It’s here: you are about to have your moment pitching your startup in front of potential investors. We don’t want you to fail at this critical moment (certainly not in this astounding face-plant pitch this entrepreneur experienced on Shark Tank recently). So, in order to help you succeed, take a look below for five tips to help you prepare for your pitch presentation.
Preparation Is EVERYTHING!
The actual pitch pretty much is somewhat akin to a postscript: it’s the pitch prep work you’ll do before you step in front of the investing group that means success, or not. There is absolutely no winging it at a pitch. Don’t prepare and you might as well not even attend the pitch. Preparation is that important.
Decide if you should even be the presenter.
Not all of us are dynamic speakers. The business may be your idea. You may be founder and CEO. You may be the partner who has poured the most money into the business, but if you’re not über-comfortable in front of a highly critical crowd, if you can’t make the pitch exciting and engaging, then you shouldn’t be the one doing the pitch.
If you are going to be the one pitching but you’re not the “numbers gal,” make sure she’s there to answer questions about financials.
Basically, your pitch should be made up of the following “sections”:
Evidence (of demand)
Request (for funding)
Purpose (of funding)
You should present these facts within the first few minutes of your pitch (three to five minutes). If this takes longer, your chances grow that you’ll lose your audience. In other words, you must be able to present your case with succinct and clear fundamentals quickly.
Once the intro is over, you’ll more than likely open your pitch to questions from your audience. These questions are going to be exceedingly probing and you will need to give concise and accurate answers. Questions at this point typically deal with your costs, profit margin, break-even points, net and gross figures, potential market growth, your debts/loans/current investors, how you plan to market your startup, how you plan to grow the business. Which brings us to….
What happens if you get some funding and your business soars? If you don’t have the systems and structures in place to handle your growth, you will fail. It happens all the time.
In fact, unless you have a growth structure/solid plan in place, chances are good potential investors won’t invest!
You need to lay a strong base before you even pitch. Hire a business advisor to help guide you in the right direction. Get some sales (your investors will need to see sales), have a marketing plan in place and follow it. You need to do these before ever asking investors for funding. You need traction. You need some growth.
Speaking of marketing, marketing automation is your friend, especially in the beginning.
Chances are great that your “staff” is small (and may only consist of you and just one or two partners). Proper marketing is critical in order to lay the aforementioned foundation and marketing automation – particularly as found in inbound marketing – can help grow your business greatly even before you ever consider pitching.
Inbound works to attract your perfect prospect to your website, providing him with the information he needs/wants, then guiding him along until he’s ready to buy. Because your guidance has consisted of providing reliable, well-researched information that answers his many questions and concerns, when he’s ready to buy, inbound marketing means he’ll buy from you rather than your competitors because he trusts your expertise. Inbound, in effect, makes you the go-to provider of goods/services in your market.
Don’t take our word for it: see inbound marketing’s incredible ROI for yourself
Ingenex Digital Marketing has been providing successful inbound marketing services to startups and other businesses for more than a decade. If you’d like to see how our strategies and tactics can bring highly targeted leads to your startup, contact us for a free consultation.