Average investors give you little of their time for a pitch, which is highly stressful when a pitch could change the entire course of your life and business. It makes learning how to use your time wisely seem like a daunting task. This is why it’s crucial to come up with a solid game plan well before the big day. Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Keep Your Presentation Clear, Simple, and Short
A study of over 200 pitch decks shows that investors spend an average of roughly 4 minutes going through a pitch, so making sure you stick to the main points and nothing but is key. Rambling need not apply here. It’s time to get down to business. Use trusted time savers like bullet points and charts to get your point across and cut down time. Be as clear and concise as possible.
2. Start With An Icebreaker Elevator Pitch
Introduce your business and the value it offers the world in a memorable way. It could be humorous, it could be emotional, or it could be odd. Whichever way you choose, it should stay true to your brand and the vision you have for your company and spark interest in it. This elevator pitch will help investors recall your company as well as give them an indication of your company culture.
3. Explain The Problem & Your Solution
Explain the problem you’re solving to your investors as well as how you will provide a solution. Provide the research you’ve collected showing that your solution is seen as valuable in the market, as well as its potential reach new markets. Be sure to include graphs that show market trends or increases in revenue to get your point across more quickly.
4. Discuss Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Include your company’s strengths AND weaknesses. No company is perfect and investors will see right through any attempt to present your company in this light. The fact is that many companies have great ideas, but even with funding, it's possible they could not be the best fit to carry out their pitch for any number of reasons.
This is why it’s essential to be honest from the start, because your investor may have the connections to assist you. Present your weaknesses in this way, by explaining how receiving additional resources from these potential investors would help you minimize them. This shows that your company is thinking ahead to the long term goals and strategies and constantly working to improve.
Address your company strengths and how they will help you carry out your pitch, and how they help your company stand out from the competition. Don't forget to present the investments your company has received as well as growth forecasts.
5. Hype Your Team
Briefly discuss your wins as a business and rotate in the key players who contributed to them. This shows that your company is indeed a team and not a one-person show. These wins are your most successful products and services, your main sources of revenue, and any other game-changing moves that helped your company grow tremendously.
Do the same for any major setbacks you company has overcome. This shows how resourceful your company is, how your team reacts to adversity, and how committed your team is to succeed.
6. Show You Understand the Competitive Landscape
Show that you understand the competitive landscape and how your company can adapts its strategy to it. Talk about your own standing and how you aim to take a bigger chunk out of the market share. Show investors that you understand what strengths the competitors in front of you hold and what you need to do to surpass them. Or, alternatively, how you plan to maintain and expand if they are not.
7. Research Your Investors
It’s important to not approach your investors with a one-presentation fits all approach. Even just a minor tweak here and there to suit their tastes can make a huge difference for your company. Research what they’re shown interest in, and if that aligns with you company, include that in your presentation.
This is essentially asking yourself how you can make your presentation better for them. What draws them in the most? What other companies have they invested in? What are the commonalities you can find? Make sure to show examples of those same things in your own business.
Don’t make that the forefront if it’s not a strength, but it could be something to give your company an edge if investors are on the fence. If there aren’t commonalities, don’t panic. That could just mean they’re trying something new with your company, so stay focused on you strengths.
8. BONUS: Be Confident
By being clear, concise, and encourage everyone to speak confidently. Give your investors the information they need to fully understand your company and your plans for the future, you are helping them see your vision and if they should become a part of it. Use your time well, be confident, and you will succeed. By agreeing to meet with you, investors are showing that they do believe in your company. Now it’s time to bring it home the bacon.