’s likely tenure. They thus have a unique perspective from which they can counsel management and focus their attention on talent, strategy, and risk—the surest way to create long-term value. But directors must also be open to what investors have to say. Engaging more deeply with investors can help boards make smarter decisions about the new TSR and win support for their plans—to the benefit not only of their companies but of the economy and capital markets too. Nations depend on capital markets, and boards are central to their efficiency. If you, as directors, take advantage of your position, you can be true leaders for the future.

business plan investor meeting

Editor’s note: Bill McNabb, Ram Charan, and Dennis Carey are the coauthors of Talent, Strategy, Risk: How Investors and Boards Are Redefining TSR (Harvard Business Review Press, 2021) from which this article is adapted.

Partner Center

How to Pitch Your Business Idea to Potential Investors

Bennett Conlin

These four simple tips can help you find funding for your new business or product.

After you’ve drawn up your business idea and crafted your business plan, you need funding to turn your entrepreneurial dream into a reality. When your ability to secure funds comes down to a 10- to 20-minute pitch to potential investors, it’s easy to feel nervous. It’s a pressure-packed moment, and you need to be at your best.

So how can you erase your anxiety and impress potential investors? Business News Daily spoke with a handful of experts, including a former participant on ABC’s Shark Tank , about how to nail a pitch to potential investors.

How to present a business idea to investors

1. tell a story..

A common topic among experts was the need to be personable and create a narrative. While facts and figures go a long way, it’s important to use those numbers to tell a meaningful story. Framing your business idea as a story also helps you explain your passion for your business.

Erin Beck, the CEO of Komae, a cooperative childcare app, believes storytelling sets her presentations apart from those of her peers. She creates an emotional appeal with an engaging pitch. “Make the story more important than what you’re selling because once the market numbers speak for themselves, they don’t connect with you for what you’re doing, but why you’re doing it,” said Beck.

Telling a story can be a great way to connect with your audience and to capture and keep their attention.

2. Define the problem.

You might be head over heels about your business concept. Your prototypes for the product are all stellar, and you’re thrilled about your business plan. Unfortunately, if your product doesn’t solve a problem or fill a need for customers, investors aren’t going to share your excitement.

“Start off with the problem,” said Donna Griffit, a corporate storyteller for startups. “Do you understand the need that’s in the market today? Do you have the facts to back that up?”

It is critical that you can answer these questions when heading into a meeting with investors. Thorough market research , along with customer surveys and interviews, can show if your product is needed. If you lack the data to prove that your idea addresses a problem, it’s difficult to engage the audience and even more difficult to get funding from investors. 

“I’ve seen startups try to take shortcuts on this and end up with glazed-over eyes in their audience,” Griffit said.

3. Practice as much as you can.

The weeks and days leading up to your pitch to potential investors is no time to be shy. Give your pitch to friends, family, neighbors or anyone else willing to listen. Not only does practicing help take the nerves off, but it also allows you to learn where you can improve your presentation.

“You’ve likely told your origin story dozens of times and have it down,” said David Ciccarelli, the founder and CEO of “Now, get ready to tell it possibly hundreds more. During our capital raise, I told our founding story 200 times. While it’s old news to you, it’s new for the investor, so keep it upbeat and tell it with enthusiasm.”

Don’t hesitate to pitch to multiple potential investors. Ciccarelli went with his team to cities across the country and met with a few investors in each city. This gave his group practice and put his business idea in front of more eyes.

Once you’ve gotten comfortable with your pitch, start focusing on the little details.  

“Use the privacy of your home or office to talk through your pitch and work on making it flow well,” Ciccarelli said. “Don’t be afraid to record your pitch, both audio and video, and review it with a critical eye to make sure you nail every sentence.”

Demonstrating proper body language and tightening up speaking mistakes can be the difference between successful and unsuccessful pitches. When you go over the minor details, Ciccarelli recommends planning your pauses. By doing this, you can make a perfectly rehearsed speech sound spontaneous.

Your body language conveys as much, if not more, as the words you speak. Be attentive to the signals you may be sending.

“To make your pitch sound more natural, plan your dramatic pauses out,” he said. “The pause gives the impression that you’re coming up with the material on the fly. Plus, you’ll have a moment to collect your thoughts for what you’re going to say next.”

4. Be realistic.

While practicing the pitch is a must, very rarely will your pitch go exactly as planned. Having realistic expectations will help when you’re preparing. It’s important to practice for a realistic presentation experience, which may include interruptions by investors asking questions.

In addition to expecting disruptions, it’s important to view the presentation from the audience’s perspective. Brian Lim, an entrepreneur who owns three e-commerce businesses (EmazingLights, iHeartRaves and INTO THE AM) that collectively earn more than $20 million annually, pitched one of his businesses on Shark Tank in 2015. He received offers from all five judges on the show and made a deal with Mark Cuban and Daymond John. Lim credits his success to proof of concept: He entered the show with $13 million in sales to date, and his ability to view his business from a different vantage point set him apart.

“I had to imagine myself as an investor and check off boxes that I would want to see if I were going to invest money into a company,” Lim said. 

Presentation mistakes to avoid

There are also some important things not to do when making a pitch:

Move forward with confidence

It takes time and tenacity to make and close a business deal. Following the ideas above about what to do and what not to do can help you ensure that you’re prepared to make the pitch.

While immigrants and women entrepreneurs can face additional challenges , these stories of successful young entrepreneurs can provide inspiration to push onward.

Maintaining your confidence and conveying your belief in your business or product idea, without being arrogant, is key to making a positive impact and getting the funding you want.

