Raising funds can be a challenging, stressful experience. This is especially true if you’ve never raised capital before. You don’t want to sacrifice too much of your business equity, but you also don’t want to miss out on the right opportunity to accelerate the growth of your business. The good news is you don’t have to blindly tackle this on your own. We at Stage 1 Financial are here to lend a hand and be your guide.

Our Transaction Services team has helped many businesses find and secure funding. This roadmap will share their expertise and experience with you as you begin to look at finding funding. Not every raise happens exactly the same way, but in general, you can expect the processes to take six to nine months. When working with professionals like our transaction services team, you will cover the following steps on your journey to find an investment.


Prep Work: Clean the Books

It’s time to bust out the broom because the first step is cleaning your books. The devil is in the details, and you have to have all those little details cleaned up and ready to survive some intense scrutiny. It may not be the most exciting place to begin, but that’s why Stage 1 Financial is here. We will give your books the works to ensure that you can pass any inspection.

Milestone #1: Financial Model

Once your books are in order, we can set our eyes on the first milestone: building your financial model. In simple terms, this means creating a budget that shows where your business will be in the next 2 to 3 years. The tighter and more accurate you can get this model, the better positioned you’ll be in raising capital.

Milestone #2: Review Your Deck and Pitch

This is the phase that benefits greatly from experience and insight into the mind of investors. There are plenty of other accounting and finance firms that can provide adequate assistance with the other steps, but this is where Stage 1 Financial becomes indispensable. We will help coach you on speaking with potential investors and provide guidance on your investor deck so that it is dialed in and ready to wow.

Milestone #3: Due Diligence

No one is going to invest in your business without thoroughly reviewing your accounts. Potential investors will bring in their own team to review the accuracy of your financials. This is not a “fake it ‘til you make it” kind of situation. If everything is above board and the numbers are compelling, everything should transition smoothly to the next phase.

Post Work: Implement and Report

Once you’ve secured the funds, the work is just beginning. Now that you have brought in investors, they will often want to see quarterly or even monthly reporting. Stage 1 Financial is here to help build out those reports and help you to maintain a healthy relationship with your investment team. In some cases, you could also be required to do a yearly audit. That means keeping accurate and timely financials will continue to be important.

The Stage 1 Financial team is here to support you through the whole process. We can get your books ready, build out your model, set up intros, help pitch your deck, work with you to figure out who is the best investor for your business, secure the funds, and—most importantly—make sure those funds are then used to bring more success to your company. Now that you know the road map of what raising funds looks like, the next step is to reach out to us and start this process for your business.

Written by
Marissa Rudolph
A CFO at Stage 1 Financial