– This is the most important portion of your profile. –
Imagine you’re in a bookstore.
You pick up a paperback, glance at the title and the cover, and then what? You’ll probably flip it over and start reading the back, perusing through the summary and reviews to get a gist of what this story is all about before you even think of taking out your wallet.
The Basics of your business profile is the back of that book.
This is where you need to convince investors your story is one worth exploring. Keep flipping through those pages—or in this case, keep scrolling!
But that’s easier said than done, so let’s take it step by step.
Describe your business in 4-10 words. Investors should understand what you are and what you’re doing. Also, (we’re guilty of this) avoid using trite comparisons such as “Uber for plants” or “Uber for calendars.” Trust us, you’re not the first one to think of it and investors get tired of listening to the same pitch repeatedly.
Example: Emberlight, Turn any light into a smart light.
Example: Checkr, Automated background screenings and driving records.
- What do you do?
In a paragraph, explain what your business does in simple, straightforward language and eliminate buzzwords such as “revolutionize” and “disrupt.” Be specific about the problem you’re solving and how you’re solving it.
Test your writing by reading it out loud. Make sure you’re using language you’d actually use in a conversation.
Example: Lawn Love is a network of the best lawn care companies combined under one consumer facing brand. Our platform gives customers instant, accurate quotes online without an on-site visit, and routing efficiencies help companies make more money while customers pay the same. Payment and scheduling are automated, and customers can manage everything from their phones.
Example: Freight Farms manufactures fully-operational hydroponic farms from upcycled freight containers. Using advanced growing technologies and human-centered design principles, we provide individuals of all skill levels with the infrastructure to immediately begin producing a high-volume of locally grown food.
- What is your ambition?
This is 1 to 2 paragraphs digging into the “so what” of your business. You’re answering three main questions for investors: why is it a big deal, why should I care, and what is your vision?
Also take this chance to lay the groundwork of the industry you’re in—investors coming onto this page might know nothing about it.
Example: Perfect Touch, African Cloth making company expanding into design and production of mass casual and corporate clothing. The increase in exchange rate has made it less attractive to import foreign wears and has opened-up significant demand gap in the corporate and casual dress market in Nigeria. By leveraging our cloth making expertise and the strong distribution network of our African wears, Perfect touch has the chance of being present in most retail markets and homes than any other Nigerian based clothing company.
- Major Achievements
Kept 95% of customers over the last year? Built Nigerian first Workspace Hub? Excite investors with your businesses’ proudest numbers and most revealing accomplishments. Investors want to know how fast you’re growing and how you’re dominating the market.
Remember these are essentially bullet points. Keep them punchy.
Example: Doyin Farms
- ₦1,000,000 yearly profit on maize.
- Presence across all western market, 6 supply deals secured with large Animal feed and Baby food producing companies.
- Select investors include: Heritage Ventures, WomenAngels, NOL Capital.
Websites are crucial. Don’t have one? Get one and start showing off your business to the world wide web.
Social media accounts are also powerful ways to illustrate your business’ personality, values, and customer relations. Remember: investors aren’t just investing in your business, they’re investing in you. They want to know as much about you as they can and genuine social media posts go a long way in showcasing who you are.
Got a pitch deck or a business plan? Attach longer documents for investors who want more details about your pitch. A solid pitch deck that hits the right points with the right visuals is much more effective (and fun) than a business plan.
Finished the basics?
Good, now write them again.
Clearly explaining the problem you’re solving and how you’re solving it is tough. We recommend going over your Basics several times, continuously pruning all the unnecessary words. After all, for “What We Do” and “Our Ambition” you have a limit of 500 characters.
Investors are busy. If you can’t capture their attention with compelling information in a short period of time, they’ll just move to the next company vying for a chunk of their wallet.
When you think you’re done with the Basics, ask yourself: if I were an investor, would I keep reading?
– Let’s See the People Behind the Magic –
Anyone can have a good idea. True power lies in having the people that can turn that idea into reality. Investors want to know if your team has what it takes to go from idea to product to domination. Convince investors that if there’s anyone who’s going to achieve what you plan on doing, it’s your team and no one else.
- Sell Yourself
Remember the last time you interviewed for a job, the last time you were the one in the hotseat. Take that experience and shrink it down to the ‘Founder’ portion of your profile.
Your photo should show off who you are, balancing professionalism with the personality of your business. Your bio should be the most important parts of your resume shrunk into two sentences or less.
- Inviting Team Members and Investors
First step is to invite team members and investors, which you can do under the ‘Team’ tab. When you invite a member, LoyaltyHub will send them an email to sign up and confirm their role.
You then have a choice to add their info yourself or let them take care of it. Regardless of which option you choose, all members should have a photo and brief description of what they do at your business.
- The Importance of Previous Investors
Before investors choose to commit themselves to your startup, they’ll want to know who else is coming to the party. And like a party, you want investors to know all the cool kids are coming. Reveal any prominent previous investors and new investors will feel safer about handing you their money.
Example: Veracle Solution
Raised ₦10 Million from 3 investors.
- Sharing Your Story
Graduating from an higher institution or success in previous ventures is an important information, but the big winner is always a good story. If you have a unique tale behind your startup, shout it from the rooftops—or just right here on your profile. Investors have mad respect for Founders (and so do we!) who hustle and do whatever it takes to get their business going.
