If you are an entrepreneur, there is high probability of you meeting a VC and discussing about your venture and business plan. VCs, you must remember is a group of individuals that are seeking to make profitable investments in fast growing companies.
Beside focusing your attention on the unique qualities of your business, spend some time and work on the anticipated return on investment. VC firms often want to see companies that will produce returns in excess of 30% per year on a compounded annualized basis.
Lets look at the common questions VC asks an entrepreneur -
How much capital do you need? – This is one of the most imperative questions asked by a venture capital firm. They want to know how much of their capital will be needed to bring your business to profitability (if it isn’t profitable already). They will also want to know how these investment funds will be used, and if additional rounds of capital will be required.
Who is your competition? – This is also a highly asked question from VC firms. Every business has some form of competition. Discuss the competitors in your industry, how their product/service is similar to yours, and how your product is intrinsically better or more usable than that of the competition. Present the SWOT analysis.
Entry Barer ? – VCs are not keen in venture which have low entry barer which implies that this business model can be replicated easily. So as an entrepreneur you should be in full command to highlight why your business model is not easily be copied and how much time it would take for a newcomer to do so. VCs are keen to know if you can have patent protection on your product or your business process.
What is the current state of venture? – VCs are keen to know the current state of your venture to understand better the progress of the venture and also where funds will be utilized. Gone are the days, simply having a great idea does not cut it anymore. Venture capital firms want to see that you have something tangible to offer rather than just a good business plan or business concept. Prior to raising venture capital, you should try to move the business along as far as possible.
Do you currently have paying customers? – Paying customers definitely brings credibility to your product since VCs perceive it as a validation for the product and would like to talk to your customer to understand their viewpoint about the product.
Founding Team Experience? – VCs look for dynamic and extra ordinary founders to back them, a great leader can develop a very good business from an ordinary idea. They will want to know if you have the proper educational background, experience, and contacts within your field to make your venture successful and profitable. Keep your biography and your senior management team profile handy.
How will i Exit? - Lets get this very straight VC never do charity, they are business folks and would like to see a hefty return of their investment, nothing less than 7x. They would like to exit the venture either by company’s IPO or strategic sale of their equity to a large company or a PE firm.