Perfect Your Pitch
You may have the perfect idea, with all the pieces in place, but you need to know how to convey that to others if you are to convert that idea into a profit. Pitching your business may start with bringing it to investors, because many times you won’t have the funds to start up a business with multi-million dollar potential on your own. That’s where investors come in- and you can be sure they won’t direct a single dime towards your venture if they don’t have 100% confidence in your business proposal.
Entrepreneurs bringing their ideas before investors are scrutinized about all aspects of their business plan. They are grilled on every detail of their ideas and products, from how much revenue they’ve generated so far, to how much it costs to make their products, and how much they’re selling their products for. If you don’t do well with confrontation, well, that’s something you’ll need to work on before pitching to an investor.
Investors are going to make an instant decision about you based on your pitch, and once they’ve formed an opinion, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to change their minds. So, the bottom line is to make sure you’re prepared before pitching your proposal to investors because they could be just what you need to launch your business, but if you mess up, you may never get that opportunity back. Here are the steps you should follow to pitch your startup to an investor.
Practice makes perfect
You should never stop practicing your pitch because, according to entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki, it takes about 25 tries to get it completely right. Plus, you should always be an expert on your business because after pitching to investors, you’ll have to pitch to clients and other business partners. You never really stop pitching. Ron Shapiro, author of Perfecting Your Pitch: How to Succeed in Business and in Life, recommends writing everything you want to cover down. Obviously, you will don’t to recite a speech when you’re giving your pitch and it’s going to involve some improvisation, but this way you don’t leave out anything important. Get feedback on your pitch from an unbiased source and rehearse it for anyone who will listen.
Do your research
In order to perfect your pitch, you have to know your audience and know your market. As HubSpot states, “Selling your idea is as much how well you present as it is the idea itself.” Do your homework and study the backgrounds of the investors you are bringing your pitch before so that you can anticipate their every move.
Get to the point
While you want to be over-prepared, that does not mean rambling on and telling the investors more than they need to hear at the risk of boring them. Get to the point. “Verbose presentations and lengthy explanations will not impress investors, and most likely will turn them off,” says Scott Gerber for Entrepreneur. Investors should be able to grasp what your business is all about in a short amount of time in order to bolster their confidence that customers will be on board too.
Tell a story
Many of entrepreneurs that get an offer from investors have a personal connection to their business, often accompanied by a sentimental story of what led them to their position. Investors want to see that you are passionate about your business. You must find the winning combination of emotion and logic, acting on emotions and then rationalizing with logic.