This article is part of a series of blogs offering our tops tips on surviving the process of raising impact investment. Investment raising is difficult and time consuming, and the process can seem daunting if it's your first time. We have written this series of blogs as a way to share some insight in to what impact investors are looking for.
You’ve done all the hard work of securing interest from the investor you’ve had your eyes on – you’ve given your pitch, met the fund’s executives, and discussed heads of terms. So, what do you do now to survive the due diligence process?
We enter into detailed diligence with about 1 in 20 of the companies whose business plans we review. Sometimes the combination of the volume of work along with the very high stakes can make it feel like quite a daunting process (for both parties!), so here are some tips on how entrepreneurs can survive the diligence process:
To help evidence the stage of your business, investors will be looking for data on your performance to date, such as user numbers, traction, impact data etc. Having this information to hand, as well as showing how you analyse and react to it, makes for a very good start.
To save yourself the head (and heart!) ache of missing targets in the future, try to present and agree a realistic plan at this stage of the process. Promising the world and failing to deliver doesn’t make anyone feel good, so balance out your ambition with a healthy dose of realism.
Being on home turf can be great for a boost in confidence, so invite investors to your place so they can see you in context, meet the team, and get into the heart of the action.
To help keep things on track, agree a detailed plan and timeline with your prospective investors and check-in with them regularly to make sure things don’t slip. If organisation doesn’t come naturally to you, enlist a colleague to help.
Due diligence can be a time consuming and demanding process, but take a timeout to remind yourself why it is you approached your investors in the first place and of the value you believe they will bring.