For startup and SME leaders, pitching to investors is a daunting task no matter how experienced you are with the process. Condensing your entire business into a three- to five-minute presentation can seem impossible, especially for founders who have dedicated their lives to the business and could speak about it for hours. But a pitch needs to be short and snappy to engage investors – after all, it’s your one chance to make a lasting impression. So what exactly makes a pitch stand out from the rest? Here are five tips.
There’s a time and place to highlight every fine detail of your business – but a pitch is not that time. The average venture capital investor will look at a pitch for 3 minutes and 44 seconds before deciding whether or not to invest – cut throat, we know. Because of that, the pitch has to showcase the most vital, attention-grabbing information about your business. Think of it as a three-part pyramid: get the most vital information at the top, secondary information following that, and nice-to-knows at the end. Don’t risk losing your investor in the first few sentences.
Solve the problem
What problem is this pitch solving? That’s the golden ticket to an investor’s buy-in. Create your pitch with this question front-of-mind for every page or slide in your pitch presentation. Answer the question time and time again, and tell that potential investor how your company has created a unique and necessary solution to a real problem.
Present Market Research
Part of making the case that your solution is a necessary one is showing the market research. Research is a major pillar for investors, especially those who don’t operate within your industry. To be relevant and compelling, your research should demonstrate two main things: that there is a need for and a market for your product or service. This section is often make-or-break for investors because it demonstrates not only that your offering has legs, but also that the leaders of your business are well prepared and market-savvy. At the end of the day, investors want to put money into ventures that will get them one key thing: a solid return on their investment.
It stands to reason that investors would have a keen interest in the financial aspect of your business. The financial information, including a minimum three-year growth plan and your planned revenue and expenses, helps potential investors understand how strong the growth projection of your company is.
Many founders stumble in the financial section by including unrealistic numbers or by including so many numbers that it’s difficult to understand (remember what we said earlier about simplifying things). Tackle this section well, and you’ll show investors that you’re ambitious, yet realistic, about the potential of the business. No one wants to work with a founder whose head is in the clouds.
Need more help?
Creating a pitch that will appeal to investors is no small feat. For more help, watch as Bhavik Chauhan, our VP Business Development and Marketing, presents his Raising Money Mastery: The Secret to an Impressive Pitch Deck workshop. Our team at [email protected] is also available to answer your questions about how we can support your business venture. Get in touch!