The difference between a startup succeeding or failing sometimes isn’t about the quality of the idea or product or even the skill and determination of its founders—promising ventures can just as easily be thwarted by a lack of funding. Every startup business reaches a point where continued progress requires additional capital. But how do you convince potential investors to fund you?
Entrepreneur, bestselling author, and digital marketer Neil Patel learned that you can have a great idea that fails to attract investors when he tried to get funding for his first company. That experience gave him the insight he needed to successfully launch his next big venture. Here are his top tips for pitching to investors:
Perfect Your Elevator Speech For A Presentation Deck
You may not actually be pitching your company during a chance elevator ride with a potential investor, but you need to be prepared to present your idea succinctly (ideally in 30 seconds or less), completely enough that your listener understands the fundamental points. Your elevator speech has to cover what you do, the problem you solve, and what sets your product or service apart from the competition. Ideally, the person hearing it will want to hear more and will ask follow-up questions.
An elevator speech is an introduction rather than a deal-closer. When you’ve made that connection, get their contact information and stay in touch. The larger your professional network, the more likely you are to be able to connect to the funding source you’re looking for.
Understanding Your Investors’ Mindset
A pitch is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Whether you’re presenting to a single investor or a room full of them, you need to know their background and tailor your presentation accordingly. For example, do they know your industry, and have they invested in it before? Are they new to investing in startups? Do they have an entrepreneurial background? Do they prefer to have a hands-on role in any startups they’re involved with, or would they rather leave the running of the business to you and your team? Use what you learn to individualize your pitch for your audience.
How To Present Data
Solid data and clear planning are not optional when you are asking people to fund your startup. What numbers do you have to show what you’ve done and where you’re going? What’s your business plan, revenue model, marketing plan, and succession plan? Serious investors are going to want to know how your business is going to be profitable, what steps you’ve already taken toward that goal, and how you intend to ensure the continuity of the enterprise into the future. It’s okay if your numbers are small, as long as they’re real—transparency gives your investors confidence in what you’re telling them.
What To Wear For An Investor Pitch
When you’re meeting with business people, you should dress professionally. After all, a pitch is like a job interview. Your appearance is part of the impression you create, and you want that impression to be good. When in doubt, err on the side of more formal business attire.
Sell It with Storytelling
When you’re given a limited amount of time to present your idea, a compelling story backed up with a few key facts is the best way to engage your audience. If your audience doesn’t understand what you do and why it’s important, they’re not going to be interested in hearing more. Storytelling helps you structure your pitch in a way that naturally conveys the who, what, and why of your company clearly while building an emotional connection with your potential investors.
Your Solution With Motion Graphics
When you’ve only got one chance to get your message right, Squash & Stretch Productions is your answer. We can optimize your story with motion graphics to help you reach your business goals. We work with you to tell your story to its full potential, and we can create custom animations that present that story concisely and clearly. Our services are designed to help you achieve the best outcomes from your pitch opportunities. To learn more about what Squash & Stretch can do for you, or to schedule a free initial consultation, contact us here.