We’re regularly asked “what should we show investors”? While there’s no one answer, we’d suggest having:
(1) One page exec summary – see an example in the Entrepreneur Resources section of our website
(2) Short powerpoint that “tells the story” … Guy Kawasaki does a great job talking to his 10/20/30 rule: ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes and contain no font smaller than thirty points. See http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2005/12/the_102030_rule.html for more details. Well said Guy!
(3) Detailed bottoms-up (vs. “there’s a billion people in the addressable market and we can get 0.5%, so ….) financial model in excel.
(Please don’t ever send anyone a PDF of a model – it defeats the purpose of being able to see the assumptions etc.)
(4) OPTIONAL – and more for your use than investors in our opinion – a detailed biz plan in word format. Keep it <30 pages including summary of the financials etc. But it’s place to play out all your details and assumptions. Often, it’s a way a founder can see the gaps in their own plan that might not be obvious in a shorter PPT.
And, if you’re interested in a deep dive, there’s a great workshop coming up. There’s nothing in it for us … but we know what great reviews these workshops get. And, first time they’re being done in Chicago. Check out http://www.naturalconsulting.com/seminars/finance-seminar-networking-event.