Putting yourself out there and doing an investor pitch can be incredibly challenging, and just a little nerve-wracking!
You’ve probably waited more than two-to-three minutes for your coffee to be served by your local barista. It may seem like a very short span of time, however when you’re in the line of fire of your potential investors, asking for their money to support your idea, two minutes can (and often does) seem like an eternity!
Remember, the investors may not know you, or your product or service, or even your concept, and you are likely competing against other investment ideas… plus myriad other agenda items scrolling through their heads as you prepare to address the individual or group.
So, here’s how to make every second count.
1. Be Professional
Gadgets and props may amuse your potential investors; but laughing at you costs them nothing. They are investing their hard-earned money; so ensure you convey a professional demeanor that will help them feel that their investment IN YOU is a good one. If you require aids to your presentation; ensure they are professionally produced and relevent to your pitch.
2. Get To The Point.
This is where many entrepreneurs fall into the abyss.
Clearly and concisely identify the market opportunity you will leverage to establish and grow your business. Demonstrate your solution and its advantages (less time/lower cost/improved replacement, etc). Know who else is doing something similar; you’ll need that information real soon!
3. Accuracy Counts
Essentially, you’re trying to influence your way into an investor’s portfolio. Investors expect hard data to support your product or service concept, so be as precise as possible when pitching your idea.
KNOW YOUR MATH. Ensure your metrics, current and future revenue projections and valuations are accurate and realistic… as a certain ‘Dragon’ will often explain, “the numbers don’t lie!”
4. Be Specific.
Open with the amount of money requested; the business background; sales to date; revenue projections; your business differentiator and structure/model; the market place; your go-to-market strategy and the competitive environment.
You’re asking for their money, or money + expertise; etc. Be prepared for counter-offers and even outright dismissal of your idea… for a variety of reasons.
5. Be Ready For More.
Know your product, its history, its future potential, your competitors, etc. You are asking others to invest in your idea, so ensure you are the most informed person in the room with regard to your area of business.
Follow these key tips and work diligently, and I may be your next customer!