The summary or the art of presenting your project, Fundraising Guide

Even before the business plan, the summary is the first project presentation document. Its design is complex and responds to specific goals and rules. Practical guide “Collecting funds”, file 15/9.

Principle and purpose of the summary

The summary is a summary of the project. The business plan is essential, but it only comes into play when the investor has already expressed interest in the business project. The purpose of the summary is to arouse the reader’s interest in a minimum of time.

You should think of it as your company resume! It should make the investor want to know more, and ask you for your business plan or offer you an interview. The summary is therefore a real marketing and sales tool.

Also, although this is the first document that will be sent to investors, it is a document that is written last when the writing of the business plan is completed and only when all the arguments are perfectly mastered.

How to write a summary?

The preparation of this document requires some formalism and some essential information must be provided. Here are the main rules:

• For a resume, this document must be very short and precise. Do not forget that your interlocutors receive many files and only have a few minutes to perform an initial sorting. Ideally, the summary should fit on one page and no more than two pages (use font between 10 and 12). Above all, it must contain synthetic phrases and keywords!

• This summary must be powerful, pedagogical and didactic. Although very short, its writing is complex because each word must be relevant. Do not hesitate to reread it several times and have it read by others (ideally an uninformed public), to ensure that it is clear. Make sure there are no layoffs and that you have covered all aspects of the project. It should reflect the essence of your project as well as its chances of success. It should contain the strengths of the project and give you the opportunity to get an overall idea about it. It must answer important questions: What is my project? Who am I? Who should be sold to? How to sell? How much does it cost investors? How much does it give them? And for how long?

• It must be written in such a way Tell a story : What is the company’s calling? What is its ambition (which markets does it want to conquer)? And how will it achieve its goals (commercial and marketing strategy)?

• Like any commercial investigation document, first sentence is crucial. The investor should immediately understand what products or services the company offers, otherwise they may not bother to read on. This first sentence should inform the company’s value proposition,

To express the value proposition, construct a sentence according to the following model: my company (name) develops (a clear offer) to help (an identified goal) solve (a problem)
with (a unique advantage

Or answer the following three questions: What need / shortcomings do you address? The place that hurts … How unique is your value proposition? The cure that feels good For what return on investment? Customer benefit

There is no standard plan, but the summary follows the structure of the business plan. It must contain several parts which answer the above questions:
• Description of the activity and the offer (products / services),
• Company : creation date, legal form, shareholding, human resources (number of employees, committees, etc.), history and steps, barriers to entry,
• Market and vision: the current goals and positioning … and the dream part,
• Team: the talents behind the project (management, sales, R&D and production),
• Strategy: the operational implementation of the vision : technical development, commercial development, industrial protection strategy, partnerships …,
• Economic outlook: summarized in a table (in terms of turnover and profitability, and possibly investments and personnel). The projection must be determined over at least three years,
• Inquiries to investors: overall need and amount of sought-after equity, previous or expected valuation for this round, planned exit prospects.

Specifically, in the summary, you should address the main points of the business plan by summarizing them in a few sentences. You should then proofread it all to ensure brevity, consistency and appeal of the story being told.
Just as one must highlight what may interest and reassure the investor, one must be careful to avoid anything that may worry him, for that can only be justified during an exchange.

• A project that looks more like research than a business project,
• Dissemination and dissemination of leads,
• The presence of an industrialist in the capital (which can complicate the financier’s exit),
A project too far from its market: Highlight your customer contacts, even if they are not completed, because they show your market vision.

It must be adapted to the typology of the interlocutor. Like a resume, it is written according to the typology of the targeted investor.

• You can have two or three different management summaries depending on the goal, especially if those goals have major differences in terms of expectations and constraints and correspond to a different business strategy. This is the case, for example, if you contact manufacturers on the one hand and institutional venture capitalists on the other (to raise a large amount corresponding to all your financing needs) or business angels (for a first reduced fundraising, with a look at a later second ) …,

• Be aware, however, that the investment community is small. They talk to each other, so you need to be aware of this strategy and not send conflicting messages that could indicate that you do not know what you want or where you are going.

A few additional rules you should keep in mind:

• Quantify your comments as much as possible,

• Position the company in relation to the existing ones and the competitors,

Avoid details (for example: no reference to information sources): these elements will be specified in the business plan.

How do investors read a summary?

For the investor, the summary must meet several objectives:

Allow him to quickly know if your project is within its investment objectives, especially in terms of:

• Investment amount and round table size,

• Sector or type of activity: for some, exclusion of certain sectors such as crafts, wholesale and retail, franchising … or for others targeted at certain very specific sectors …

• Stage of business development: initiation, creation, development, etc.,

• Geographical location for some (especially the regional SCRs).

Inform him about your business project and its prospects for financial profitability. These elements stem from several aspects that he must perceive:

• The value proposition,

• Growth potential,

• The credibility of the project and the team: especially the project manager’s personal investment and of course the project manager’s credibility,

• The financial need,

• Prospects for exit and valuation gain.

Convince him of the project’s interest and relevance of moving forward by asking you for your business plan and welcome you to discuss your project in more detail.

In summary
The summary is the company’s CV. The first document that the investor receives should allow you to pique his interest and get a deal.
It has its own codes and writing it is a real challenge. You need to take into account its efforts for you and for the investor.

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