Startup entrepreneurs, in particular, are keen to get investors for their project and even if they have a winning idea that investors look forward to, the idea itself may still not be enough to convince investors. Startup entrepreneurs should realize that a brilliant idea alone will not get the funds from investors; they also need to express their ideas in a way that will impress investors enough to part with their money.
To make the cut, you will have to support your ideas with hard evidence and facts, which will give the impression that your project is designed for success. And that you have a plan for that success. Every investor can be different and might have their own opinion or criteria for success, governed by certain sets of principles.
Some investors appreciate honesty and sincerity in what you say. Regardless of what you put in, the pitch is the key to getting through to your investors.
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1. An Honest pitch
It’s perfectly understandable when entrepreneurs give a lot of significance to a pitch. However, some make mistakes in that when they try to make their pitch a unique one, they pack their pitch with unnecessary aspects, turning the pitch into a mere tool to impress investors.
They forget that investors are sharp and may focus more on how you feel about the idea i.e. your passion and your belief that this is the next thing to change the industry or the world. The way you feel about your business idea will tell investors how serious you are with your idea, and how far you can push the idea.
In your pitch, tell them what made you develop the idea. Investors are keen to hear how the idea was born because the uniqueness of an idea is more likely to turn into a vision, and visions get funds.
2. Geared towards investor’s benefit
Investors have to deal with many pitches, all different to a varying degree and therefore, it’s not advisable to put the faith purely in your product or your business descriptions alone. More than your business, it’s the benefit that the investor will eventually receive that will keep you in the hunt.
Investors will only invest when there’s a possibility of returning profits.
It doesn’t matter what medium you choose to pitch your idea, at the end of it, it has to contain details about the benefits your investor is likely to receive.
You don’t have to list all your benefits, just the ones that stand out, particularly how their association with your business idea will be able to bring benefit to them. Even when they aren’t entirely convinced, making them interested gives you a second chance to elaborate and explain your idea further.
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3. Short and decisive
Never settle for a boring pitch, make them attention-grabbing, and most of all make them second nature to you, the kind where you can easily pitch off the top of your head, in the back of a cab or better yet, when you find yourself in the same elevator with a financial investor.
There’s your chance, it’s now or never, you have 1 minute at most, to talk face to face with a possible investor and the both of you would not be interrupted by a secretary, a co-worker, or a phone call. What do you say? What should you share about your business idea that will be the clincher?
Build Your Pitch
Once you have figured that out, let’s get out of that scenario. Now, build your full pitch from that 1-minute scenario pitch. You have all the impertinent points, the things that cannot be left unsaid. You know what should be said, put that into your full pitch.
No one has the time to read or listen to a long-winded, unstructured and unfocused anything, let alone a pitch. Don’t waste your investor’s time. Get all your facts straight then get straight to the point. Even that alone will put you above others vying for the same attention and funding as you are.
4. Do your Homework
In a normal pitching session, your pitch could be interrupted midway with a barrage of questions from the investor(s). Don’t worry. It’s a good sign. The investor does that to check how you cope with confrontation, and whether you have done your homework and thoroughly understand and have thought out what you have been explaining all this while.
Your awareness about the project will help you to answer them. For instance, you may be asked why you think you require this particular amount. Does it have to be this figure? Why? This is your cue to explain the allocation of your expenditure. The investor will try to pick signals from how you answer.
The more you know about the project, the better you will be able to tackle any of their questions.
5. The pitch should say something about you
Your past history may come as help in terms of credibility to your business idea. They like to side with people who know what they are talking about, preferring those who can show that they have relevant knowledge in the business, thereby helping to increase the possibility of the idea taking flight.
Your connections with relevant industries may also be helpful and yes, your personality can help as well. It gives investors an inside look into the kind of person behind the idea – whether you are passionate, dynamic, capable or a flip-flop with half an idea that you won’t be able to see to fruition. A pitch riddled with dynamic personality can be very inspiring, to say the least.
6. Eyeing Success
To recap, have an honest pitch, one geared to name all the benefits you can bring to the investor, be brief, but don’t steamroll over the important points, come prepared and don’t be afraid to get personal with your pitch. The path to success is paved with experience, and every failed pitch just adds to your experience in dealing with investors and stakeholders.
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