As an entrepreneur you will undoubtedly at some point in your career have to pitch your idea to potential investors. It is a fundamental aspect of entrepreneurial activity but is often viewed with great trepidation by many who find themselves in this position. Anyone who has watched the TV show Dragons Den will probably have felt that vicarious embarrassment when a pitch starts unravelling in front of the panel of investors.
However by following a few key points, presenting your pitch to an investor needn’t be a tortuous experience. Incubox have put together a quick guide of the most important factors to consider when preparing a pitch.
"Practice in front of a mirror at home until you feel comfortable."
Prepare your pitch well in advance of your meeting and rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Don’t rely on flash cards or bits of paper, you want to look directly at the investor when you tell them about your idea. Practice in front of a mirror at home until you feel comfortable with your script, and in front of friends and family to give you their honest opinion.
2.Short and sweet
Your pitch should be short and concise, ideally you should be able to convey your idea within maximum 10 minutes. Keep it factual and don’t waffle. If an investor hasn’t grasped your concept in 10 minutes or less, they will worry that potential customers may not either.
3.Explain your USP
"Identify clearly and concisely what is unique about your idea."
Tell a story about how you identified the opportunity that you’re pitching about and how your product or service addresses that problem in the marketplace.
Ensure you are able to clearly identify the target market for your product or service. Investors will want to know the potential size and characteristics of the target customer base so show that you have done your market research. Be realistic, it shows you are thinking strategically and don’t suggest at the pitch that the whole world is your potential market, even if it may be one day.
5.Facts and figures
Make sure you have a full understanding of the figures you are presenting, you need to be able to justify your projections. Including graphs and tables in your presentation is a quick and powerful way to get your figures across to the investor. Explain how your idea will generate revenue and detail your pricing strategy. Show your projected revenue over the next 3 to 5 years and back up your numbers by sharing your reasoning behind them.
Prove your commitment to your idea by explaining what you have already done and what your next moves are. Investors are likely to be more impressed by someone who has already committed demonstrable time and resources to a venture. Explain what you have already sacrificed and how determined you are to succeed; this shows commitment on your part.
The backbone of entrepreneurship is passion, that’s how you came up with your idea right? So you must convey your passion, be confident in your pitch and make the investor believe in you. Keep it realistic though, don’t make fabricated claims or over exaggerate that could work against you and put off the investor.
"The backbone of entrepreneurship is passion"
On a final note, think about how you present yourself on the day. Smart and suited suggests that you mean business. Although your heart may be pounding take a deep breath and try to remain calm, speak slowly and don’t forget to smile. You have a great idea, it’s time to share it with the world. Entrepreneurship is a journey, there will be many disappointments and rejections along the way but the key to success is to pick yourself up and keep going.
Learn from your mistakes and have conviction in your idea. If you need help or advice getting your idea off the ground, please visit our website for further details.