Additional reporting by Linda Pophal.

business plan investor meeting

business plan investor meeting

business plan investor meeting

business plan investor meeting

business plan investor meeting

How to write an email to an investor

Use these email tips to constructively communicate with investors.

business plan investor meeting

For startup founders, forging and maintaining connections with investors is essential for success. Whether you’re sending cold emails or following up with interested investors, you need to know how to communicate effectively. Here’s everything you need to know about when, why, and how to write an email to an investor.

When you should email investors

Most startup founders cite two key reasons for connecting with investors. Email investors when you have one of these main objectives:

What you shouldn’t email investors

When you connect with investors by email, take care to avoid a few substantial issues. Never email investors the following:

The nuts and bolts of emailing investors

No matter how excited you are to connect with investors who seem ideal for your startup, resist the temptation to send a casual email. Follow these steps to send an email that gets the results you want.

Do your research

Never send a truly cold email. Instead, do your research and understand who you’re pitching. Make sure you know more than just the basics of the fund. Identify the fund’s main partners and try connecting with the junior partners instead. Junior partners tend to receive fewer pitches and have more time to consider new ventures, so they may be more open to your cold email.

Use a compelling subject line

Your first email to an investor could be the only opportunity you’ll ever have to get the fund’s attention. That means you don’t want to waste it by using an email subject line that’s easy to ignore or one that could end up in the spam folder.

If you’re emailing for the first time, make that clear with a subject line like, “Introducing [Startup Name], [brief description].” Keep the description to as few words as possible, since most email clients will cut off lengthy subject lines.

If you’re seeking funding for a later round, make that clear in the subject line, too. It can be as simple as mentioning your startup name and brief details of the funds you’re raising.

Start with a concise introduction

Start the email with a single-sentence introduction. It should concisely explain who you are and what your role is within the startup. There’s no need to get more detailed in this initial message.

Highlight the problem your startup solves

Next, introduce your startup. Rather than delving into company history or other details that aren’t pertinent, explain what your company does without devolving into jargon or buzzwords.

Take this opportunity to highlight the main problem your company is striving to solve and include a short description of the product or service you’re developing to solve it. Remember that your goal isn’t to provide details. Instead, you want to offer a concise overview of your startup, with enough information to pique investors’ interest. This should span three to four sentences at most.

Explain how your startup provides value

After discussing what your startup does and how you plan to do it, you need to explain how your startup provides value and how you’ll make money. To make this key information as clear as possible, many startups opt to use bullet points to call out these particulars.

Mention the growth potential of your market, the size of your company, the amount of funds you’ve already raised, or the traction you’ve already attained. If you’ve already launched a product or secured the support of notable founders, be sure to share this information.

List your startup’s credentials

Most investors don’t have time to read your startup’s entire back story, but you should include a few brief details that illustrate why your company is worth the investment or why you know your industry so well. If you graduated from a top-tier university, or you’ve already launched successful startups, this is the time to highlight how competent and driven you are.

You might consider leaving this off for funding in later rounds, but it’s important when you’re seeking seed funding. After all, most investors want to support a dynamic team with stellar credentials.

Provide a call to action

A great investor email should always end with a call to action, but take care to keep it reasonable. Refrain from closing the email with a request for a major investment, and try a more subtle method for moving the relationship forward instead.

For instance, ask to set up a brief call and provide a relatively specific time frame. If the investor is interested in your startup, request a 10-minute call the following week, and make it clear what you want to discuss. Remember that leaving the time frame too casual may mean that investors won’t feel compelled to act right away, and asking for a meeting that’s too time-consuming is guaranteed to put off busy investors.

Include a pitch deck

Whether you have a warm introduction or you’re sending a cold email, you want to give investors everything they need in order to carefully consider your ask. Always include a link to your pitch deck or attach it directly to the email.

If your email gets investors interested, you don’t want to waste their time by forcing them to ask you for more information or for a link to your pitch deck. Instead, make it easy and include everything they need in your initial email.

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Don’t mislead

As a general rule, investors are savvy businesspeople who know a thing or two about funding startups. They receive countless pitches, and they can spot fake data or deceptive information from a mile away. Never try to mislead investors, whether you’re sending the first cold email, or you’re providing the 10th monthly update. Always be prepared to offer evidence or provide proof.

Update investors

After reaching seed stage, your work is far from over. You’re going to need support from your investors for the long term, and you need to build trust along the way. Aside from meeting all of your objectives with flying colors, the best way to do this is to keep your investors updated on a monthly basis.

Use a standardized format that highlights all the key points they need to know. Outline your top priorities for the month, summarize product updates, provide a brief financial update, and list your key performance indicators (KPIs). Limit substantial requests to one per email to keep things concise and to the point.

Remember to maintain a standard frequency for investor updates, which means emailing them even when you don’t have good news to share. You need investors to trust you, and they may have helpful advice or groundbreaking solutions to help you move forward.

Whether you’re sending your first or your fiftieth email to investors, make note of these tips. With these strategies, you can communicate effectively and build lucrative relationships.

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Elon Musk readies to unveil Tesla’s third master plan at the company’s first investor day

Musk is expected to announce new tesla products that aim to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk will address investors tomorrow (March 1) at the company’s electric vehicle gigafactory in Austin, Texas.

Billed as the company’s first investors day, Musk is expected to announce new Tesla products that aim to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and lead to a “fully sustainable future” , including a potential low-cost solar panel for individual residences.

The company has said it plans to invest heavily in personal energy storage, building on the rollout of the Powerwall, an electric battery that can power residences that aren’t connected to a central power grid. Musk is also expected to give an update on his Robotaxi projects, a series of autonomous cars-for-hire that Musk plans to start producing in 2024.

