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Building a convincing portfolio to promote your startup

A good portfolio is not the most polished portfolio. It is the portfolio with the clearest presentation of all aspects of the startup.

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Building a convincing portfolio to promote your startup

So, you’ve decided to take your show on the road. You’ve assembled your team, and you now want to showcase what your startup venture can achieve.

In order to gain traction amongst those whom you hope will show an interest – or perhaps even invest – you’re going to need to put together everything, you’ve got in a strategic and meaningful way.

The building blocks to a good startup portfolio include:

-A clear business mission and vision,

-A clear marketing strategy and,

-A complete business plan and

-Your current and projected financials.

Your business vision and mission

What is your startup trying to achieve? Be able to answer that question one simple and clear sentence.

Your business vision and mission prospects why you are in business, what you hope to achieve and how you plan to achieve it.

Your business vision and mission needs to tell a story that is compelling to your target audience.

Consider these mission statements from top companies.

Linkedin: “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”

Paypal: “To build the Web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution.”

Trip Advisor: “To help people around the world plan and have the perfect trip.”

These Vision statements offer even more information to your prospect and help clarify the nature of what your startup can do.

Smithsonian Institute: “Shaping the future by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world.”

Habitat for Humanity: “A world where everyone has a decent place to live.”

A good mission or vision is the distillation of your core ideology and passion. make sure it is front and center in your Startup Portfolio and visible in everything you do.

Your marketing strategy

Your marketing strategy is the natural overflow of your startup vision and mission. Your marketing strategy goes on to say how you were going to achieve your vision.

It tells your prospects how you are going to display and promote yourself to the world. That makes your marketing strategy a key component of your portfolio.

In practical terms, it should include all of your graphics, branding and rich media. The marketing strategy within your portfolio should highlight key features and benefits of the product or service you’re planning to offer.

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It might also include research and data which is independent and which demonstrates and backs up the claims your product or service are making.

A Convincing Portfolio includes a marketing strategy that:

-Can cite authoritative sources

-Clearly, outlines the features and benefits of your product or service

-Showcases your branding, imagery and other rich media.

Your marketing strategies should also include sample marketing campaigns so that prospective investors can get a feel for how you are incorporating your vision and mission into the marketing process and how you plan to approach and represent your company to the consumer.

Your business plan

It goes without saying that you should include a complete business plan in your startup portfolio. I have added this as a separate item though, because many people fail to provide the kind of detail that a business plan demands.

Many startup companies have their marketing idea, have their features and benefits mind up, and even have a mission or vision statement.

But they have not dug any deeper, and the absence of a complete business plan demonstrates that lack of depth.

A comprehensive business plan does not have to go on for 50 pages. The key is to cover all the major aspects of a startup business.

According to NFIB these include:

-Executive summary

-Company Description

-Products and Services

-Market Analysis

-Strategy and Implementation

-Organization and Management Team

-Financial Plan and Projections

There are plenty of templates for a business plan out there on the Internet. A quick search should bring up a suitable business plan template which you can download and modify uniquely showcase your startup.

Your current and projected financials

Your financial arrangements are a part of your business plan that need special attention.

If the purpose of your startup portfolio is to convince people to in and take you seriously, they are going to have questions about your financials. This means you need to have your financial accounts in order and crystal clear.

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You need to be able to demonstrate:

-How much capital you have and need

-How it will be spent

-How that spend will generate a return on investment

-What those projected returns will be

-How finance will be use to sustain company managements

-How finance will be used to capitalize future growth

The are some tools that can help you present your financials in a clear and transparent way. For each company, the presentation of those financials will be different.

For that reason, and given its critical place in your portfolio, it’s often a good idea to put a little extra time and money on to this aspect of your startup portfolio.

Specialist business software development services such as Xpect from CIBIS or MYOB EXO from Indivia can help you present compelling financial reports and solutions that showcase your startup in the best possible light.

The financial arrangements of your company startup – and your transparency about those arrangements and your current financial position are critical to a successful portfolio.

To win others over to your startup idea, your portfolio needs to be able to tell the story in concise and engaging terms.

You need to position yourself in the market to appeal to both your target customer and your target investor – that is, you need to know which investors are best suited to your startup, and you need to know where to find them.

A good portfolio is not the most polished portfolio. It is the portfolio with the clearest presentation of all aspects of the startup. Like any good sales pitch, a convincing portfolio is one that answers all the prospects questions and leaves them confident with the terms of the agreement.

DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.

David Trounce is a small business consultant living in Port Stephens Australia. He is the Founder of Mallee Blue Media and specializes in small business marketing and management. David also writes for Business.com, My Customer and the Huffington Post.

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