There are 137,000 businesses being birthed each day worldwide.
Each of these businesses have one common theme: the need for capital. Some of these entrepreneurs will have enough saved up to fuel their ventures.
Others will have good credit, enabling them to take investment loans. For others, their journey to seeking investors will determine whether their business will see the light of day, or remain a pipe dream.
If you are among those seeking an investor, a superb business pitch will be just as important as a superior product and business plan.
Here are the ten features of a winning pitch, to prepare you for your date with investors.
1. Brief and Precise
A pitch should be able to cover its major selling points within the first minute and a half to be impactful.
For you, this means crafting a different pitch for each audience you have. Personalizing it in this way allows you to be able to address your audiences’ interests directly and sufficiently.
Highlight the problem your solution seeks to address. Explore how your product will make people’s lives much better or easier.
If you have a time frame, go over your talking points severally to ensure you do not exceed your time slot. It would also disadvantage you to use a fraction of your time and leave out an important aspect of your pitch.
2. Know Your Stuff Well
This speaks to preparedness. The best way to be prepared and to be confident during your pitch is by knowing your stuff backward.
Most pitches have a Q&A session towards the end. However, investors can also interrupt your pitch to ask questions and seek clarifications.
This makes it imperative to know your business plan inside out. Think about all the possible questions you might have to answer.
Similarly, have mock pitching sessions with other business people and see which questions might come up.
3. Humanize Your Business Pitch
Investors are human, and they respond to the same stimuli as other human beings.
Aside from looking to back businesses with great potential, they are also looking for someone they have a connection with.
This is where your background research comes into play. Use the information you have on your audience to highlight different aspects of your startup story.
If there are any similarities between their journey and yours, use antidotes and off-the-cuff narrations that will help build a rapport with the attendees.
However, remain respectful, avoid political and religious antidotes and read the room well.
4. Bring Social Proof
Social proof can be in the form of testimonials from end users. If the product is not out in the market yet, you can have mock testing with your acquaintances and get honest feedback about what you are offering.
This shows investors the real value of your product, insights into how real people will use it and demonstrates the market potential for it.
5. Show, Don’t Just Tell
The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it does text. Images are also more entertaining and memorable.
If you are able to have a short clip put together, this would be a great, out-of-the-box way to present your pitch. It also takes off some pressure off of yourself.
Nonetheless, graphics are only enhancers; do not rely on them totally.
Also, ensure to pair the right technology with the best gadgets you have to minimize the chances of embarrassing malfunction mid-pitch.
If you are offering a product, this is the time to hand it out and do demos to allow investors to get a first-hand experience of what they will be potentially investing in.
6. Explain Your Business Model
This should include how you are doing things currently and the changes you would make if you had financial backing.
Discuss your marketing mix, competitors, and how you aim to clinch a larger market share as well as proprietary technology.
If you have any impressive metrics, highlight these as well.
7. Discuss Numbers
While too many figures can make your pitch dull, you still need them to make your case.
The key ones include the capital you need, your overheads, the number of hires, profitability, and ROI have to be part of your pitch.
Aside from this, be ready to back up any claims and numbers you give out. Doing so intelligently and confidently is one way to demonstrate your preparedness and to boost investor confidence.
8. Passion and Enthusiasm
Do not shy away from letting your passion and enthusiasm for your business shine through.
If you cannot relay your passion in your pitch, it will be hard for anyone else to feel passionate about it-or back it.
Numbers, market research, and a sound product are great. However, ultimately, passion communicates your drive and your will to push through challenges and see your business succeed.
For people about to give their money to back your idea, these are important factors.
9. Practice, Practice, practice
Not all people are confident speaking in front of an audience. Nerves, coupled with the significance of your pitch to your startup can make for some hilarious goofs. Unfortunately, these might cost you your dream.
One way to beat nerves is through doing several dry runs of your pitch. You want to master your tone and volume of voice.
You want to work on gestures and full-body movement. You also want to look at your slides and visuals and be comfortable handling the equipment.
Key of all, you need to master your content and your figures so that your investment pitch is relaxed and conversational.
A good mastery of content also reduces the need to rely on your props, meaning you can make more eye contact and deliver a more organic pitch.
10. What Do You Want?
Ultimately, this is what it comes down to. After all the song and dance, what is it that you want, and what are you giving in return?
This calls for specifics:
• Do you want an investment or a partnership?
• What percentage in stake will you be giving up?
• What about control of the company?
• How do you intend to channel the money?
Be concise about all these asks. At this point, it’s okay to put this information out there.
If you gain enough traction with the investors, you will have time for back and forth discussions on a final deal.
Seal the Deal
Keep in mind that a business pitch can have several rounds of discussions before funding.
For this reason, you need to keep your energy and passion up for subsequent discussions. You also need to continue building traction as time goes by so as not to lose the attention of the investor.
One way to do this is by leveraging technology. At Tartlabs, we help startups like yours build the best technologies to support their business. Contact us today and let us discuss which digital platforms will elevate your startup to the next level.