Musk has a long history of hyperbole at such big, flamboyant events. At a similar conference in 2019, he said there would be a million Robotaxis on the road by 2020 (there aren’t). He has also said he plans to turn Twitter into a “ super app ” that will serve all user needs (no progress as of yet), as well as promising that his company SpaceX will colonize Mars by the end of the decade (let’s check back in 2029).

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Other possible announcements at Tesla’s investor day

🚗 Cheaper Tesla models : Musk is expected to give an update on his “Generation 3” plan that will unveil a cheaper Tesla model, priced somewhere between $25,000 and $30,000, and will be mainly used for his Robotaxi fleet.

🏭 Expanded production capabilities : Musk has said that his long-term goal is for Tesla to produce 20 million cars annually by 2030, with some speculating that Musk will reveal new plans for increased production capacity. Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced on Tuesday (Feb. 28) that Tesla will open a new plant in the state of Monterrey.

🛻 Cybertruck : Tesla’s electric semi-trucks went into limited production in 2022, and the Cybertruck pickup truck is expected to begin manufacturing at the end of 2023, fueling speculation that the vehicle could make an appearance on stage with Musk and perhaps recover from its not-so-successful 2019 demo.

What about Tesla’s other master plans?

2006: Musk’s first master plan describes what Tesla is trying to achieve. The plan gives step-by-step instructions to build a luxury car and use the profits to build a more affordable electric vehicle, while building clean energy options on the side.

2016: The second master plan was an update on Tesla’s production goals, specifically building electric vehicles for all major segments of the industry, including semi-trucks and pickups. It also outlined the company’s mission to create an autonomous network of self-driving cars.

2023: Tesla is due to unveil its third master plan, which Musk anticipated being a “message of good hope” relevant to all “people and life of Earth.”

Tesla shares rebound makes Musk the world’s richest person again

Tesla’s stock surged ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with investors, making Musk the wealthiest person in the world, once again. He reclaimed the top spot from Bernard Arnault, the CEO of French luxury brand, posting a net worth of roughly $18 7.1 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index .

Musk’s personal fortune fell precipitously in late 2022 as Tesla’s stock price slipped along with a broader decline in the tech industry and concerns he was spending too much time focusing on Twitter. The record loss made Musk the first person ever to see $200 billion wiped off his net worth.

Musk has bounced back, however, with Tesla shares swelling nearly 70% so far this year. The surge is due, in part, to a recent announcement by the US Treasury Department that it would allow luxury electric vehicles, including multiple Tesla models, to qualify for the new electric vehicle tax credit.

Charted: Tesla share price 2022-2023

Electric vehicles made up 10% of all new cars sold in 2022.

Global demand for electric vehicles has surged. Last year, car companies sold 7.8 million fully electric cars, a 68% increase from the previous year.

The increase was mainly fueled by European and Chinese markets, with electric vehicles accounting for 11% of total car sales in Europe and 19% in China. If you include plug-in hybrid vehicles, the share of electric cars sold in Europe goes up to 20.3%.

In Germany, Europe’s largest auto manufacturing market, electric cars accounted for a quarter of all production. And, in the month of December, Germans purchased more electric vehicles than cars with conventional engines.

Electric vehicle sales reached record heights despite the overall new car market falling slightly. While there was a 4% increase in China, the market for new cars declined by 8% in the US and 7% in Europe, as high inflation rates weakened consumer purchasing power and Russia’s war in Ukraine caused energy prices to climb.

Related stories:

🇮🇳 India has found a major deposit of lithium, suddenly making it a major player in batteries and EVs

📉 Tesla’s share of the EV market is dropping in the US

🚘 How electric vehicles contributed to a record 2022 for Stellantis

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The Top 8 Methods to Impress Potential Investors

Entrepreneurs often find it hard to attract potential investors. Companies and venture capital funds are skeptical of investing in unproven projects and concepts. Why is this the case? Due to an unstable financial climate and bad decisions, 50% of small businesses fail in a period of four years. Incompetence and experiences are also major factors.

If you have investors reaching out or responding, you’re one of the few lucky ones. However, attracting investors is the easy part – impressing them is the hard part. In this guide, we’ve decided to cover the top 8 methods of impressing investors. Each of them is universal and doesn’t relate to one specific niche. You can do it, trust us!

Key Takeaways:

To impress potential investors, it’s important to have a detailed business plan prepared and ready to give to them.

Make sure to fine tune your elevator pitch to be ready to give to investors.

Addressing any possible issues in the pitch is important and you should be ready with solutions to them.

The Top 8 Methods to Impress Potential Investors

Have A Detailed Business Plan Prepared

Whether you’re negotiating with a venture capitalist or an angel investor, it’s important to present your goals and intentions the right way.

A detailed business plan should include all your goals for a certain time period. Each individual project should be segmented into smaller sub-categories, for better understanding.

Don’t go into too much detail in writing, as it will only confuse investors when they’re listening to your pitch. Include several bullet-point lists and elaborate each point using only the most essential details and descriptions. A business plan is nothing without a good presentation and vice-versa.

Focus On Previous Results And Achievements

Perhaps the most overlooked method for impressing investors is presenting what your brand has achieved in the past. Too many startups focus on potential, future plans and other ideas that fall into the category of uncertainty.

Not too many investors want to put their money into brands without any achievements behind them.

The crux of your pitch should include all your past accomplishments. While it’s recommended that you play to your strengths, it’s not a good idea to overdo it. Pick only the most relevant achievements and organize them in chronological order.

