Know Your Numbers: 7 Numbers You Need to Know When Pitching to An Investor

If you are a fan of the show “Shark Tank” you know more than anyone that before you jump in you have to know your numbers up, down, left, right, and backwards. The Sharks are investing tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars into your business, so they want to know that it’s sound. While pitching to an investor may not be as dramatic as the show, it is still a huge moment in the life of your brand. You want to make sure you get it right. A great way to prepare is with our pitch deck, but one of the most important aspects of your pitch are the numbers. Make sure you know what numbers they’re going to ask for and have them prepared.

Revenue

This one is a no-brainer. An investor is of course going to want to know if the product is selling and how well. However, you also have to consider how many units are being sold, where they are being sold from, and if you are promoting them.

They want to know that you are making a product that can sell. Make sure you know how well it is selling, at what rate, and if your revenue is growing. If it is, give a reason. If it isn’t, give a reason.

Photo Credit; Hunter White

Costs

Your product is selling; however your investors are going to want to know how much it takes to make them. This will give them an idea of what your profit is. Even if you’re making a great product that’s selling well, it doesn’t matter if it’s costing you as much to make it as it does to sell it.

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Also keep in mind that you should also include how much it takes to acquire a customer: advertising costs, promotional costs, etc.

Debt

How was your company funded? Do you have to pay back whoever you got the money from? Investors aren’t going to want to deal with paying back your debtors. If you do have debt, explain why you have it and how you’re paying it back.

Inventory

How much excess product do you currently have? Hint: The less you have, the better. Investors want to see that you are selling any inventory that you have. The less you have means that you are selling more and not having it sit around waiting to be sold. Excess inventory is dead weight. It’s product that you spent money on to make that you are not getting a return for.

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Expenses

Not all your costs are tied up in your products. How much does it cost to run your company? Remember to take into account your office expenses, inventory expenses, and payroll.

Valuation

I am asking for an investment of $______ for a __% stake in my company.

This is how almost every “Shark Tank” pitch starts. You’re selling part of your company, however how much you sell that part for gives your investor a very important number: how much you think your company is worth. However, you have to back this up with facts. Whether you’re using a comparable company, your assets, or discounted cash-flows to get this number, you should make sure you know how you got it.

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Projections

If you’re company is doing well, that is great and attractive to an investor. However, a huge concern is also where the company is going. Is your revenue growing? What’s your plan to keep it growing? How much will that cost? How much will you make?

Investors are very forward-looking. Not only do they want to know that their investment is going to make money, but also that is going to make more money. You have to prove that your company is a worthy investment. Knowing your numbers is the path to that.

Be sure to have everything from this checklist:

  • LTV
  • CAC
  • Conversion rate
  • Growth rate
  • Margin
  • Revenue
  • Profit
  • Cost of Goods Sold
  • Inventory levels
  • Site Traffic
  • Existing Ownership breakdown of Company

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