5 Golden Rules for CEO's and CFO's when raising funds.

CEO’s and CFO’s primary role is to run the business and find future growth avenues. But businesses, over time, need funding for a plethora of reasons. So next time you are in the market looking to raise funds from external sources, follow these 5 rules that will help you secure your funds faster, so that you can get back to building your business and execute your vision.

Rule 1 – Research Well
Undertake thorough research about the investor (the Fund) and the team you plan to meet. Ask questions to your investment banker. And not just that,perform independent research on the Investor by reading on the internet or asking people in your networking circle. Also, you can consider listening to recorded calls of Analyst/Investors of other companies, in which the investor has already invested in. All this will assist you in preparing and strategizing appropriately for the meeting.

Rule 2 – Practice makes CxO’s perfect
Nothing can replace good planning and practice. You should undertake mock presentations and have someone prepare a comprehensive list of possible questions and undertake mock Q&A round. This will be of immense help in boosting your confidence while answering the investors. Generally, you can approach the Finance PR Firm or the Investment Banker to seek help in this regard. This is very important because you only have one chance in front of that investor. You should, therefore, practice well before you start meeting investors.

Rule 3 – Never Trust Technology
Technology has always been a great aid, but relying completely on tech can be worrisome, as gadgets might just give up when you need them the most. So don’t just rely on showing your presentation on your laptop or in the Investors meeting room using their projector. You never know what could go wrong. It could be the case that AVs in the meeting room begin to malfunction or the meeting rooms are occupied. The best approach, therefore, is to carry printouts of your presentation. That will allow you to comfortably run your presentation even in a Coffee Shop.

Rule 4 – Role Play
Investors want to hear about the company’s financials, compliances and related matters, only from the CFO. And hear business, primarily from the CEO. In fact some investors even insist on CFO’s being a part of the fundraising team from the Company. So you should first form the right team that should be participating in road show presentations (you may decide to have one or two senior executives, who are vital to the business, in addition to the CEO & CFO as part of the core fundraising team. Note that having more than 3 is not advisable). Therefore take some time to predetermine which questions/subjects of questions will be answered by which team member.

Rule 5 – Speed is important
IOn a fundraising road show, you need to maintain speed and ensure thay you meet as many investors as you can. To get firm commitments from them, make sure to follow-up aggressively post your meeting with the investor. If you give more time, you might lose the excitement and the interest you would have generated through your meeting. Moreover, you never know when some external, uncontrollable factor could create negative sentiments, thereby adversely impacting the efforts you would have put in on this entire process.