If your revenue has been slowly increasing with each quarter, a logical procession would be a continuation of that trend, right? Certainly. Don’t forget to provide the paperwork as proof, even if it’s not requested during any of the meetings.

Elevator Pitches Are Always Effective

This approach is known as the elevator pitch. It might seem like a daunting task, but just stop for a second and think “How would I describe my brand to someone during a short elevator ride?”

The essence of every elevator pitch is brevity and effectiveness. Each point should incite curiosity and more questions from the investors. More options to elaborate your project results in a higher chance to close a deal that’s beneficial for both sides.

Model your pitch according to these key questions:

What does my brand stand for?

What does it do?

What problem can it solve and how efficiently?

How exactly does it work?

Who might be interested?

What makes it better than the competition?

Six questions and precise answers are all you need for an introductory meeting. It opens up pathways for additional inquiries that the investor(s) might think of. Answering each of these aspects will make you seem more determined and prepared.

Make A Short Pitch Deck

Detailed business plans are always welcome, but that shouldn’t be the only method at your disposal. Pitch decks are valuable aids when you’re trying to get the initial interest of an investor.

Before you lay out the entirety of your business plan, you can use pitch decks to impress them. The most effective examples of this method consist only of two parts – the problems it solves and the solutions it presents.

When elaborating on the problems in any market or niche, focus on statistics. Draw clever, non-obvious conclusion from each set of statistics to emphasize the problems. In the solutions sections, provide concise, doable solutions and propositions. Use active verbs and avoid too many adjectives, adverbs and unnecessary words.

Airbnb’s pitch deck  is something you should look up to. Short and to-the-point.

Include Branding In The Presentation

A sneaky, but efficient way of gaining the trust and interest from investors is to achieve complete brand presence during the presentation. What does this mean? A branding inclusion involves adding your logo, colors and signature approach(es) to the presentation.

Too many startups only focus on projects, but neglect identity and branding. Investors have become wary of apps that only exist to be sold to larger companies and brands.

Not branding your presentation slides gives off an impression of a sloppy and undecisive brand. Including brand elements suggest that you’re in it for the long run, not just for a short test run followed by a sale. More and more investors are interested solely in long-term projects, with clear-cut branding.

Addressing Possible Issues

You’re ready to change the world and provide solutions to current problems and that’s splendid. However, that’s not enough to convince investors that your precious project won’t come crumbling down.

Think about the issues that your project and brand can face in the future. Highlight them or even devote a separate section to them. Begin each point with “In case of…., we are prepared to….”.

Investors want to see that their money is safe even when the circumstances are not ideal. Letting them know that you know how to tackle problems is about the best impression you can make.

What Do You Think?

Not all investors are the same. Some angel investors like to sit back and let you take care of everything while they cash in. Others prefer a more hands-on approach, where they will be constantly involved with ongoing projects, promotions and efforts.

To impress these “more difficult” investors, you have to make the meeting interactive. Letting them participate is the best way to impress them for good.

If you want to take this interactive approach a step further, do research about the investor(s) and their past investments in your niche. Ask them for advice and admit if something isn’t clear. Healthy communication is essential when trying to impress investors.

Elaborate On Your Team And Their Roles

Organization is the magic word when it comes to attracting all the funds you need for further growth. Every serious investor wants to know who exactly are the people who are handling their money.

As a part of your presentation, let your team members do the talking and explain their roles. This method sends out a message to investors that your company is a well-oiled machine.

Well-defined roles are an important step on the pathway to closing a deal with investors. Think about promoting people to co-founders. Investors tend to trust the leadership in the form of a group more than startups with only one person in charge. When there are more people to do the work, there are less chances of failure.

Impressing Potential Investors FAQ

How do you impress potential investors?

To impress a potential investor, make sure you choose an industry they understand. Find investors that are familiar with your idea. Having investors that are unfamiliar with what they are investing into can potentially back out because of the uncertainty. If you do have unfamiliar potential investors, make sure you explain the industry in terms and phrases that they will understand.

What are investors most interested in?

Investors want to see a management team that they believe in. Investors want to see that you have a powerful leadership team that can help the company meet goals and make it successful. Make sure you have your strongest leaders on your management team before going to potential investors.

What motivates investors to invest?

Investors are often motivated by the potential for quick profits. They want to invest into a company that is able to expand their products and revenue streams to enhance future returns. Without the potential for quick profits, investors will be uninterested in spending a long time waiting for their return.

Final Thoughts

There are different kinds of investors in every niche, but all of them value transparency, decisiveness and efficiency. With a no-nonsense business plan, you’re only opening a door for more investment proposals and cooperation offers. Don’t forget to ensure investors about your preparedness to face problems and setbacks. Most importantly – be confident and express yourself clearly. Good luck!

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Justin is a marketing specialist and blogger from Leicester, UK. When not working and rooting for Leicester FC, he likes to discuss new trends in digital marketing and share his own ideas with readers on different blogs and forums.

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Blog Graphic Design

20+ Business Pitch Deck Templates to Win New Clients and Investors

By Sara McGuire , Sep 22, 2020

Website Marketing Blog Header Small

Need funding for your business? Want to explain ideas to potential clients? Looking to seal the deal with new partners?

You need to convince the right people to get behind your idea. A short, impactful pitch deck is a great way to impress your audience–quickly.

Not a designer? Use a pitch deck template to build a persuasive, engaging presentation that hits all the key elements of your business in a short time.

In this post, we’ll look at pitch deck templates that are sure to make an impression, including templates based on famous pitch decks by Airbnb and Uber.

VIDEO TUTORIAL: Learn how to customize a business pitch deck using Venngage.

