Sweaty palms, agitation and drinking lots of water? Sounds like you’ve got an investment pitch coming up.
For a new entrepreneur, pitching an idea to investors can seem like a terrifying prospect that has the potential to break your carefully crafted pitch into a million pieces.
While you may not be going on Dragon’s Den, investment pitches are always nerve-wracking. To help you through it, and give you a better chance of getting funding, we’ve come up with some top tips on how to keep your cool in the boardroom.
Consider the platform
Different start-ups will approach their potential investors differently depending on their product. Something creative that will capture the imagination of the masses may not be best pitched to a few high up investors, but instead to everyone who will buy the product.
Crowdfunding pages like Kickstarter can give a huge helping hand to aspiring entrepreneurs who don’t think their proposal will fit the bill for a handful of investors, but will capture the attention of the people who need it most.
In this instance, you need to prepare your pitch in a slightly different way than you would if you were giving it in person. For crowdfunding pages, an attractive video that hooks visitors in is a must. You need to think visually, so get a professional videographer on board. It may seem expensive for a pitch, but will be well worth the return.
Once you’ve chosen how you’ll be pitching, choose how you’ll sell your product. It’s important to remember that investors aren’t just investing in the product, they’re investing in you and your own values, as well as the company’s.
Talk about what you find important, how buyers will relate to this and why they should choose to invest in you. What are you contributing to the market that’s so different from everyone else? Play on these differences to give investors a look into how you’ll make a change.
Losing focus is a huge put-off for investors, so you need to stay at the top of your game at all times. If you’re meeting for a face-to-face pitch, dress smartly but also in something that’s comfortable. Your outfit should not be memorable to the investor or to you – but what you say should be.
You should also avoid using too much tech that will distract from your pitch. Unless this is integral to the product and the message you’re giving, leave the fancy Powerpoint features and get straight to it.
Know your numbers
Stumbling on your numbers is a sure way to get yourself a ticket out of the boardroom. You only have to forget one figure to judged for unprofessionalism before you’ve blown the whole thing, so don’t leave it to chance.
Before you make your pitch, ensure you know everything you need to. Your annual turnover, your net profit, what goes out of the petty cash – absolutely everything should be ingrained in your memory by the time investment proposal day arrives.
Prepare for questions
As anyone who has ever watched Dragon’s Den will know, the questions you’ll have to tackle once your pitch is over can be tough if you don’t have an answer ready. Preparation and keeping your cool go hand in hand when it comes to being scrutinised by potential investors, so don’t underestimate what some last minute reading up can do.
Consider what they may ask you in the weeks running up to the pitch. This way you can prepare answers from different angles be ready when they pop up.
Have you got a big pitch coming up? Or are you starting a crowdfunding page? Leave your comments in the section below!