Financials for an Elevator Pitch. A key point to remember. You are writing fiction —we know that! Your job is to convince investors that this fiction deserves a Pulitzer prize! Your job is to convince an investor that these are reasonable and achievable numbers
Financials for an Elevator Pitch
You are writing fiction—we know that!
Your job is to convince investors that this fiction deserves a Pulitzer prize!
Your job is to convince an investor that these are reasonable and achievable numbers
But they are still fiction!
Writing a business plan will sharply refine these numbers
What you are providing for now is a “back of the napkin” sketch of numbers
The more refined they are, the better. But if you can convince investors that these are reasonable, you’ll be fine.
Projected Gross Profit Margins
Projected Net Profit Margins
Cash Flow positive (in time)
Let’s consider each
When you ask for an investment, you ask for a dollar amount in return for a percent of the equity
Example: We ask for $25k for a 25% equity stake
If we divide $25k by 25% we get a firm value of $100k
“We are asking for $25k for a 25% investment, to build inventory. This values the firm at $100k
Figure out the size of your target market, and how much it should grow in three years
Identify market share for the top 4 firms in your target market
Compare yourself on four attributes to those four firms
Peg yourself at 70% of the nearest competitor
So you might get 70% of their market size in 3-5 years
Figure it takes you 3-5 years to ramp up to that 70% mark
25% year one 45-50% year two, 70% year three
Suppose you find that your target market grows 10%, and is currently $1 million
Should be 1.21 million in year three
You compare yourself to four top competitors, and find yourself equal to one with a 20% market share
You are then looking at 14% (20% x 70%) of the year three market, or $169.4k
Year one: $50,000 (20% of 20% of $1 million)
Year two: $ 99,000 (45% of 20% of 1.1 million)
Year three: $169,400 (70% of 20% of 1.21 Million)
So, your year 3 sales ought to be about $170k (notice I rounded up a bit)
In the elevator pitch you don’t tell them how you arrived at the numbers, you tell them what you estimate sales and market share to be
“We anticipate year three sales to be $170k, about a 14% market share”
Gross Profit margins are (sales-COGS)/sales
Net Profit Margins are Net Income/Sales
Report both as pct of sales
You estimate sales at $170k
Maybe your COGS is $85k
Your Gross Profit margin is $85k, or 50%
Suppose all other costs equal $68k
Your net income is $17k (85-68=17)
Your Net profit Margin is $17k or 10%
“We anticipate year three sales to be $170k, about a 14% market share”. That generates 50% Gross margins. Net margins would be about 10%”
(Unless net margins are significantly higher than industry average, you’re probably safe not stating them in an elevator pitch)
An asset is something of value within your business.
Question: how did you acquire it?
Pay cash, swapped another asset, borrowed money
Each time you add an asset, you account for how you acquired it, by increasing debt, equity, or both.
Return on Assets is Net Income/Total Assets
Re-write as Net Income/(Liabilities+Equity)
Return on Equity is Net Income/Shareholder Equity
Re-write as Net Income/(Equity)
One way to consider RoA is to think of it in terms of “multiples” for the investor
Investor pledges $10,000, for 25% of profits
In year five, you predict the firm will sell for $100k
Investor gets 25%, or $25k
Investors ROA is 2.5X ($25k/$10k)
Investors do this mental math anyway, so provide it for them
It’s also very quick, saving time
“Given our profit margins investors should earn a 2.5x return by year five”
You forecast a net income of $17k: Similar firms sell for about 20 times net income (PE ratio is 20).
The investor invested $25k in return for 25% of the firm’s sale price
25% of $340k ≈ $85k
$85k/$25k ≈ 3.4X
No easy rule here: here are rules of thumb
Ought to be between 1-3 years
How much inventory do you plan to have?
Compare to firms in an industry
Look up inventory turn ratio for competitors
How many turns does it take for your Gross Profit Margin to exceed inventory value?
Add to one year
Suppose your average inventory is $20k
Suppose inventory Turns is 6 (every two months)
Suppose Gross Profit margins are 50%
It takes two turns to pay for inventory out of Gross Profit Margins (4 months)
Cash Flow positive in 16 months
“We anticipate year three sales to be $170k, about a 14% market share”. That generates 50% Gross margins. We should be cash-flow positive in 16 Months.”
“We anticipate year three sales to be $170k, about a 14% market share. That generates 50% Gross margin, and we should be cash flow positive in 16 months. This provides investors a 3.5X Return.”
Here is your returns to investors portion of the elevator pitch
The judges are not dumb—they do the math in their heads—stating it as such makes it easier on them and you.