What is Venngage? We have a variety of business templates you can customize using our simple online editor. Sign up is free. Some templates are free; some require our Venngage for Business plan.

Click to jump ahead:

Looking for a short cut? Watch this quick video for a recap of the templates we cover in this post: 

1. Business pitch deck templates

Pitch decks aren’t just for startup founders.

They’re also about drumming up new clients, making sales, pitching a partnership or trying to convince new suppliers to work with you.

In this section, we’re going to look at pitch decks that are not geared towards raising money from investors. That said, any of the templates in this post can be customized for your specific needs.

Client marketing pitch deck template

Marketing, branding or other creative agencies need a pitch deck that’s out of the box.

A subtle way to do that is to pick a creative design motif to use throughout your presentation . Your motif could be something like a recurring shape or a recurring object (like a leaf for growth).

For example, this business pitch deck template uses circles as the main design motif throughout the presentation.

Creative Marketing Pitch Deck Template


Iconics pitch deck template

This marketing-focused pitch deck template keeps the focus where it should be–on results and numbers. There isn’t too much text, just hard proof.

Iconics Pitch Deck Template

Further Reading : Our blog post on how to write a business proposal , with templates

2. Investor pitch deck templates

Pitch decks are critical because, along with your presentation, they help an investor decide whether to keep considering your business for investment–or take a hard pass.

Make sure your content flows well and don’t fixate on your technology. Investors will also want to hear about the market, your operating principles, potential outcomes etc. You also need to tell a compelling story about your company.

In sum, a pitch deck needs to be just engaging enough for an investor to take the next step: due diligence , meaning reviewing factors such as your business model and management team.

Investor pitch deck PowerPoint template

Airbnb’s pitch deck format is so popular because it manages to explain a business plan in an incredibly straightforward and simple manner.

We’ve reimagined their famous investor pitch deck format in this template that can be customized and exported to PowerPoint:

Innovative Airbnb Pitch Deck Template

Just so you know, all of our templates can be exported in PowerPoint format and presented using PowerPoint using Venngage for Business .

VIDEO TUTORIAL:  Learn how to customize this template

Investor pitch deck outline

The most famous investor pitch deck outline is Guy Kawasaki’s 10 slide outline based on his 10/20/30 rule of PowerPoint .

Using this outline will force you to focus only on the most important concepts in your business plan.

It should also help keep investors and VCs engaged during your presentation. For one of the presentation examples in our list, we’ve reimagined Kawasaki’s outline in this clean, crystal clear template you can edit to make your own.

Business Pitch Deck Template

Red investor pitch deck template

This bold investor pitch deck template mixes big, bold fonts and gorgeous photos. It looks at three critical factors: a problem, a market opportunity and a solution.

Red Investor Pitch Deck Template

Blue investor pitch deck template

This slightly whimsical investor pitch deck uses three different layouts to keep the audience engaged.

Simple Blue Investor Pitch Deck Template1

Other ways to add variety to your slide include swapping out the background image, or inverting the colors.

You could also use different types of charts–as long as the charts you choose effectively communicate your information.

Minimalist marketing pitch deck template

This simple pitch deck template includes a section on proposed marketing tactics. Since the design elements in this template are universal, it can be adapted for any industry.

Minimalist Marketing Presentation Pitch Deck Template

Franchise pitch deck template

You’re telling the story of your business with your pitch deck. Just like you would try to hook your readers with the opening paragraph of a book, your first one or two slides should pull your audience in and get them excited about your business.

Set the scene by identifying a problem and how your business plans to solve it. Keep it short –tell your story in one slide, like in the example below.

Franchise Marketing Pitch Deck Template

Pick your words carefully–they should be precise and compelling. Use visuals like photos, charts and icons to illustrate the problem and solution and appeal to your audience’s emotions.

For example, this business pitch deck template uses a call to action right off the bat to engage the audience.

Startup Business Pitch Deck Template

Further Reading : Our growth strategy checklist will teach you how to plan your business goals

3. Startup pitch deck templates

Your pitch deck isn’t the place to go into the nitty-gritty of your business. That’s what due diligence is for–the “audit” of your business post-pitch. BetaKit has a great guide on how to prepare for due diligence.

That being said, if there’s a core process that you think will help sell your business, then you may want to summarize it in your pitch deck.

Startup pitch deck outline

Uber’s startup pitch deck has an outline well worth copying.

With sections such as key differentiators, operating principles, environmental benefits, market composition and future optimizations, you’ll be answering investor and VC questions upfront.

We’ve reimagined the Uber pitch deck format in a new sharp, modern template you can customize yourself.

Uber Pitch Deck Example

Purple startup pitch deck template

Showing how your business works can help inspire confidence in your investors. Use a mini-infographic to visualize your process and remember to keep text brief. Take a look at the second and third slide in the business pitch deck template below.

Purple Creative Tech Startup Pitch Deck Template

Green startup pitch deck template

Not sure how to lay out your information in an organized way? Try thinking of your layout as two or more columns.

Look at how this business pitch deck template uses two-column and three-column layouts for organized, readable slides.

Minimalist Tech Startup Pitch Deck Template

Yellow startup pitch deck template

Investors will be keen to know who’s on your team, if any of the founders have technical ability, how long you’ve known each other etc.

Photos of your team in your pitch deck will help investors understand your business better. Images appeal to your audience’s emotions and put faces to the numbers.

But pictures can take up a lot of real estate so use them as slide headers and slide backgrounds instead.

Take a look at how this business pitch deck incorporates photos of the team at work.

Yellow Tech Startup Pitch Deck Template1

Further Reading : Learn how to create a business plan that will inspire confidence in potential investors

4. Business pitch deck design best practices

Start with a template slide layout and vary the design

A business pitch deck template can be a lifesaver if you’re new to designing presentations.

