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Leveraging primary research to de-risk your business for investors

Discover how primary research can de-risk your business for investors, enhancing your startup's appeal and credibility.

Investment committees worldwide scrutinize opportunities with a key question in mind: “How can we de-risk this investment?” This critical viewpoint is not just exclusive to investors, but is a vital perspective for businesses aiming for fundraising. As a business owner or entrepreneur, viewing your venture through the lens of potential investors is pivotal. This means emphasizing primary research to demonstrate your business’s viability and potential for success.

So, in what way does Fergus Hay (co-founder and CEO of Elysian Fields) advise you to proceed?

The Credibility Prism

The concept of a “credibility prism” is introduced as a framework for businesses to present themselves to investors convincingly. This involves providing concrete primary research data to establish:

Team Credibility 

The strength and expertise of your team are paramount. Are you second-time founders with a track record? Do you possess the necessary functional and technical skills?

Customer Insight 

Understanding your customers is crucial. Have you thoroughly validated the problem you’re solving? Is there evidence that your target market acknowledges this problem and is willing to pay for a solution?

Business Traction 

Demonstrating traction through customer acquisition, revenue generation, and market penetration is essential. For businesses still in the early stages, primary research indicating target market segments and their willingness to engage with your product or service is invaluable.

Business Model Viability 

The sustainability and scalability of your business model must be evident. Investors seek assurance in the size of the market, the robustness of your revenue streams, and the replicability of your go-to-market strategy.

De-Risking Through Evidence

A potential investor’s scrutiny and skepticism are common during the process of securing investment. By substantiating your business propositions with concrete data, you move beyond the realm of conjecture into the domain of fact in this challenging landscape. A shift in this direction is essential, as investors are bombarded with pitches that tend to rest on aspirational claims rather than grounded evidence. In this context, the ability to present objective data that corroborates your business assumptions and future projections becomes a significant differentiator. It’s not merely about showcasing what your business intends to achieve but demonstrating a clear pathway backed by empirical evidence on how these objectives will be realized.

This evidence-based approach does more than just appeal to the logical sensibilities of investors; it builds a foundation of trust and confidence in your business model. Investors are inherently risk-averse, seeking opportunities that promise returns while minimizing exposure to loss. By providing data that de-risks your venture, you align with their fundamental investment criteria. This could include market research that validates customer demand, financial models forecasting sustainable growth, or case studies demonstrating proof of concept. Each piece of evidence serves as a building block in constructing a compelling narrative around your business’s viability and potential for success.

Moreover, adopting a data-driven and analytical approach to growth signals a mature, strategic mindset crucial for navigating the complexities of scaling a business. It reflects a commitment to making informed decisions, a willingness to adapt based on market feedback, and a proactive stance on identifying and mitigating risks. This not only reassures investors of your capability to steer the business towards success but also positions you as a thought leader in your domain. 

So, by emphasizing your commitment to growing a resilient, growth-oriented business in your engagement with investors, you elevate the credibility of your pitch.

The Elysian Fields Perspective

Adopting a de-risking mindset and leveraging primary research as a strategy is not just strategic, but essential for businesses considering a fundraising journey. Investment success is significantly enhanced when subjective opinions are replaced by objective, evidence-based discussions.

Listen to the full episode below

To learn more about how your startup can leverage opportunities, contact us.

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