Once you have a great business idea, you will be eager to move forward as fast as possible. It can be exciting and nerve-wracking to start a business, and there are certain steps you need to take to ensure you make the right moves to ensure your success.
Your next step after developing your product and business plan might be to meet with potential investors. For this, you need an outstanding business pitch that will capture attention and convince others of the validity of your idea and you plan. The primary goal of a business pitch is to secure the resources and funding required to move the business forward. It is said that the hardest part of pitching to investors is getting the investors interested in your business idea and offering them what they want. The success of pitching an idea entirely depends on what you say to the investors– that means you need to put a lot of thought into your pitch and ensure it’s as good as possible before heading into your meetings.
Here are four essential tips that can help you prepare for pitching your business idea to investors and stand out so you can secure your funding and find success:
1. Prepare yourself
You need to first prepare yourself and your idea. It is important to remember that a good number of investors first invest in the entrepreneur and not the business plan. When pitching, it is essential that the investor and the entrepreneur get along and have compatible work ethics and perspective.
Investors want to see what you as an individual are capable of, they want to see if you are aggressive enough, if you are fast, efficient, thoughtful and have the capacity to sustain the project from conception to growth. If you are going into a competitive marketplace, ensure that you have outlined your competitive advantage and your unique selling points. Treat the investor like you would a customer– in order to invest in your product, they should want to buy it, too
Therefore, ensure that you come well-dressed, have confidence, and practice your speaking voice so that you can grab the attention and interest of the investor. Remember: you’re pitching yourself just as much as you are pitching your idea.
When we are selling our ideas, the audience must first buy us.
Angel investors– or, investors who provide the initial seed money for a start-up– are usually more concerned about how you present the pitch than in the business itself. You need to be able to capture their attention in a few minutes.
This means that you should be able to explain the project or business idea, the return on investment, and the growth strategy of the business in less than five minutes. If you go beyond five minutes they will get bored and consider you to be verbose. Remember that the chances are that you are not the only entrepreneur that an investor is seeing that day. You have to convince them that you and your business are worth investing in, and you need to be able to do it quickly.
3. Research on your investor
One of the biggest mistakes a lot of entrepreneurs do when preparing to pitch for their business ideas is not knowing enough about the investor.
Before you go into a meeting with an investor, you need to do thorough research. You need to know who he or she is, what they have invested in before, the kind of industry they are in, have they been successful in their previous investments, and how well they know your industry and how much time they can devote to you and your business idea.
Knowing this information can help you better relate to your investor and even tailor your presentation to cater to them specifically. It doesn’t always work to have a single pitch that you take from audience to audience. If you haven’t had any interested investors, start adjusting your presentation depending on who you are talking to. Explain why you chose them as a potential investor beyond the audience, and find a way to connect with them in the meeting to pique their interest and make your product more memorable.
These are some of the things you need to know about your investor prior to your pitch meeting so you can better convince them to invest in you and your idea.
4. Learn the vocabulary
The great thing about the entrepreneurial spirit is that it is not exclusive to people with MBAs and a background in sales. A great business idea can come from someone who has never even had a retail job. And with hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn, that person can still succeed on the energy of their passion and the quality of their work.
However, that spirit will only get you so far. You need to be ready to do the legwork– and the business pitch is one of the places you can’t skimp on the details. You need to go into the meeting ready to demonstrate that you know your product, your industry, and are ready to run your business.
You need to learn some business vocabulary to use when pitching for your business. This will enable you to successfully pitch the idea and even answer questions asked by the investor. You do not want to find yourself in a situation where you can’t answer a question from a potential investor because you don’t know the correct terminology. Do your research, read books, and even consult an expert about the different terms used when discussing investment opportunities.
With this knowledge, you and your product or business idea both become a more viable investment opportunity.
They say preparation is important in everything you do or plan to do. Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “Failure to plan is planning to fail”– and it holds true to this day, especially in the competitive start-up landscape.
So, before you step into that meeting with your potential investors, Take a moment. Analyze your business pitch from a new perspective. Prepare not just your pitch slides, but your own appearance, and don’t just sell to investors, sell to the investor that’s sitting in front of you.