The slide layouts , font sizes and image suggestions are all there–all you have to do is insert your own text and customize the design elements like logos , photos,  fonts , icons and  colors .

Blue Creative Investor Pitch Deck Template

Keep you pitch deck relatively short

Some experts argue your pitch deck should be as short as 10 slides , while others will recommend somewhere in the 15-20 slide range .

It’s generally considered best practice not to go over 20 slides;  most people probably won’t have the attention span for more.

Dedicate each slide to only one topic

Airbnb Tech Pitch Deck Template

Here’s the #1  presentation design tip  you need to know: don’t try to cram too much information into one slide!

If you were presented with a slide showing a wall of text, would you actually read the whole thing?

Even if you did, you might not get a chance to finish before the presenter moves on.

Pick one focused topic for each slide and stick with it.

For example, dedicate one slide to summarizing the problem your business is aiming to solve. Then, focus one slide on summarizing the solution your business offers.

Airbnb Startup Business Pitch Deck Template

Remember: you should only include your most compelling information in your pitch deck. You can go into more detail in your speech.

Visualize information using charts, icons and infographics

Simple Red Investor Pitch Deck Template

Want to avoid text? Use visuals to present information.

Visualize data using charts,  infographics  and pictograms  (“picture charts”). Keep the charts relatively simple. A complex chart will be hard for your audience to read and understand while you’re presenting.

Use charts to present key metrics like traction your business has gained, or your profit growth. You can use an infographic to visualize a process or to break down concepts. Our post on picking charts will help you decide what chart is best for what data.

Here’s a business pitch example that uses charts and diagrams to present metrics in an engaging way.

Red Infographic Pitch Deck Template

To create engaging diagrams for presentations, try out our diagram maker .

Use icons to reinforce points

Iconics Pitch Deck Template

Icons can be used as symbols or visual cues to guide your audience’s eyes towards specific points on your slides. That’s why it’s often effective to put an icon beside a header or beside a key metric.

Simple Business Pitch Deck Template

When picking icons for your slides, make sure that the icons have a consistent style throughout the presentation. That means sticking to flat icons, or sticking to line art icons.

business pitch deck templates

Take a look at the icons in this business pitch deck example. They all have the same line art style, which pairs well with the thin decorative header font.

Client Marketing Pitch Deck Template

Make bold design choices that show confidence in your pitch

Bold Marketing Pitch Deck Template

To convince people to hire you, invest in your business or join you as a partner, they need to feel confident that your business will deliver.

A confident pitch deck design is one way to do this. For example, using punchy, concise phrasing using bold fonts will help make an impact on your audience. An intense color scheme will grab your audience’s attention and show you’re not shy about your pitch.

Take this business pitch deck template. It doesn’t mince words and the bold fonts and color scheme convey confidence.

Bold Yellow Marketing Pitch Deck Template

Show your business’s personality in your design

Sponsorship Nonprofit Pitch Deck Template

Telling your business’s story means showing what makes your business original and likeable.

What is your brand’s voice? Are you reliable and traditional? Are you innovative and forward-thinking? Are you trustworthy and comforting?

Incorporate your business’s personality into your pitch deck design. Pick fonts, colors and images that suit your brand’s voice. Think about your target audience: what is most likely to appeal to them?

For example, this pitch deck for a nonprofit that helps children incorporates comforting, childlike design elements like playful fonts and pastel colors.

Simple Business Sponsorship Pitch Deck Template

Use consistent design elements

While this may seem like an obvious point, it’s surprising how often people overlook consistency in their design.

Business Pitch Deck Templates1

Your business pitch deck should look polished and professional. An important part of that is making sure your header fonts sizes and styles are consistent, the icons and images you use are the same style throughout, and the colors you use are cohesive.

11. Don’t overburden your slides with text

Look for ways to combine concise, punchy text with visuals. Make sure your text is no smaller than 30 point font.

If you find your slide getting too crowded, break the information up into several slides or look for a way to condense what you’re writing.

Download your pitch deck as a PDF

It’s considered good practice to send your pitch deck to investors before your actual meeting.

Rather than sending your pitch deck to them them via Google Docs or a file sharing service, reduce the risk of them not opening your pitch deck by sending it to them as a PDF.

Business Pitch Deck Templates2

With Venngage, you can download your pitch deck in high quality PDF format, as well as in interactive PDF format.

Now you have the tools to create a business pitch deck that will make an impression on investors . It’s time to get started:


5. Successful business pitch examples

With all of the tips I’ve given you so far, you probably already have ideas for your own pitch deck design. But in case you still need more inspiration, here are business pitch examples from some big-name companies.

Moz pitch deck

Once called SEOMoz, Moz has since grown to become one if the leading SEO tools. But back when they were still in the stages of needing funding, they used this deck to raise more than $18 million.

This pitch deck is a good example of how you can use fun visual slides to break up the monotony of text slides.

Moz Pitch Deck Example

Check out the full business pitch here:

Simple Moz Pitch Deck Example

  SEOmoz Pitch Deck July 2011   from  Rand Fishkin

Foursquare pitch deck

This is the first business pitch deck that Foursquare showed to investors. They use a phone motif throughout their slides, which emphasizes the mobility of their product. This is a great example of how visual motifs can help drive home key ideas about your business.

Foursquare Tech Pitch Deck Example

Foursquare’s 1st Pitch Deck   from  Rami Al-Karmi

BuzzFeed pitch deck

BuzzFeed are a highly visual platform and their original pitch deck reflects that. Their presentation uses minimal text, relying instead on visuals to demonstrate their value. Remember the classic saying: show, don’t tell!

