Let’s face it. Every great idea needs execution, and that takes money. A whole lot of it! This is where angel investors and venture capitalists come in. Top VC’s and investors are always on the lookout for that one golden-goose start-up that is going to churn them a whole lot of money. That’s why they’re called ‘investors’, du-uh!
It is easy to get carried away with your start-up’s potential but it is equally important to break it down into a perfect pitch that can help you sell your idea to investors. Here are a few tips that can help you deliver a winning pitch!
1. Rehearse Rehearse Rehearse!
We know, no one knows your business better than you do. You’d think you can perfectly explain your business but even the best orators crash and burn on D-Day. It is important to rehearse and choose your words wisely. This will give you confidence, which is a key characteristic that most investors are looking for in entrepreneurs. The ‘uhhs’ and ‘umms’ don’t do much to sell your ideas. Rehearse and deliver.
2. Keep it short
Pitching is the most important phase in your start-up, but keep in mind that investors and VC’s hear pitches throughout the day. There is nothing more irritating than repeating clichéd catch phrases like, ‘We’ll change the World’ or ‘This is the new Facebook’, even if it is. Try to keep your pitch short, sweet and impactful. A ten minute pitch is golden and will also give you time to answer any questions the investors may have.
3. Stories always win
Turn your pitch into a story. Share your Eureka moment and try to engage the audience. Focus on the problems you are solving. If people relate with you, they will perk up and give you more attention. You are aiming for people to go, “Aha! I get it!”
Again, rehearsing the pitch will let you improve the stories you tell, furthering your chances of getting funded!
4. Business Model
So many start-ups create wonderful products, but skim over the ‘boring’ parts such as their revenue plan and business model. What do you need the money for? How do you plan to scale your business and acquire customers? What are the costs? Do you need to hire a sales team? Answer these questions in your pitch before they are even asked. This exudes understanding of the marketplace and is always appreciated. Investors need to know their money isn’t being used to buy a hot-tub!
5. Your competition
Unless your start-up has invented time-travel or is dealing in rocks from Jupiter, you are bound to have competition. What sets you apart from them? Why will the customer choose you over an already established business? Create a comparative chart with all the numbers. This will help investors understand your angle and value proposition. Show them realistic growth projections and make them understand why your business is worth investing in.
Words have the power to move people and start revolutions. If chosen carefully, your words can be the difference in getting your start-up funded or booted from the VC’s office. Take the time to write your pitch and practice till you can deliver it flawlessly. Good luck and happy pitching!