Financials for an elevator pitch
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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

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Financials for an Elevator Pitch

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Financials for an elevator pitch

Financials for an Elevator Pitch


A key point to remember

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

But they are still fiction!


A second key point to consider

A second key point to consider

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.


Returns to investor in an elevator pitch you should provide

Returns to investor In an elevator pitch you should provide

Firm valuation

Projected Sales

Projected Gross Profit Margins

Projected Net Profit Margins

Projected RoA

Cash Flow positive (in time)

Let’s consider each


1 firm valuation

1. Firm valuation

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


2 projected sales back of the napkin for the elevator pitch

2. Projected Sales: back of the Napkin for the elevator pitch

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


2 a quick example

2. A quick example

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)


So now you have a reasonable and defendable sales estimate

So now you have a reasonable and defendable sales estimate

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”


3 4 profit margins as a percent of sales

3&4: Profit margins as a Percent of Sales

Gross Profit margins are (sales-COGS)/sales

Net Profit Margins are Net Income/Sales

Report both as pct of sales


Using your sales forecast

Using your sales forecast

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%


What you would then say

What you would then say

“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)


5 getting roa concept one ale is a l e

5. Getting RoA Concept one: ALE is A=L+E

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.


How are returns figured roa

How are returns figured: RoA

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)


The x factor condensed to multiples

The “X” factor—condensed to multiples

One way to consider RoA is to think of it in terms of “multiples” for the investor

Suppose:

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)


Why use x in an elevator pitch

Why use “X” in an elevator pitch?

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”


Returning to our example

Returning to our example

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


6 the tough one when are you cash flow positive

6. The tough one—when are you cash flow positive

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


Continuing our example

Continuing our example

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


What to say about cash flow

What to say about cash flow

“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.”


Overall what would you say

Overall: What would you say?

“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


Did you realize this took less than 15 seconds

Did you realize this took less than 15 seconds?

The judges are not dumb—they do the math in their heads—stating it as such makes it easier on them and you.


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