2nd April 2013 By Simon Misiewicz
Are you looking for investors to fund your business idea?
There is no shying away from the fact that the best way to win over investors is to hit them between the eyes with solid and sound business ideas and killer presentations. You will probably have seen programmes like Dragon’s Den where budding entrepreneurs have taken centre stage to deliver their pitch in the hope of attracting investment. You will have watched and decided within minutes ‘yeah, that is great, love it’, or ‘that idea is ridiculous, it will never work’.
It is entertainment, but the concept is the same as you pitching to investors. A potential investor’s opinion will be formed within seconds and so to win over, even the hardest to impress investor, getting your pitch right is crucial to attract the money you need to grow your business.
But how do you get that killer pitch right? How do you get over your ideas succinctly and enthusiastically to entice the investor? We have put together a couple of ideas to help you to get the investment which you need.
Put a killer pitch together
When putting together your pitch, assume that the potential investors know nothing about your venture. Provide them with information in a clear, concise and logical way. Your pitch should include:
What is the company and what is it doing?
Give an idea of the market situation your business or product is operating in.
What gaps or niches in the market does it fill?
What problem does your product/ business solve?
How will your venture make money and how much? Provide a ‘road map’ of finances.
How much money could the investor make?
What has the company achieved so far?
Outline the business plan and milestones.
Outline your sales and marketing plan.
How do you plan to grow your business?
What competition does the company have?
Who are the people behind the business?
What is the company looking for from investors? How much cash?
Practice makes perfect so the saying goes, and well, it does. Practice your pitch in front of other people – friends and family – and ask them for their feedback. It may help to film yourself and – as cringey as it may be – watch it back and polish any parts which you are not happy with.
Rehearse and rehearse so that you can give a confident, concise and polished presentation.
After getting a potential investor to take time out and meet you, it would be a bad thing if they were put off before you have even uttered a word. So, it vital that you are well turned-out, professionally dressed and well-groomed – and do not forget to wear your all important smile!
If you have your product or a prototype, then show it. It will help investors understand what you are talking about by seeing what you are producing.
Put together a computerised presentation, which can help give you cues and keep your pitch in the right direction.
If you have a business which does not produce visible products ie; you are a photographer or an accountant, bring something – such as your prize picture – to demonstrate what it is that you do.
Tell them about sales and sales in the pipeline, indicate feedback you have had from customers.
Let your personality shine
You will be excited about your venture and you need to get potential investors equally enthused, so give a confident speech and try not to rush through it and give your potential investor time to digest the information which you are giving them.
And don’t forget to be yourself! You need to make investors feel comfortable with you and so as difficult as it may seem, relax and be yourself.
It’s not all about you
Take time to find out more about your potential investors, who are they? What fields are they in? As investors will be no doubt pleased to know that you are interested in their industry and what they do, not just their cash.
The show must go on
If you are using a computerised presentation and it fails, firstly do not panic and secondly carry on.
Over-coming challenges is a large part of being an entrepreneur and so do not stop and try and fix the problem or flap about it, carry on while all around you breaks down, which will probably impress a potential investor rather than turn them off.
The moral here is ‘be prepared’ to pitch to investors without your computer and visual aids.
How you look, the way you speak, and what information you provide during your presentation will be the difference between success and failure.
Getting the pitch right will help you to seal the deal, get the investment you need and shine as an entrepreneur.