Investors are essential for any business. And unless you have access to excess wealth, you are going to need a few of them to start your business.
They have access to funds, people, and assets that are valuable for your business to flourish. Unfortunately, there is intense competition in the corporate sector to get their attention. Therefore, you need to ensure that you stand out from the crowd when you represent your business.
To do this, you must know how to pitch your business idea.
Creating a successful pitch requires you to develop a thorough business plan. It helps you identify what makes your business valuable and what makes it worth the investment.
It is not the length of your pitch that makes investors look your way. It is how well you utilize the short amount of time you have to convince them that you are worth their time and money.
So here are some practical tips you can use as you make perhaps the most crucial pitch of your life:
1. Create a presentation
Presentations are a great way to summarize your business model with concise information. You can also add illustrations, statistics, and videos to entice investors.
It is also an excellent idea to collaborate with your partner (if you have one) or get a second opinion. This is because when you are filling out details, it is easy to overlook minute information.
Once you are happy with your presentation, make small notes or flashcards to help you while speaking. Ensure your presentation doesn’t drag on and gets right to the point.
2. Know your target market
You need to know who your business caters to. It would help if you did an online MBA to study your demographic from a business perspective and develop sound business acumen.
The course will help you understand consumer behavior, product advertisement, and marketing tactics to grow your business. So when you go in front of investors, you will have a better grasp of your business vision and goals – you’ll know what you’re talking about.
It prevents you from sounding generic and shows you know your business.
3. Practice your pitch
Practicing helps you pace yourself for the real deal. It will also help you see the flaws in your pitch, and you can work on them right away.
Practicing also enables you to time yourself and check if you can present everything within a short window. You also get a chance to review your body language. You don’t want to come across as nervous or look unserious.
It also helps you maintain eye contact and transition between glancing at your notes and looking at investors. You can even ask your business partner to listen to you and guide you where to take pauses. Pro tip: practice in front of a mirror first.
4. Have a compelling introduction
No one wants to sit through a pitch that sounds like a lecture or watching you read off your notes. It would help if you influenced the environment from the start.
Start with a compelling introduction. You can open with a factual statement and add a story to it. You can create a hypothetical scenario and add more details that lead to the purpose of your pitch. It will help if you research your investors to know how to carry your introduction.
Perhaps you can find relatable elements in your investor’s business motto, and you can add them to your opening monologue.
5. Talk about problems businesses face
Delve into where you think businesses may struggle and how you overcome them. They could be anything from current business problems such as lack of representation to future issues.
It helps investors see how self-aware you are when conducting business and managing risk/crises. You understand where the economy may be lagging. It also shows you have given some thought to solving these issues.
This is a good approach since you want your investors to know that you are serious about utilizing their money smartly.
6. Talk about how you intend to generate revenue
Investors need to know how you will generate money. This is the most important slide for them since it will give them insight into how you plan on using their money.
So while you present your products, ensure you talk about their impact on the market. Go into details about why their pricing is a specific way and how you intend to advertise them to the appropriate demographic. As long as you keep them in the loop about your business, investors will be interested.
7. Mention how you will reach your customers
You can’t ignore your marketing strategies. Investors need to know how well you utilize resources to connect with your consumers. This is an excellent time to talk about consumer behavior and mentality, which you can correlate with the marketing strategies that you’ve used.
Talk about different marketing strategies and present numerical findings on which techniques are helpful. You can delve into technology business ideas, advertisements and use AI and machine learning to reach its customers and enhance the user experience.
8. Talk about your team
Investors need to know the powerhouse behind your business. While they may know you, they also need to know how good you are at identifying talent and hiring it.
Share details about your team and how exceptional they have been in propagating your business idea forward. You can even share the innovations they brought to the table. It would help if you also talked about what each department in your business looks like and how you pick each team leader.
9. Discuss your competition
Knowing your competition and what services they sell makes it easy to draft a comparison report. You want investors to take notice of your business and what makes you so different.
List all your competitors and their business model and note where you have the edge over your competition. The ultimate goal of your pitch is to inform your investors of every aspect of your business and maintain maximum transparency. So don’t skip this slide.
10. Present your monetary needs
No business can function without money. You had to lay down cash to start your company.
It would help if you informed investors how much cash is already a part of your business. You should also explain why you needed that amount and how you got a higher return on investment. Indulge investors on how much more money you’ll need and how many times you will need these funds.
Keep in mind that investors invest a large sum of money at a time. This amount needs proper channeling, so unless you know how to steer the cash flow to profit, investors can’t help you.
Wrap Up: Pitch Your Ideas to Potential Investors
Businesses are always looking for investors for their money, and they need to decide where they want to put their money. You get selective opportunities to pitch in front of them, so make it count.
Preparation is key. Pour your knowledge and insights into creating a presentation. You may want to quote financial figures and statistics to show how successfully your business stands.
Don’t hesitate to talk about your competition and how you are competing with them. Dive into details about your business motto and what the market means to you. As long as you can cover all these essential details, you will get investors.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.