Written by Carlee Linden | Last Updated December 30th, 2019Carlee Linden is a Content Management Strategist for Best Company. Having majored in Writing Studies, Carlee spends her time refurbishing furniture, watching Netflix, and dreaming of vacationing in Australia.
Investors are used to hearing new business ideas from people wanting funding who will try just about anything to impress them. Most investors can recognize when they are working with some truly innovative and brilliant minds. Nonetheless, if you can’t use that brilliant mind to inspire and sell your ideas, they won’t invest. While the factual data and technical jargon might seem like the most interesting part of your presentation to you, investors want to see how you present that information and turn it into something that your audience can understand. And while your data presentation needs to be straightforward, you also need to make it attractive and well planned. If investors struggle to identify what your product does and what value it offers to customers, they’ll pass on your brilliant idea. Here are five ways to boost your pitch and get investors to fund your business:
1. Use PowerPoint
We don’t just mean a powerpoint on in the background with a bullet point list to remind you of your main points. Your powerpoint should be intriguing and say something about you and your company. Consider adding customer reviews and testimonials. Embed videos and customize your own templates. An investor will hear hundreds of business pitches, so make yours stand out. Nonetheless, be careful that you don’t go overboard. A cluttered powerpoint that distracts more than persuades is a turn-off for investors. If PowerPoint isn’t your style, you can choose from many alternatives.
2. Bring an executive summary
Throwing a 2” three ring binder at your investor with your entire 100-page business plan filled with financial details and projected growth patterns isn’t the best way to go. Most of the time an investor wants something short and simple, much like an executive summary. The summary provides a general overview of your entire business plan but spares all the nitty-gritty details. Make sure the investor has your summary, and then move on to your pitch. This will give you more time to articulate your business idea and save the investor from having to ask boring, generic questions.
3. Don’t speak negatively about the competition
New business owners should be confident in their ability to compete with other businesses. Forget about discussing what your competitors don’t have and start talking about what your company has to offer. Show that you have a plan to continue innovating to keep up with the market. Also, it’s very possible that your criticism will eventually get back to the competition. With social media, it’s likely there is someone who knows someone who heard you bad-mouthing the competition. This can create bad blood between the two companies and make further business opportunities unlikely. However, don’t ignore your competition altogether. Investors will see this as a sign of arrogance or naivety. Show investors that you know about the competition and explain how you plan on rising above others in the industry.
4. Get the investors involved
Believe it or not, investors are just like you and me. They get bored and can find themselves nodding off during your presentation. Instead of reeling off bullet points or rambling on about your burn rate, give investors something tangible for them to hold or provide something that will keep their attention. Have them test your product or service (if possible). Get them up and moving. Not only will this help them to remember your pitch but now they will have experienced what you are bringing to the table and can better visualize your product or service in the industry.
5. Talk about your current successes
You are confident in your business and expect it to change the world. That’s a good thing. But that could be years from now. Talk about the attention and achievements your company has gotten recently. Maybe your company had the opportunity to be showcased in a local magazine. Or a local news station wrote an article and published it online. This will show investors that your company is providing something that the public wants. Perhaps eventually your product will revolutionize society but, for now, stick to current successes.
Your pitch should represent you and your company. While it’s common to feel nervous, give yourself time to practice what you’re going to say, so you’ll feel more than ready to give a clear, composed business pitch.
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