#92    Raise Your Hand

Hands On

Some hands-off investors will be turned off when you turn to them for guidance - but someone tossing $5 million into the pot certainly won’t hesitate to give you another 2 cents. Here’s how to add value to your business by soliciting the best investment you’ll ever receive.

The best business plan for a small business is to get the best possible minds working for you for free. Do this by asking smart questions at investor deck stage.

When done correctly, asking questions of investors isn’t a sign of weakness. No one has all the answers. And teams don’t always have all the spots filled for their key positions. As long as you don’t come off completely clueless, then it’s no problem to ask - “do you know some CFO candidates? I mean, considering you’re going to be investing, we thought you might want to have a say in the process.”

This allows you to get the investor actively thinking that “ok, it’s not just about the money, and they are clearly open to outside advice on key decisions.”

In other words, they’re picking up what you’re putting down.

But beware - a 0.5% investor and a 49% investor are not created equal!

When you ask a question,  expect to get a reply. Don’t let someone’s two cents buy more influence than they’re paying for. That’s how you wind up with someone’s wayward niece walking straight out of rehab onto your board.

At investor deck stage, ‘a penny for your thoughts’ is a great carrot  to dangle if you want to incentivize a more appropriate level of investor commitment.

If you came up to 10% we’d be really interested in your thoughts on …

In previous issue, we showed how you can really raise eyebrows in all the right ways by turning the tables on the traditional pitch deck power dynamic. You’re not a supplicant. You’re not a charity. You’re a serious value proposition that will increase the wealth and influence of anyone lucky enough to get to work with you. Silent partners are partners to be wary of. Money should be the last thing your business needs - the whipped cream on top of the chocolate-covered banana split with peanut sprinkles.  If the only value you’re getting from your investor can be tallied in dollars, you should look hard at the deal to see if it makes enough two-cents.

We recommend a great book for getting in the right frame of mind to turn your investor deck into an investor onboarding. It’s called Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading and Winning the Deal. It’s author is Oren Klaff and he comes at things from an angle we like.

If you like it too, tell Oren you were introduced to his work by Unicorn Business Plans.