It has been said that brevity is the soul of wit. It is also the soul of a good two-pager — and a good thing, too, as the whole idea is for a firm to get to the heart of the matter with this basic marketing document.
As soon as I pick up a two-pager, I’m seeking the most essential information, seeing as I may be sifting through dozens of these in any given week — and if that information can be presented in a way that is graphically interesting, all the better. Too much text, I find, merely muddies the waters; the overall message gets lost.
And really, any extraneous information — the firm’s history, etc. — can be communicated in an introductory phone call, or even a follow-up call. The two-pager acts as a gateway to such contact, underscoring what the firm focuses on investing in and how they’ll help these types of companies increase in enterprise value.
Here are the specific things I’m looking for:
Your Firm’s Overview: That’s where my eyes go first. I want to find out the basics like when was the firm founded? How big is the fund? What type of investments do you make? How big are the companies you target?
Your Investment Criteria: This section answers questions regarding the types of company attributes you’re seeking for ideal investment opportunities. What industry sectors do you target? In which geographic areas do you invest? What’s the operating profile of ideal targets (ie distressed, more mature, early stage, etc)?
Your Portfolio Companies: Nothing speaks louder than success, so tell people about the companies you’ve bought and sold. If your firm has been around for a while it’s difficult to list all your investments, but you can certainly summarize and highlight those that best tell the story or your firm. Highlight which companies are seeking acquisitions because that is often a fertile area for conversation. And again, make it graphically engaging to captivate the reader.
Your Key Contacts: Depending upon how your company is structured, you might want your outreach to go through your business development team, or through the entire investment team. Either way, it’s important to have those folks listed. (We have received at least one two-pager that split the difference, providing headshots of the entire investment team, as well as headshots of the BD people, along with their contact information. That works, too — especially if you happen to be attending a conference with representatives of that company; helps to be able to put a name with a face.)