Ultimately, pitching to an investor is an important step in the lifecycle of any startup company. But knowing how to do it right is what sets successful companies apart. It is important to choose your investors wisely and train for the pitch accordingly
An investor pitch is, probably, one of the most intimidating parts of being an entrepreneur. This is a fact when you are raising your first angel round or are a seasoned pro looking for series ‘A’ or venture capital. For about 45 minutes, you put yourself and your business up to be examined from every possible angle and assessed for monetary value. And those precious minutes can make all the difference in the world between a successful business launch, or a business idea that never gets off the ground. With so much at stake, it is important for founders to get their investor pitch right. Here are some tips to help you prepare for delivering a perfect pitch…
Find the Right Investor
For most founders, a pitch begins long before one even walks through the door. This is because the result is often decided when you pick an investor. So, how do you ensure you are pitching to the right investor?
It is quite simple, actually. Before scheduling the meeting—even before deciding to reach out—do a thorough background check. Try to learn everything you can about your potential investor—their background, interests, network, availability, and outlook. Try and research their present investment portfolio. Does your business fall in the category of businesses they like; if not, this can be a talking point.
Learn to Be Organised
This may seem very basic, but, at times, small things can mess up a big meeting. So, reach your location at least 10 minutes ahead of time and try to get access to the room to check if everything is working fine like the IT set-up. There are times when we are unable to find a perfect way to connect a laptop to a screen in less than a minute, so ensure that it is sorted out before your meeting begins. You should have multiple backups to avoid any kind of trouble, like a USB stick and paper copies. Possibly, you will never have to use them, but it will give you confidence. Do not leave anything to chance so that you can focus your attention on the conversation and not the accessories.
Spend enough time on rehearsing. Do mock presentations in front of the mirror and with family and friends to find the chink in your armour and improve your confidence. Ask them to ask meaningful questions and not hold back criticism. Keep learning about your product inside and out and know your industry in-depth. This will help build your confidence and knowledge around your product or service.
Tell Your Story Well
You must know all that you are about to show and say. You must present the pitch confidently. If you have to keep looking at the slides, you, probably, are not ready yet. Ensure you have a good grip over the key details. Keep the critical metrics in your head. Make the pitch as interesting as possible. It can be difficult while dealing with numerical data, trends and forecasts. So, try to step back from hardcore data in between and focus on the larger picture. You can talk about your journey. The things that inspired you to create your business, the successes you have had, or the setbacks that forced you to make certain changes and, finally, where you want to go now…
Specify Monetary Needs
One mistake founders often make is being vague while talking about money. Be confident and specific with your request. Investors want to see that you have a thorough idea about your financial needs. At the same time, it is important to show them where you anticipate to be after spending their money—as this builds trust. While this level of specificity may not guarantee funding, it will ease concerns and instil greater confidence in your business model and strategy, which can lead to greater fundraising success.
Prepare for Q&A Session
Finally, remember to prepare for a rapid-fire Q&A session. Your investors will have questions no matter how perfect your pitch is. You must anticipate those questions and have clear answers to enhance your credibility and address concerns before you leave the boardroom.
How do you anticipate such questions? View the pitch from your investor’s perspective. Are there specific concerns they may have about your market? Are they likely to have any issues with your business model? Will they have questions about your product? Did you gloss over any details that are important to understanding the viability of your business? Is there anything you said that may need more clarification? Jot down those things and figure out how you can fill in the gaps.
About the Author
Mr. Harish Jagtani, a philanthropist, visionary, businessman of Indian origin, currently based in Democratic Republic of Congo for more than 20 years now, is one of the most reputed business owners in the Indian diaspora as well as the entire expat business community in DRC. The business house caters to multiple domains, including but not limited to Domestic as well as International Air Cargo, real Estate and infrastructure development, healthcare, hospitality as well as CSR.
Coming from humble beginnings from Jaipur, Rajasthan, Mr. Harish Jagtani has come a long way in building this conglomerate with a strong and clear vision, sheer dedication and grit. Starting with a small job in sales, Mr. Harish Jagtani today is a proud and righteous owner of a fleet of airplanes and multiple businesses that cater to the basic and advanced needs of the people of Dem. Rep. of Congo in different sectors.