Entrepreneurs and business owners have to raise money by pitching their ideas to investors, and many trip up due to their lack of experience or lack of presentation skills.
It takes a lot of effort and hard work to land meetings with potential investors. To land a meeting with a potential investors to pitch your business idea, you need good targeting, persistence, and to find a way into the office of your investor. To succeed, business owners and entrepreneurs need to put as much effort in preparing their pitch as they do in securing their initial meeting with investors.
Often business owners and entrepreneurs tend to make decisions to protect their ideas , however in the end, land up sabotaging their pitches.
Here are few common mistakes and things to avoid when pitching to investors:
- Never send unsolicited emails, executive summaries, and business plans to investors.
- Always pitch an idea to an investor that they interests in.
- Don’t ask an investor to review your 50 page business plan.
- Make sure your elevator pitch is no longer than one minute.
- You must be able show investors the market opportunity of your idea and how your business idea can scale and become meaningful.
- If you go with a team to pitch your idea, make sure all team members get a say in the meeting. Investors want to know that you have a good team.
- Avoid pushing your product or service too much and causing your investors to shut down.
- Never tell an investor that there is no competition. This is unrealistic and naive.
- Never show uninteresting and unrealistic market projections. Investors want to see how your business can grow significantly and develop into an exciting business.
- Never enter a meeting and ask the potential investor to sign a non-disclosure documents. If you have confidential information, simply don’t share it.
- Make sure your presentation explains how the investor will make money. Never overlook providing a realistic exit strategy.
- Practice your pitch before your present it to investors and prepare short, concise answers to potential questions.
- Always include in your pitch what problem your business idea will solve for your customers and target market.
- Avoid discussing unrealistic valuation expectations of your company in the initial meeting.
- Don’t take criticism personally. Investors generally ask direct and tough questions
- Keep your presentation short and no more than 15 PowerPoint slides. If investors are interested you can always provide more details at a later stage.
- Investors are interested in the team behind your idea. So highlight your team’s experience and credentials.
- Make sure your presentation is well-structured highlighting your central idea.
- Always provide time for questions and answers at the end of your presentation.
- Make sure to proof-read and check your presentation for typos and inconsistencies.
- Place a copyright notice at the bottom and add the phrase “Confidential and Private.”
- The best way to succeed is to give a demo of your product or service.
- Make sure you convey your understanding of customer acquisition costs and long-term value of your customer.
- You need to understand the potential risks of your business idea and the processes and mitigating precautions you might take.
- You must be able to articulate the key assumptions and be able to convince the potential investor that they are realistic and reasonable.
- Always show how your business idea is differentiated from other competitors.
- Have a detailed and coherent marketing plan and strategy.
- If you have already made some market traction and already landed some customers, make you talk about this with investors.
- Always tell investors in detail how you will be inviting their capital and how far their investment will go.
- You must be able to clearly describe what the your company’s product or service consists of and why it is unique.