Are you thinking of going on Dragons’ Den, or pitching to venture capitalists or other investors to get some much needed cash for your next business venture? Well this guide has all the answers. This handy guide for entrepreneurs will give you insight into what investors expect when you pitch for investment and how to pitch professionally.
Most important message in the first 30 seconds
One of the most important things you need to understand about investors is: they are human, and like all humans they can get bored. Beware triggering boredom in investors. You want them to listen and be engaged for the whole pitch, not listen to the first few seconds and then doze off. Remember that the first 30 seconds of your pitch are the most important 30 seconds in the whole pitch. This is the short, fleeting timeframe when you are the most likely to have the full attention of your audience. To give a professional pitch, fill this 30 seconds with sharp and concise messages.
Tell the truth about your venture’s pitfalls or past mistakes, and be direct about gaps in your experience or knowledge. If you’ve had a financial emergency and have had to get business funding from providers like www.wongaforbusiness, for example, this won’t go against you if you give the reasons why and show why the finance was beneficial. You are not expected to be perfect but if an investor sniffs out a ‘porky pie’ in your story, they will be less likely to trust you with their cash.
Tell a story
Go ‘back to basics’ and tell your story in the most simple way possible. Tell your audience who you are, what you want and why investment is a good idea.
No ‘hard sell’
Be direct and factual. Don’t give investors the ‘hard sell’, or a lot of fluffy language. Instead give facts and figures and try to quantify the growth you would expect on the investment sought and the predicted timeframe for this growth. Give reasons for your expectations.
You can use communication tools like a powerpoint presentation to help you get your message across. Again, keep your presentation concise and to the point.
Use large font on your slides, if you prepare a powerpoint presentation because the text should be legible from a distance of about 10 feet.
Don’t ‘overcrowd’ your slides with too much information. You should be very selective about the information you include on a slide.
Investors have lots of cash, but this does not mean they know everything. You need to tell investors about your business venture in the most simple and concise way possible. You should avoid technical terms as much as possible and if you do use a technical term, be sure to give a simple explanation of it before you continue.
Round up financial figures
Make financials easy to understand by rounding them up or down and including a note somewhere that the figures are approximate. Investors don’t expect you to get your projections correct to the 10th decimal place, and a decimal point can be very hard to see from a distance of a few feet, which is where your audience is likely to be!