Pitching for funding can be the most nerve-racking and confronting few minutes of an entrepreneur’s life, so you need to be prepared and plan for success. Overcoming fear of the “pitch” is an exciting, adrenaline-filled experience that can be extremely profitable for all concerned.
Here are 4 fundamentals for successful pitching:
If you are unprepared or have a sloppy pitch, you are sure to frustrate and annoy investors. If you don’t know your numbers and how to sum up your business quickly and concisely to investors, you’re not going to get very far. Practise in front of the mirror or friends and family. Create prompt cards to refer to. Know your facts and figures so you can manage your nerves.
2. Honesty is the best policy
An investor is a shrewd individual. Successful businessmen and women are adept at sniffing out the fibs in any presentation. If you are caught in the act you will instantly lose all respect and your chances of investment. So be honest and remember they could offer your business a substantial financial boost, not to mention all the expertise and valuable contacts they can bring to the table. They won’t stake their disposable wealth on lies.
3. Know your facts and figures
If you have ever watched popular TV shows such as Dragons Den or Shark Tank, you’ll have seen many a nervous entrepreneur publically humiliated for not knowing their facts and figures. While a little extreme, this does push home a very valid point: to not know your current accounts and financial projections could be devastating to your presentation. Investors will always be looking at whether they believe your business will make a profit and whether you have the skills and knowledge to achieve their and your expectations. Your financial awareness is a major factor in their investment decision.
4. Have a Business Plan
To appreciate how your business has developed to date and what its plans are for the future are fundamental to the success of your venture and your presentation. Have a comprehensive business plan prepared so that anyone looking at it can appreciate its potential. If you have structured your business plan correctly, it should hold the answers to any questions the investors might throw at you.