When it comes to marketing your business, perhaps one of the most important aspects to consider is the pitch. Coming up with a great idea is only one part of the equation. You will also have to communicate that idea to your investors in a way that engages them and compels them to take action. Here are some tips that will help you put together a pitch that investors will hopefully find irresistible.
1. Don’t waste your time…or theirs
You don’t have to spend a lot of time on preamble or a long drawn-out introduction. There is a good chance that an audience of potential investors is already halfway interested in what you have to say. Get right to the point and avoid superfluous details or pointless buildups, or you risk having that interest dwindle to nothing.
2. Develop good flow and timing— Use a pitch deck.
That being said, it’s important that your presentation flows. Try to develop a good arc to your business pitch, whether you have ten minutes or half an hour, so can you cover the most important details within your allotted time, without belabouring specific points.
A pitch deck could be a tremendously useful tool for keeping your pitch organised. These systems typically utilise presentation software that provides audiences with a clear, concise overview of your business plan. Used properly, a pitch deck could help improve audience engagement and ensure you cover the essential points smoothly and logically.
3. Explain your target audience
Warren Buffett has some wise words to share about investing in a business: “Never invest in a business you can’t understand”. Identifying your target demographic is crucial for defining the scope of your business, and investors will definitely appreciate knowing where potential income streams will be coming from. Conversely, they may be more hesitant to invest in a firm in which the potential market has not been clearly identified.
4. Show how you intend to capture your market
When making a pitch to potential investors, chances are you will be expected to demonstrate how you intend to market your brand to potential customers. As with every aspect of your presentation, your marketing approach should be concise, efficient and effective. Remember that most potential investors likely have a lot of background on market strategies and brand development, so it will help your pitch considerably if you are able to come up with a proven formula that incorporates your innovative ideas.
5. Do your homework
Coming in unprepared is about the worst thing you can do when making a pitch. Most experienced investors will be able to tell whether you know what you’re talking about within the first few minutes of a spiel. Do what you can to ensure you’re fully prepared for any questions that may be thrown your way. If possible, try to look into the background of every major investor in your audience and find out what makes them ‘tick’.
There is no way that you will be able to please everyone, but taking the time to field your potential investors and do some background research could go a long way in ensuring that your pitch goes off without a hitch. As Paul Clitheroe said: “Invest in yourself. Your career is the engine of your wealth.”
6. Show the potential return
“An entrepreneur must pitch a potential investor for what the company is worth as well as sell the dream on how much of a profit can be made” - Daymond John.
Sure they may be impressed with your revolutionary new product or they may have some personal stake in your particular service. But any investor worth his salt will have to consider the bottom line first and foremost. Can you ensure a reasonably healthy return on their investment? Can you commit to making them money within a reasonable amount of time? If you can–and communicate your ability to do so–you have a good chance of convincing your potential investors to put their faith in you.
7. Communicate your passion
Think about it: if you are unable to display enthusiasm about your company, why would someone else be excited about it? More than having passion for your business, you should also be able to communicate this passion to others, most especially if you are looking for alternative finance for your business.
8. Practice – a lot
“Practice is everything. This is often misquoted as ‘Practice makes perfect’” - Periander
Making a pitch successfully is often dependent on equal parts science, art and improvisation. There is no single set of methods by which you could effectively deliver a pitch to every potential investor, but these tips will provide a good starting point. Come in prepared and practice your spiel, and you just may be able to successfully secure funding for your business.
Written by Mary Paterson, Journalist & Small Business Expert
About the Author
Mary Paterson is a freelance journalist and small business expert with Authorflair.com Having been a part of several successful start-ups in Australia and abroad she shares her expertise and advice so that others might enjoy the benefits of her experience.
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