BuzzFeed Pitch Deck Example

Do you think there are any other great business pitch examples worth mentioning? Comment below with your suggestions!

6. Business Pitch Deck FAQ

What is a business pitch deck.

A business pitch deck is a presentation that provides an overview of your business plan to your audience. Typically, you would present a pitch deck to potential investors, business partners, board members and potential clients.

What should be included in a pitch deck?

How you tell your business’s unique story is up to you. In fact, while it’s good to look at other pitch decks to get a sense of the format and types of information to include. Our post on the best pitch decks is a good place to start.

That said, your pitch deck design should cater to your niche and target audience .

Creative Pitch Deck Templates and Design Best Practices

Identify your business’s unique value proposition and emphasize that in your pitch deck.

How long should a pitch deck be?

You should have no more than 10-20 slides in your business pitch deck. 

Each slide should be purposeful and targeted towards a specific goal in mind. Your investors will not be able to retain too much information in just one meeting. Make sure you strategically explain your business pitch without losing your audience because your focus is off. 

Your goal should be to prompt interest in your business pitch, not to over explain every aspect. You want to win that second meeting.

Having a limited amount of slides will force you to condense your information and concentrate on what is most important in your business pitch deck. 

Here is a general outline of how long your pitch deck should be:

Slide 1: Title to introduce your business.

Slide 2: The problem you are trying to remedy.

Slide 3: Value that you will provide to your customers.

Slide 4: The solution that your product will provide. Use a flow chart template to help. 

Slide 5: Business model where you are identifying your sources of revenue.

Slide 6: Management team that will be responsible for the business. 

Slide 7: Marketing Strategy that you will use to reach your customers.

Slide 8: Key Metrics and Projections for the next 3 years. 

Slide 9: Competition, describe your competitive landscape. 

Slide 10: How you plan on using your funds for your business.

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Elon musk hints at two future tesla vehicles in investor day event.

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Tesla will cut vehicle assembly costs by half in its next generation of cars, engineers told investors on Wednesday, outlining design and factory efficiency gains as fans waited for Chief Executive Elon Musk to unveil a new model.

Musk, who also described how the world could transition to a sustainable energy future of “abundance,” was expected to lay out a plan to make a small, affordable electric vehicle that would broaden his brand’s appeal and fend off competition , and he presented a slide showing two disguised future models.

Tesla shares drifted down about 2% in after-hours trading as executives gave detailed presentations about the company’s engineering and cost-saving prowess, but did not show a much- anticipated future-generation vehicle.

Capturing the mass market is critical to Tesla’s goal of increasing deliveries 15-fold – to 20 million vehicles – by 2030. To do that, Tesla will have to improve its battery technology, which Musk has called the “fundamental limiting factor” for the transition to sustainable energy, making it a likely topic for Wednesday’s address.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Tesla already has a significant lead over its rivals in manufacturing EVs at a profit. Chief Engineer Lars Moravy said the company expects to build its next-generation vehicles for half the cost of the current Model 3 or Model Y.

Moravy described a production process for future EVs he called an “unboxed” model that would deliver lower costs by snapping together sub-assemblies and reducing complexity and time in assembly.

A fully sustainable future requires scale. With our next-gen vehicle, manufacturing becomes significantly simpler & more affordable. Our new unboxed manufacturing process will allow more work simultaneously on the vehicle—meaning we can build more vehicles at lower cost &… — Tesla (@Tesla) March 1, 2023

Tesla executive Peter Bannon gave an example of how the company uses data to cut costs. Customer data showed Tesla owners did not use the sun roof, he said, “so we removed it.”

High-profile Tesla investor Ross Gerber tweeted that the presentation amounted to a “Huge tease” on the next-generation vehicle. “It’s coming. They laid it all out. 50% less cost to build. Would get you a $25-$30k EV!”

Huge tease on the nex Gen tesla. It’s coming. They laid it all out. 50% less cost to build. Would get you a $25-$30k EV! $tsla — Ross Gerber (@GerberKawasaki) March 1, 2023

Musk showed a chart of Tesla’s projection of the future electric fleet. The slide depicted the EV maker’s existing models, including the Semi truck, as part of a market projected at 440 million vehicles. It showed the Cybertruck and a shrouded future model as part of a 300 million-vehicle market. An additional, smaller shrouded model was shown as part of the largest market in its projection: 700 million vehicles.

Tesla also is opening up its charging stations to other brands of electric vehicles, with the first 10 U.S. Supercharger sites opening to non-Teslas on Tuesday. Executives said the company also was focused on developing charging infrastructure in commercial parking, beyond the Supercharger network.

Tesla also will have to improve its battery technology, which Musk has called the “fundamental limiting factor” for the transition to sustainable energy, making it a potential topic for Wednesday’s address.

Tesla outperformed the industry in recent years, increasing deliveries rapidly despite the pandemic and supply-chain disruptions.

Tesla Model Y electric cars

But  Tesla cut prices in recent months to boost sales, which were pressured by a weak economy and growing threats from rivals in the United States and China.

The automaker has only four models, all priced toward the higher end of the market. The Cybertruck pickup is coming this year, executives said.

The plans for a more affordable car could draw the broadest interest. In 2020, Musk unveiled a plan to develop batteries in-house, which he said would make self-driving electric cars priced at $25,000 feasible by 2023, but Tesla has been struggling to scale up the production of the so-called 4680 batteries.

