Are You Ready for Your Pitch Day
Imagine standing in front of the panel of judges, the projector light blinding you from seeing the sold-out audience behind them. You’ve practice the pitch, mastered the timing, and deliver with confidence. Things are going well, until Q&A when one judge asks, “Your customer lifetime value is outrageous. What did you base such a large number on?”
You freeze. Think… what did your adviser say about this? Your palms start sweating. The room is silent. What was in the pro-forma projections your accountant put together? How the heck is lifetime value even calculated? Everyone is watching your breakdown, and the pitch is sunk.
Now consider a different outcome – one where you respond quickly and with confidence. You understand how the panelist is wrong because you calculated the metrics and pro-formas and you can defend them. The judges are impressed by the depth of your financial knowledge, and you earn their trust. Your investment in financial education saved the pitch!
Founders Need to Know Their Financials
Most founders know their product or service inside and out, but don’t take the time to know their numbers. I don’t mean memorizing the pro-formas built by their adviser – I mean KNOW their financials.
- “How did we rationalize the assumption about our revenue ramp?”
- “How do we compare to our industry’s average COGS?”
- “How many days is our cash cycle? What are working capital requirements for year one?”
- “What growth engine is the customer acquisition cost model based on?”
If you can’t quickly answer these questions, you appear ignorant to investors. It happens to most founders because they “checked the box” of building pro-formas by half-heatedly completing the task with their adviser, accountant, or a free mentor. To really know the numbers, there are two better paths.
Path 1: Partner with a Finance Expert
Pro: Easy, professional, many to choose from (I’d recommend CFOshare)
Con: Requires cash or equity compensation
Having a Financial Expert on your team will give your company clear vision, expert cash management, and risk mitigation expertise. Unfortunately these wonderful team members charge consulting rates or significant equity share.
Path 2: DIY Financials
Pro: YOU become the expert, keep the skill forever, and save $$$
Con: Requires extensive education (until now, keep reading)
It takes years of education and experience to learn all the ins and outs of finance. But since you only need to learn the ins and outs of YOUR finance, you have a better option!
Founders Financial Boot Camp
CFOshare now offers a twice-weekly, 8 session workshop for founders to build their own financials. “Zero to Pitch-Ready in 4 Weeks” means participants need not have any financial education, and can expect to learn basic business finance, build their pro-formas and KPIs, then practice defending them in front of the class. The interactive group education experience means a fun, organic, memorable, and inexpensive way to build numbers and confidence.
This is a great solution for the do-it-all and thrifty founder!