Starting a small business requires capital, and many owners present their business plans to investors and venture capitalists to obtain funding. To be successful, its important to keep in mind that potential capital suppliers listen to business pitches daily. Thus, your company needs to find ways to set itself apart and stand out. A well-planned and executed pitch can be the key to swaying your investor audience. Read about six pointers for walking away with the capital your small business needs to get off the ground.
Time is Money
Every second an investor spends with your presentation is time spent away from other pursuits that could be making them more money or guaranteed returns on previous investments. Investors are already investing in your business just by agreeing to hear your proposal, so make sure that it’s worth their time.
Your presentation should be comprehensive and cover any relevant information, but dont spend extensive amounts of time talking in-depth about details investors dont need to know to make a decision. The focus should remain on how you are going to use the money to generate a substantial return. The goal is to keep their interest, communicate all vital information, and leave them wanting not needing to know more. Aim for a presentation that is no longer than twenty minutes.
Bring Your All-Stars
Investors are not simply putting money into your idea they’re investing in you and the team you work with. Give investors reasons to support you by sharing your background, skills, and level of expertise, making sure to show the value connection it has to the success of your business. Unless you’re the sole employee of your business, this should be followed by introducing some members of your team. Since time is of the essence, bring the most competent and experienced members of your team with you to the presentation. Make sure to highlight their unique skills and how they will contribute to enacting your business plan.
Investors funnel money into good ideas that offer them a considerable return on their investment. Your business pitch needs to be delivered perfectly so that investors take notice no investor puts money into a company with a poorly-pitched concept.
Spend ample amounts of time doing run-throughs of the pitch with every team member that will be involved. Consider doing these practice runs in front of people that will give you honest feedback. As you tweak your presentation, do additional run-throughs in front of strangers to see how well your message is communicated to individuals unfamiliar with the information you’re presenting.
The first impression that you give investors may be the only impression that sticks with them. You and your team should dress professionally and fashionably, without being too trendy. If your team will be with you onstage during the presentation, coordinate your outfits with matching or complimentary colours.
It’s also a good idea to consider matching at least part of your outfit to the visual presentation. If you are utilizing a slideshow which is advisable highlight key pieces of text in a different colour, then match part of what you wear to that colour. While it may seem contrived to have every team member wearing the same colour, this is an option to think about if your company has specific colours for branding. The goal is to be remembered once the presentation is done. Coordinating outfits with team members and visual aids will present a united, cohesive front to the investor and a pop or two of colour helps make you more memorable.
Facts and Figures
Before presenting, make sure youve done your due diligence. Your presentation needs to include exact or approximated figures regarding how much it will cost to execute your business model, how you will reach target customers, how much this will cost, and estimated or sample returns on the capital that you receive from investors. Time is valuable, but this portion of your presentation is extremely relevant to potential investors. Be honest, but be optimistic. Present realistic numbers and goals that show investors your companys products or services are worth any necessary upfront costs. Substantiate any claims you make with the data youve generated. Finally, be prepared to answer any specific questions with actual projections and tangible information.
Don’t Rush It
There’s no doubt that you’re excited about the business that you want to build. Positive data and projections youve accumulated for the presentation make you even more eager to share with investors. Keep in mind that these investors are hearing about your business for the first time and are not yet personally invested in it like you are. Speak slowly and avoid rushing through one piece of information to get to the next. Potential investors need time to soak in the information being presented. Having succinct keywords and facts on visual slides can help to convey the information more effectively.