You have a brilliant idea for a startup, now you just need to secure funding. So far, you’ve managed to earn enough interest to get a group of potential investors to agree to hear your pitch. Now, it’s time to start writing. How are you going to turn a group of investors who are mildly interested in your idea into enthusiastic supporters who are eager to open their checkbooks.
The truth is, you only have a few minutes to make big things happens. This is why your presentation speech must be absolutely spot on. You must convince your audience of your capabilities, your product’s potential, and the ability of your team to make things happen. This is no easy feat, but a well written presentation can make a big difference.
Remember That You Are Selling Your Team as Well as Your Idea
“I like the idea. I don’t have faith in that this team can pull it off.” If your audience thinks that you have a great idea, but a poor team, you are sunk. It is just as important to build faith in yourself and your team as it is to prove that your product is marketable. Here are a few things that you can do to accomplish this:
? Demonstrate How Each Member Has Invested in The Company
? Detail Every Team Member’s Contribution in Concrete Terms
? Let Team Members Take Over a Portion of The Presentation
? Show The Marketing And Other Work You Have Done up Until The Speech
Here’s a difficult truth. When you have gotten to the point of pitching to investors, it is time to take a long hard look at the team that you have assembled. Many startups begin around kitchen tables and in garages. This means friends and family are nearly always involved. Unfortunately, the team you start with may not be the people who are able to move things to the next level. You might have to make some difficult choices in order to get
Tell an Amazing Story And Use Visuals
Investors want to see solid evidence that your product can be a success. Just don’t let that fact trick you into thinking that your story isn’t also important. Your story communicates your experiences and your passions. It can also increase your potential investor’s understanding of the need that your product can meet. If they can truly connect with that, selling them on your business becomes much easier.
Of course, the best way to make sure your story is memorable and that it has the most impact possible is through the use of visuals. Employ slideshare, use infographics, even produce a video to really drive your point home. You want to create a bond between potential investors and your brand.
Deliver Proof of Market Traction And Barriers to Entry
Market traction is proof that customers are already interested in your product. You can show that you have market traction by providing proof that you have received pre orders, that you have demonstrated your product in stores or at conventions and received positive feedback, or that you have released a ‘beta’ version of your product that has performed quite well. By doing this, you prove assurance to investors that your idea has at least some proven commercial appeal.
Another, very valid concern that investors have is whether or not somebody else can reproduce your idea and quickly become competitive. If they believe you can be easily disrupted, investors simply will not offer up the funding that you need. This is why providing proof that you have created barriers to entry. These include establishing patents and copyrights, being the first in your niche in your geographic area, establishing stringent requirements such as licensing and permits, or making exclusive deals with vendors, suppliers, and sellers.
Use Data to Justify Your Valuation
The combination of the funding that you ask for along with the equity you offer in return for that money is what defines your company’s valuation. If you ask for a significant amount of money, but not so much equity in return, you are valuing your company quite high. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you will be expected to prove that this valuation has merit.
One way to prove this is to assign a real and provable value to your assets and intellectual property. Another important step to take towards proving your valuation is to show what other investors have been willing to put up, and the amount of equity that they were given. Don’t forget that your team and their combined experience and accomplishments also add value. Providing positive reviews of companies can be another way to prove that you have consumer buy in as well. Finally, any potential contracts or existing customers also provide proof of valuation.
Be Prepared For Tough Questions
There is no such thing as the perfect startup. Each one has challenges to overcome and difficulties that they are going to have to face before they can become profitable. Smart investors are going to pick up on these immediately, and they will ask you tough questions about them. In addition to this, they will easily identify mistakes that you have made along the way. Don’t expect them to ignore these.
Go into the presentation knowing that you are going to face tough questions. Then, be prepared to answer those questions matter of factly and to provide proof that you have recovered from any mistakes made along the way, that you have plans and processes to keep things on track in the future, and that you are forward thinking enough to be able to overcome any issues that should come up in the future.
Pitching your startup idea to potential investors will likely go down as one of the most exciting, yet nerve-wracking experiences of your life. If you know your product well, establish confidence and authority, show that you’ve assembled a great team, and can show a clear path to profitability, you can win over investors and get the funding that you need.
Samantha Brannon is an entrepreneur and freelancer. She is also a co-founder and writing editor at Trust Essays writing service. Samantha loves self-education and rock music. Connect with her via TwitterBack to Small Business blogs