We have all watched the drama of Dragon’s Den unfold, but in reality pitching is quite different; it is doubtful you will receive a telling off and the infamous phrase ‘I’m out’ is unlikely to be uttered. In reality, the process is less straightforward. However, before attempting to part potential investors with their money, it is vital you are pitch perfect. In this post we ask the experts to give their top tips on a perfect pitch.
Work on the numbers
Let’s face it; the most important part of your pitch for potential investors is the figures. Your business plan must show you have interrogated the numbers and considered all potential expenditure – from the cost of company formation to a marketing budget. It is also important to show how you plan to fund future growth. Investors want to establish what their potential return will be over a five to seven year period and therefore it is vital you show them you understand the key financials of your business.
Show you understand your market
According to Oliver Green of Green Investments, many pitches fail because the entrepreneur focus to much on their business , failing to identify market trends, their competition or the demographic profile of their consumer base. As Green says “Investors are looking for businesses that know their market inside out.”
See the bigger picture
Allow yourself to move away from the relative benefits of your product or service; you are not selling to a potential customer, you are pitching to an investor. As Green states “Think strategically, show the investor that there is market demand, explain how your product or service meets that demand and then articulate how you plan to deliver and grow.”
Simplicity is key
Remember you are dealing with seasoned business professionals, who have potentially seen thousands of business plans just like yours. Keep it simple; identify your key objectives, define market demand and show them how you will address it. If they require more detail they will ask for it.
Show them you believe!
It is important to communicate your absolute confidence in your business. Tell them what it was about this business concept that made you sacrifice the stability of a 9-5 salary to begin the company formation process. Most investors will have no role in the day to day operation of the business they invest in; therefore it is vital they have faith in ambition drive and ability to make them money.
Honesty truly is the best policy
Investors don’t just invest in facts and figures, they invest in people. Therefore, it is vital you are honest about what you think your business can achieve so you inspire confidence and trust.