- Jasmine Furutan, 29, runs Pitch Genius, which advises startups on how to raise funding through carefully designed presentations.
- The company is on track to generate $650,000 in revenue this year.
- This is how she made her money, Chris Stockel Walker told her.
This article is reportedly based on a conversation with Yasmin Forotan, 29, from California, about building her own business. Edited for length and clarity.
After graduating from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles with a degree in entrepreneurship, I immediately started working with angel investors. They trained me on how to build a presentation that would speak to them. I worked for them for maybe eight months, then decided I could just work for myself.
So I made that leap and started working as a freelancer. I worked as a hostess at a Koreatown restaurant full time, but I’d also been building floors, hosting workshops, and doing my own in-depth research on how people invest in early-stage startups.
I was working in restaurants around 3pm and then got off work around 10:30pm. My weekends were for the whiteboard and figuring out how I was going to build my business.
By mid-2016, I had my first real client and by February 2017, I had officially launched my business, Pitch Genius. Here’s how I scale my business to make $50,000 a month every month.
When I started, I only sold slides
All I was doing was creating content and designing presentations. Now it has turned into a full-service company that supports founders and CEOs to fully prepare to attract investors. This means doing everything from implementing business financial models, market scalingAnd the competitive analysis And the exit strategy analysiswhile creating the surface as well.
We also have additional services such as pitch training.
Evolution occurred naturally. Our customers started asking us for these additional services, and as I built my experience, I got really good at working overtime.
Over time, we’ve decided to charge more for our services and take in just a few clients at a time. We’ve also hired several key senior employees who I knew could better help us build our reputation as a company to do the kind of consulting we’re asking a lot of money for.
When a client comes to us, we start interviewing them and getting to know their business
We try to define their scope and make sure that they are in a position where they can raise funds. We’ll be sitting on the phone with the founder and maybe a couple of people on their team, interviewing them for two and a half hours straight about their business, model, and implementation strategy.
We ask them everything the investor asks. Next, we start researching the company and business model, and this tells the story we put together for the client.
From there, we go ahead and build the kit and take it through several rounds of reviews with the client.
One of the main things that clients who come to us lack in time to invest in fundraising.
They don’t have the time to learn the technical details of how to create a presentation on their own. That’s why I got started – founders and CEOs don’t really need to know how to create a compelling presentation – they just need to know their business and present their presentation effectively.
I’m proud of the fact that my job isn’t just about building a nice, beautiful deck. There are a lot of people who make decks and are able to put decks together. The difference is that we are actually able to consult on the story, and what will actually be persuasive to the investor. That’s why our success and prices are so high.
While growing my business – I learned not to be afraid to ask for more
The first planned presentation I created, I think I paid $500 for it, and spent at least 45 hours on it. I was young and grateful to have the client, and had the mindset that no one would pay more than $1,000 for a deck. But as I took in more clients and got better at what I do, people kept telling me I needed to charge more. I got to a place where I paid $3,000, and then crawled to $5,000. People kept asking me to raise my prices, so I’ll do that every year. I think last year we were charging $15,000 for the biggest package. But as the business continued to grow, I decided I wouldn’t be afraid to raise my prices anymore.
Our price hike didn’t hurt the business – it really helped. Currently, our minimum for any package is $10,000, but our most popular and largest basic package starts at $25,000. By the beginning of this year, our average monthly revenue was $50,000 to $55,000. We have five or six clients who put us in the power of attorney, but usually only three of them are active at any one time. Before the end of 2022, I think we could reach a minimum of $650,000.