Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur? Do you have a fantastic product or idea and you are looking for how to effectively pitch this to investors to attract funding or mentor-ship? Look no further. We've compiled few basic things you need to know and do, when pitching your business or idea to investors. These things cut across the different types of investor pitches elevator, short form, and long form so whichever one you find yourself doing, we've got you.
As a business owner or entrepreneur, you need to be clear on the solution you are providing through your product when pitching. You also need to be clear on what you are asking investors for. Is it funding, is it support, is it shadowing or for them to incubate your idea? Be very clear.
- Be very clear
It can be tempting to want to fit everything you are doing into the 1-minute elevator pitch, or the 5-10 minutes short form pitch. Avoid this temptation and keep your pitch short. You don't want to fail to get the important points across before the time runs out or talk so much and look like you're trying too hard. One way to keep things short is to identify the most important points that clearly communicate what you do, what you have achieved and aspirations for the future, make a short list, and stick to it.
- Keep it short
Make factual and irrefutable statements that can induce interest and make your listeners and potential investors want to know more about your idea, business or product. You can employ data/numbers to show the impact of your work and customers/consumers feedback. This usually helps investors to further see prospects and reasons to invest in your idea, business, or product. It also communicates to them that you pay attention to details.
- Be compelling
What do you do? How do you do it? What do you want? What can investors do for you? You need to be specific when pitching, especially during the short and long form pitch where you share information about your product or business and how investors can invest in it. Being specific will ensure you don't rant on and either bore or annoy your listener. It will also communicate that you put effort into your pitch and you know what you are doing. However, be sure to give right and accurate information.
- Be specific
Pitching before investors can be challenging, especially if it's your first time. At the back of your mind, however, should be the guiding knowledge that you are speaking to humans like yourself. Therefore, be confident when you pitch. Investors don't want to bet on someone who is timid and cannot expressively communicate what they do.
- Be Bold
Whatever you are pitching about, be passionate. Passion, shown through your speech and carriage, is an attractive thing to investors. It can show that you care about the problem you are solving through your product or business; it can also show that you're original.
- Be Passionate
Every investor is not for you. Every conference, summit, hackathons, is not the place for you to pitch your idea. Be strategic enough to identify investors with a track record of providing support for your area of business and idea and target those. Also, deliberately position yourself to engage people. Usually, the informal kind of pitches you meet someone at an event and you talk about different things, including what you both do also work. Look out for people who can help and engage them.
- Be Strategic and Deliberate
It can be tempting to say subjective things like people like our products, or our customers give good feedback. What you are saying may be correct, people may love your project, give a fabulous recommendation on social media and provide positive feedback, but instead of these subjective facts, try using objective data, numbers, percentages, charts, diagrams, etc. as evidence. Investors like to see that what you are saying is true and more often than not, data used to back-up subjective statements, go a long way in convincing them. It is also important to have a business card and take it along to events or anywhere you are pitching. You may need to share contacts with a potential investor and you don't want to have to dictate or scribble your phone number on paper. All the best as you pitch!
- Show don't tell