Some investors, including those concerned Musk is spending too much time at his latest major acquisition, Twitter , are also hoping the CEO will address calls to buy back shares, which are at about half of their November 2021 peaks even after a rebound of more than 60% this year.

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ANALYSIS-Investors revive inflation trades as 6% Fed rate risk grips Wall Street

Two-year yields, which more closely reflect monetary policy expectations, have gained about 70 basis points since the beginning of last month, reaching levels not seen since 2007 before the financial crisis. "the fed could be forced to go 50 basis points at their next federal open market committee meeting if we get another strong employment report," said torsten slok, chief economist at apollo global management, who sees a terminal rate possibly above 6%..

ANALYSIS-Investors revive inflation trades as 6% Fed rate risk grips Wall Street

Spooked by a flurry of hotter-than-expected U.S. economic and inflation data last month, investors are reviving trading strategies that bet on a higher peak in interest rates.

The recalibration in inflation expectations has led some investors to bet on a policy rate of 6% or even higher. Risk assets like stocks and corporate bonds that benefited from a months-long disinflationary narrative until the end of January have lost momentum, with traders now seeking shelter in safer assets like Treasuries or cash. "The last month was a bit of a wake-up call," said Doug Fincher, a portfolio manager at Ionic Capital Management and a co-portfolio manager of an inflation protection exchange traded fund. "People still under appreciate it, but we're definitely seeing renewed interest in inflation-type products," he said.

Bets on the Federal Reserve more aggressively hiking rates have gained more traction in money markets. The probability that the Fed may increase rates to as high as 6% in September, which is when Fed funds futures traders see rates peaking, stood at over 13% on Monday, up from about 8% a week earlier, CME Group data showed. Alfonso Peccatiello, chief executive of The Macro Compass, a global macro investment strategy firm, said anecdotal evidence from clients in the hedge fund industry showed "large interest" in trading structures that bet on the Fed's policy rate hitting 6% or higher by December, and on interest rates still above 5% by June next year.

These trades are often implemented via options, in particular by betting on the direction of the secured overnight financing rate (SOFR) - with a 'yes or no' wager on a level above 6% the main factor driving the trade's profitability, Peccatiello said. Trading platform Tradeweb said it saw average daily volume in inflation swaps - derivatives used to hedge inflation risk - increase by 23% month-on-month in February.

With higher inflation expectations lifting short-term bond yields higher than those at the longer end, some investors are wary of committing to debt maturities at the long end of the bond market yield curve. Anthony Woodside, head of U.S. fixed income strategy at LGIM America, said underweighting corporate credit in favor of risk-free assets such as Treasuries was one way to play the higher-for-longer theme over the next few months.

"While all-in yields look attractive, corporate credit spreads look too tight given that we are likely headed for a downturn amidst restrictive monetary policy," he said, referring to expectations the tightening could eventually trigger a sharp economic slowdown. Outside of fixed income, adding exposure to commodities could be a way to take advantage of the demand behind the current impulse in global economies.

"With China being a large source of demand we see potential for upward pressure on oil prices in the coming quarters. Copper can benefit for similar reasons," Woodside said. FED ANTICIPATION

Investors trying to predict the Fed's moves will be focused on Fed Chair Jerome Powell's testimony to Congress on Tuesday, which comes ahead of the Fed's next rate-setting meeting on March 21-22. Traders largely expect the central bank to raise rates by 25 basis points, although the probability of a 50-basis-point hike stood at about 30% on Monday, according to CME Group data.

The U.S. Federal Reserve last year lifted borrowing costs at the fastest pace in 40 years, but scaled back to a quarter-percentage-point rate increase last month. In the market, pricing has moved in expectation of more aggressive rate hikes as the latest economic data reflects a tight job market and inflation remaining high, reviving fears the Fed may need to resort once again to the same chunky interest rate hikes that hammered stocks and bonds last year.

A proxy of inflation expectations such as the breakeven rate on 10-year U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) has gone from 2.12% in January - the lowest in nearly two years - to about 2.5%, its highest since November. U.S. government bond yields spiked in February with the benchmark 10-year yield back at over 4% last week, its highest since November. Two-year yields, which more closely reflect monetary policy expectations, have gained about 70 basis points since the beginning of last month, reaching levels not seen since 2007 before the financial crisis.

"The Fed could be forced to go 50 basis points at their next Federal Open Market Committee meeting if we get another strong employment report," said Torsten Slok, chief economist at Apollo Global Management, who sees a terminal rate possibly above 6%. "The momentum in the economy is so strong that we may have to get into 2024 before the Fed funds rate peaks."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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  1. How to Write a Convincing Business Plan for Investors

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  9. How to Schedule and Hold Meetings with Investors?

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  11. Tips on presenting your business plan to investors

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    2. Prepare a business plan - A good investor wants to review your business plan before meeting you. Your written plan needs to be appealing and in a language, they want to hear. An executive summary highlights the relevant facts about your company, products and services, vision statement, and target market.

  13. What to Prepare Before You Pitch Investors

    Elevator Pitch. An elevator pitch is a short, consistent synopsis of your business, usually in just a few sentences. Perhaps surprisingly, getting your pitch to be short and consistent can be pretty difficult. Although the amount of content you need to create is tiny—just a few sentences—the amount of thought that goes into it is extraordinary.

  14. How To Prepare For Investor Meetings

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  24. Ways To Prepare For An Investor Meeting

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    Investors trying to predict the Fed's moves will be focused on Fed Chair Jerome Powell's testimony to Congress on Tuesday, which comes ahead of the Fed's next rate-setting meeting on March 21-22. Traders largely expect the central bank to raise rates by 25 basis points, although the probability of a 50-basis-point hike stood at about 30% on ...