Delivering the right pitch to investors is probably one of the most important things you can do for a business. Delivering the right pitch could be a life changing moment as money and backing sets your business on a new more competitive path. I give my essential tips and advice on how to reach that goal.
I have included a rather cool Infographic from Guy Kawasaki who is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Guy was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google. He is also the author of The Art of Social Media.
Before the pitch or creation of a presentation you need to set yourself a goal. The goal to be able to clearly explain why and how your product answers a specific problem that is really out there.
Death by power point or any other presentation software is always a risk. It’s best to present your business in a manner that’s short, sweet and to the point. Investors need to be confident that your business will attract and retain customers. If they don’t understand your concept in a short time span, they may presume that customers won’t understand it either.
So your idea is fantastic and your pitch aims to get others to come along with you. Inspire investor confidence with facts, not fiction and even more important make sure those facts are true! Know the source of your facts and figures and ensure that they stand up. Be negative about your business and learn about the companies weaknesses
SWOT analysis will help you prepare and learning and exploring each Strength, Weakness , Opportunity and Threat is going to make for a stronger more confident you. Use it to identify what advantages you have, ask yourself what will outsiders think your weaknesses are. What is the competition doing and how does this effect your business. SWOT is a mixture of internal and external analysis and will give you a better strategy to achieve the best pitch possible
One of my personal strengths is being excited by a project and passing this on to the people around me. When pitching no one wants to listen to a boring fact sheet that has no passion for the business. Excite investors about your big picture, but be reasonable and responsible. Avoid bullshit pipe dreams and wild financial projections.
Show crowd funders and other investors that you have a grasp on reality with three versions of financial projections: best case, moderate case and worst case. Base each of these models on facts, past and present performance data, industry and competitor analyses and a series of well-thought-out, defendable assumptions.
It’s easy to spend other peoples money and investors need to know that you are frugal and spending on the right things. Running a business on a shoestring budget, low overheads, reasonable salaries is cool and demonstrating this reassures investors. Tell them how tight you are!
Normally investor money is needed to scale a business so you will need to prove some of the actions you will undertake to get that scale. Perfect your marketing tactics, sales strategies and operational procedures. Investors appreciate companies with sustainable step-and-repeat business models that are poised for exponential growth
Always bring someone along that can take the pressure off and knows more detailed parts of the plan than you. Using people wisely will mean that you will not be tempted to spout some bullshit when you don’t know. For me I would always bring in the financial wizard in the organisation. Winning credibility can be about having the right people around you.
Use the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. It’s quite simple: a pitch should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points. This rule is applicable for any presentation to reach agreement: for example, raising funds, selling your business, forming a partnership, etc. Ten is the optimal number of slides in a PowerPoint presentation because a normal human being cannot comprehend more than ten concepts in a meeting—and venture capitalists are very normal. If you must use more than ten slides to explain your business, you probably don’t have a viable business!