We take pride in our ability to learn the fundamentals of virtually any industry or technology quickly. Some of the markets we have served include green technologies, medical devices, biotechnology, Internet/e-commerce, telecommunications, distance education/e-learning, real estate, financial services, healthcare services, manufacturing, retail, food service, consumer products, media and entertainment, aerospace, artificial intelligence, enterprise software, insurance, energy, and networking. Having said that, we believe that the value we bring to the table is not industry expertise — which you already possess in abundance — but rather an understanding of what investors like to see in a potential opportunity.
We help entrepreneurs get ready to raise capital. This usually consists of some or all of the following services:
- Business plan development
- Financial forecast development
- Pitch deck (investor presentation) preparation
- Strategy development
- Market research and analysis
- Competitor research and analysis
- Financial analysis
- General coaching and advisory services
- Capital formation strategy
Please note that we cannot help our clients raise capital. This is a service that is heavily regulated. In general, only brokers licensed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) can legally offer this type of service. Please make sure that any “finder” you talk to is properly licensed with FINRA before you hire them.
Of course not. Nobody can make that guarantee (and if somebody ever makes that guarantee, it’s a good idea to run away quickly). A good plan is essential, but a plan alone will not get funded. Although we will do our best to help you prepare, we have no control over how well you present yourselves to investors, or how well you answer their questions. We can coach and we can mentor, but at the end of the day, it’s your business and you must close the deal.
We can sometimes make informal introductions to potential investors or other intermediaries. In general, only brokers licensed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) can legally arrange financing (see Beware of Finders in our Blog). Please seek legal counsel and make sure that any “finder” you talk to is properly licensed with FINRA before you hire them. Failing to do so may expose you and your company to significant liability.
No, we are management consultants, not investors.
If you run a business, then it’s probably safe to say yes. In fact, you may require more than one business plan: one for raising capital and one for running your business. The former is a compact, easily digested strategic document that is designed to persuade potential investors to pick up the phone and invite you to their offices for an initial meeting. The latter is a more detailed document serving as a day-to-day roadmap, detailing the tactics supporting your overall strategy. The former needs to be an attractive document that sells; the latter can be a collection of spreadsheets, lists, research summaries, and other documents stuffed in a binder that you refer to and update on a regular basis. We specialize in preparing the capital-raising business plan, but many of the by-products are suitable for use in the operating business plan.
Most importantly, they work. In a world in which fewer than 1 in 250 business plans ever raise venture capital, we are happy to report that about half of our plans have raised capital, and a good portion of the rest resulted in an acquisition or currently have commitments for investment from prior round investors. Each plan is handcrafted to reflect the client’s specific circumstances, yet share attributes that investors find appealing.
Balance sheets that balance. Cash flows, income statements, and balance sheets that tie together (you’d be surprised by how many consultants who don’t get the basics right). Fully assumption-driven, so that you can do what-if analyses. Depending on your needs, we can include a lot of very sophisticated features – learn more about our financial projections here.
Every situation is unique. However, some fairly common steps include the following:
- Initial discussion to understand your basic needs.
- Review your existing materials (draft business plans, financials, market research, competitor research, etc.).
- Follow-up discussion to clarify details and agree upon the scope and fees for the project.
- Several in-depth discussions to better understand the details, develop strategies, and agree on all major elements of the business plan and financial model.
- Conduct additional research, as needed.
- Draft an Investor Presentation and review it with you to ensure that all parties agree on the high-level vision.
- Draft the Executive Summary and review it with you to ensure that we all agree on the next level of detail.
- Prepare a draft outline of the business plan for your review.
- Begin filling in the details on the draft. Obtain and incorporate your feedback.
- Incorporate your revenue and expense models into the financial model, and explain how it works so that you can take “ownership” of the financials.
- Finalize all deliverables.
- Coach you on the best way to deliver the investor presentation and on how to address questions.
- Provide ongoing support, including making minor updates to the deliverables at no additional charge.
Depending on how we structure the project, you should expect to spend anywhere from 10-30 hours on the process over the course of a typical engagement.
For a typical engagement, consisting of a business plan, financial forecast, and investor presentation, the typical time to completion is 6-8 weeks, as illustrated below. The actual time can be influenced by the quality of your existing materials, the level of your participation, the complexity of your market and business model, and our current workload.
Yes, but we may need to charge a “rush” fee. We typically work on multiple projects at any point in time, and rush projects can strain our schedules or inconvenience other clients.
Only if you’re always right. One of our jobs is to help you avoid mistakes. We’ll challenge your ideas and assumptions so that you’ll be ready for the tough questions when you meet with investors.