Starting your own company is difficult. Even if you have a good business plan, you probably lack the money. That is why a lot of people decide to pitch their startups to the investors. This can be a stressful process, which is why we gathered these “Do’s” and “Don’ts” from 5 expert investors to help you succeed in your pitch.
To make a successful pitch to your investors you need to show that you are in control says, Brian Cohen. You need to anticipate important questions and be ready to answer them in-depth and with confidence. The next thing you need to do is show your investors what your business is, why will people buy your products and how do you plan on making a profit. Also, tell your investors how will you spend their money, describe your product development and how will their investment help it grow. But one thing you shouldn’t do in Brian’s opinion is talk about advertising and marketing for your product. The last thing you should do during your pitch (according to Brian), is say how much money you need for your business – there is no reason to be shy about it.
Jeff Paine has two important tips for any entrepreneur: clarity and understanding of your startup. First of all, to get any investor interested in your business, your presentation needs to be as clear as possible. Your slides need to support what you are saying, and not leave investors confused, or you will lose their attention. Make your presentation simple (not cluttered), with no more than three points on each slide. Steve Jobs was an expert in this – his presentations were simple, making him the star of the show. Understanding your startup is essential. You need to know all of your startup’s technical offers and how will the targeted market benefit from it. If you are not comfortable answering technical questions about your business, then you are not ready to face the investors.
When pitching your business to the investors you need to have a foolproof financial plan, according to experts from Pherrus Financial Services. Your business plan needs to have an economic, legal and financial backing if you want to gain the complete trust of your investors. During your presentation, investors need to see a clear direction in which your company will move if they decide to back you up. If you don’t have your taxes and finances sorted out, no one will invest in your business. Hire an expert to help you with this and then try to pitch it to the investors.
In David Rose’s opinion, angel pitches should be 15 minutes long and Venture Capital meetings not more than 30 minutes. For David, it is all about the efficiency and passion. You need to show your heart, integrity, and conviction that you will succeed at all costs. You should come well prepared for your angel pitch and hand out prospects with more details about your business. The biggest “Don’t” for David Rose is talking and reading from the screen. During your pitch make eye contact, pay attention to your body language and try to make a connection with your investors.
For Tom Williams, if you have a good quality company and pitch, you can get investors from any part of the world. But, you need to learn how to lead a meeting when you are pitching to a VC – they will often know within a first few minutes if your company is worth their investment. Also, when pitching, focus on the emotional and not the intellectual – investors like to see that you really care about your business and that you wouldn’t give up on it easily. For the investors, numbers and data aren’t important in the beginning – they look to form a relationship with their business partners.
A strong presentation will help you reinforce your case to the investors, it will show that you understand your business and where you will be in the future, when you succeed in raising money. Remember these tips during your next pitch and we hope that they will help you ace it, as well as impress your investors.