Investors should leave the ‘Team’ portion with more information than a resumé. Sure, they want to know your qualifications, but they also want to know your drive. Let investors peer into heart of your business, and assure them that not only are you skilled, you’re damn well passionate.
– Make it pretty, please –
Investors browse LoyaltyHub with two main motives 1) to find something that speaks to them personally and 2) to find the next big thing. And the one way to determine whether your business speaks to either of those criteria is to show off what you’re working on.
We’ll break Design into two sections. First, we’ll go through the three main elements of imagery you’ll be using on LoyaltyHub: the Banner, the Card, and the Graphics. Second, we’ll go over the basics of what makes a great image. Let’s go!
What you’ll be working on with LoyaltyHub
Banner images should be both compelling and revealing. Remember the banner has a 1200:560 aspect ratio and to avoid images that scream stock photo.
You can also add a video to your banner which you should absolutely do if you have a high quality clip. If you don’t have a high-quality video, you should let text and photos do the talking for you instead—a poor video can actually harm your campaign with a bad first impression.
Your Card is the first thing investors will see when they’re browsing through LoyaltyHub. It will determine whether any investor decides to view your business at all. There are three elements that determine the success of your card: image, tagline, and milestones. Let’s focus on the image.
You want to give investors a broad idea of the product you’re providing. If you’re building an app, show someone using that app in the particular situation it’s needed. If you’re building a toy, use an image that showcases that toy alone.
Example: Perfect Touch Clothing
Invest in Perfect Touch Enterprise
- Designer of High-quality Native and Corporate Clothing Wears for Men.
- Annual Revenue of ₦15 million and Operating Profit of ₦8 million.
- Raising ₦10M for expansion (₦6M for Assets & ₦4M for WC).
Perfect Touch uses a Model with an African Native Top on their Card photo to embody a single subject – Clothing. So the viewer knows the company have something generally to do with the idea. The eye then moves to the clothing design to reveal exactly what is so special about this particular clothing designs.
- Product and Traction
At the bottom of the form for raising forms, you’ll find an option that allows you to add product photos and videos, upload graphs or publish numbers, or custom code an image yourself.
This is the meat of your profile. You need to convince investors you can execute fast and effectively. Show off growth, revenue, customer retention, etc.—investors want concrete evidence.
Example: Daves Poultry.
Q & A
If you’ve managed to get a potential investor to read this far into the profile, congratulations! You’ve passed the highest hurdle.
But you’re not home free quite yet.
The Q&A dives deeper into the heart and mechanics of your business, giving investors a peek into your motives, reasoning, and long-term plans. It’s not an exaggeration to say the FAQ can make-or-break an investment.
- Ask (and answer) the Right Questions
In the Q&A tab you’ll find our recommended questions, which you should definitely answer. But you’ll need to anticipate questions investors may have, not only about your business, but about the market you’re tackling.
For instance, if you own a bakery in Ikeja, investors want to know what does success look like for you in particular? What are your greatest obstacles in opening up a second brick-and-mortar location? What’s unique about running an eatery in Ikeja rather than Warri?
- Keep it Brief
The Q&A will definitely be longer than anything else you’ll write for the profile, but no one wants to confront a wall of text. Continue to hit key points in as few words as possible without sacrificing valuable information.
- The LoyaltyHub Process
Here’s a look into how we produce the Q&A sections of our Startup-of-the-Week profiles. We start with a recorded 45 minute phone (or Skype) interview with the CEO. We send the audio file to get transcribed and get the full transcript after about two days.
We then rewrite and redact the entire transcript, cutting over 75% of the original interview. Afterwards, we send it back to the CEO for approval and then publish!
You’re Not a ‘Tokunbo-car’ Salesman
Investors know there are risks and challenges. Don’t cherry-pick your questions to glamorize your business. Good founders and owners know there are holes and address those holes. Ask and answer the hardest questions.
If done well, you will have anticipated and clarified potential questions and proved just how strong a hold you have of the market you’re charging into.
– Dealing with the Nitty Gritty –
Funding is included in the form for fund-raising. It is straightforward and supplementary to your profile rather than critical. But take some time to review and make any changes you find necessary.
If this is the first time you’ve fund-raised or you’re unfamiliar with early stage fundraising, we’re here to help. You can contact us with any questions about fundraising at email@example.com.
Disclose any prior funding you may have had before LoyaltyHub here. Investors will then be able to view this information on your profile if they choose to.
Previous funding makes potential investors more comfortable with investing in your business—think of the safety in numbers mentality. Seeing prior funding will also help investors determine whether or not you’ve used funding appropriately and whether you have many early believers.
– A few final thoughts –
- Customer LoyaltyHub URL: Your business will automatically be assigned a url, but if you wish to change it you may do so by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We recommend keeping your url short. This helps when sharing the url on twitter due to the character limit.
- Tags: We would Group you with other businesses in your category to make you more discoverable.
- Privacy: If you want to pick-and-choose who views your profile, we can make your profile private. Only those with the url will be able to view your business. Just inform or email us.
- Google Analytics: Input your Google Analytics ID to keep tracking how many hits and visitors your LoyaltyHub profile is getting.
- Ad Tracking Pixels: Input Ad Tracking pixels to measure the effectiveness of any ads and see where your profile visitors are coming from.