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Five numbers you should understand before you pitch your start-up - Strata-G Blog

One of the pivotal moments in the life of any start-up business is pitching to investors and getting them excited to be on board. It’s important that you hit it out of the park and investors are really only interested in one thing: numbers. So, you need to be prepared. Many investors are bombarded with pitches, and have a nose for unnecessary jargon or waffle, and you need to show them that you know what value you can offer them, not just make vague promises.

 

There is an endless number of figures and projections that go with a good pitch, but we have narrowed some of the most important ones down. Here are the five numbers that matter when you’re standing in that boardroom, about to pitch your heart and soul out to potential investors.

Revenue

In simple terms, revenue is the total amount of money brought in by a company’s operations, over a specific period. Revenue is the gross income before liabilities and expenses. Total earnings and profit are determined by the financial gain through services rendered or the sale of goods.

In order to calculate revenue, a company would add up their standard earnings, as well as gained interest and any equity they have accrued over the given time period.

Cost of Sales

This is also known as “cost of goods sold” and refers to what it costs to manufacture or purchase a product that is then sold to a customer. In other words, it’s what the seller of the product must pay to create the product and get it to the customer.

“Cost of goods sold” is usually found on an income statement under the category “sales” or “income.”

Inventory

Your inventory is a collection of the products that you have available to sell, as well as the raw materials required to produce them. It is a representation of your most vital assets as it is the source of your revenue. It also serves as a buffer between manufacturing and order fulfilment.

Valuation

In order to determine value, the current or projected worth of a company is analyzed. Factors taken into consideration include the market value, business management model, future earnings prospects, and the company’s capital structure.

Ownership Breakdown & Share Distribution

The ownership breakdown looks at how the business is organized internally as well as duties and rights of those with an equitable interest in the business. When owning a business, it is important to have an intricate knowledge and understanding of how the ownership breakdown of a particular business entity is organized and what that means for the owners’ rights.

The shareholders of a company have distinctly different rights to those of members of a limited liability company. And a holder of common stock may have different rights than the holder of preferred stock.

When additional stock is added, it is known as share dilution. As a result, the shareholders’ ownership in the company is diluted or reduced each time new shares are issued. If a business has 20 shareholders, each shareholder owns one share, or 5%, of the company. If the company then issues 20 new shares and a single investor buys them, the new investor owns 50% of the company. Meanwhile, each original investor’s ownership has been diluted by the new shares (ownership for the original shareholder group drops to 2.5% each).

Shares can become diluted in many ways, including stock options being granted to individuals and conversion by holders of optionable securities: A firm looking for new capital to fund growth opportunities may issue additional shares to raise the funds.
Happy Pitching!

Consider Reporting Tools such as Spotlight to Impress

At Strata-G, we utilize Spotlight Reporting and Forecasting to accurately map your budget, balance sheet and cashflow. Within these robust reports, we can build in various best-case, worse-case and status-quo scenarios to plan for the best and reduce uncertainty. Cash flow clarity is a must for any sales pitch, as a cashflow forecast can save a business, help raise necessary capital, or even assist with refinancing efforts.

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Through comparative financials and customized charts, graphs and KPI trackers, Spotlight Reports will build a professional slide deck to present your best projection to investors. Providing visual answers to many of the questions that investors will be prepared to ask. In addition, it will help guide your presentation, ensuring a professional approach and a thorough analysis of your data. Leaving no stone left unturned.

At Strata-G, we offer full-service virtual accounting services – from corporate tax to bookkeeping, tax consulting to startup accounting, accounting software management and more. Send us a message online and we’ll help you make your business primed and pitch-worthy.

Nicholas Coburn

Nicolas Coburn, CPA, CA, has 15+ years of experience spread across Government Audit, Industry Financial & Tax Reporting, and Big 4 Canadian Accounting Firms.

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