Every day, more and more people start new businesses, making it increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd. Perfecting your startup pitch is the best way to get the attention of potential investors. Follow these tips to wow them and get the seed money you need.
1. Build a Great Company
Investors are often savvy businesspeople, and they can see right through the standard pitch process tactics. The best way to impress them is not to use manipulative tactics or go on and on about your sales process; the key to getting funding is to build a great company.
Sure, that is difficult – but if you don't have a great idea, you have no business pitching it to investors. Now is the time to go big or go home.
There is always a compelling story behind a great company or idea. Use your pitch to share it. Potential investors want to hear your passion, why you got started and where you plan to go.
2. Don't Skip the Basics
You will captivate investors with your story, but once you have their attention, it is time to outline the basic nuts and bolts of your startup plan. Be prepared to give details about your team, problem, solutions, market, customers, financial background, business model, competition, vision and funding. Include a demo of your product or a very detailed mockup. Sharing this information builds trust with investors, and gaining that is the most important step toward getting funding.
3. Get Excited!
Investors will not be excited about your idea unless you are. Your goal is to engage your audience, and you do that by showing your energy and passion. Instead of memorizing your script word-for-word, use it as an outline and speak from your heart. Investors want to know the real you.
4. Be Honest.
Entertain and engage your audience without going overboard. Never leave out critical information or massage your numbers. Of course you want to show your company in the best light, but an investor who uncovers something you left out or misrepresented will question your credibility.
5. Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.
This one is so important it had to be said three times. It doesn't matter if you have a stellar presentation, make the investors laugh and have an amazing demo, if you cannot answer their questions with well thought-out answers, you won't get funding. Before you even think about setting a meeting, research your market, your competition and every aspect of your industry. While you are at it, research the investors themselves. Know who you are pitching to and be able to communicate why the particular investors would be great partners for your business.