So, you’ve decided to finally go for it and start a new business venture. If you don’t have a lot of startup capital, you’ll need investors—and to get those, you’ll need a pitch. Here are seven tips that will help you deliver a smart, confident, solid pitch that makes your business sound like the opportunity of a lifetime.
Entrepreneurs often get wrapped up in selling their idea, and forget another crucial component of roping in investment dollars: proving that they know what they’re doing. Your pitch should demonstrate that you’re not just another dreamer, but a solid, proven businessman or woman who is capable of bringing your idea to life. Show off any notable successes, accomplishments, and milestones you’ve had in previous projects, and note how you’ll be able to achieve the same in your new venture.
Keep it short & sweet
As much as you’d like to show potential investors every step of your thought process, try to pare your pitch down to the essentials. It’s also a good idea to time yourself while practicing your pitch. If you promise your audience that you’ll only take 20 minutes of their time, be sure that you really do. You should also keep it simple–there’s no need to dress up your pitch with tech speak and industry jargon. Your language should be just as accessible to your local repair man as it is to an industry executive.
Don’t try to impress your audience by throwing around huge numbers and growth projections. Most investors will be inclined to roll their eyes, and you’ll look more naïve than inspiring. Instead, provide fact-based, responsible projections that are grounded in research. Share information like your current cash flow, your past performance data, and your industry/competitor analysis in order to demonstrate that you have a firm grasp on reality.
Practice out loud
Practice your pitch until you can do it in your sleep. More importantly, practice it out loud—in front of a mirror, friend, pet, or stuffed animal (hey, we’re not here to judge). Since your pitch will be delivered orally, practicing orally will help you iron out any quivers, “likes”, and “ums”. It can also be extremely helpful to record yourself—most smartphones come with a free recording app—and listen to how you sound.
Tell us a little about yourself.
It’s often said that investors invest in people first, ideas second. In fact, it’s entirely possible to stumble in your pitch, yet still be so likeable that an opportunity opens up anyway. Don’t be afraid to mention who you are, your driving passions, and your reasons for starting the project—just be brief.
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