It's not just numbers on a piece of paper," Pinson says. Prepare Your Message. A pitch needs to be prepared in a variety of formats to take advantage of not only the formal pitch and presentation meeting but the informal chance meeting in an airplane or elevator. Every entrepreneur should have a short, concise speech ready whether they step onto an elevator or prepare to travel on an airplane. You never know who is going to be sharing the ride with you. The key words to keep in mind while crafting this message are: quick, powerful, and condensed.
You won't have the investor's attention for long so condense this message. This is a lengthier treatment of your elevator pitch. It consists of a page memo summarizing the need or want you fill as a business offering, your target market, differentiation, growth prospects, management team, and your financing plan, Berry says. It's important to emphasize how much money you need from investors, how much of your company ownership you're prepared to give in exchange, and how you're going to turn that back into money for them, including when and how much, he says.
This is your more formal pitch presentation that you make to investors. Cover the same elements included in your summary memo and in the executive summary of your business plan.
Plan on 20 minutes maximum with no more than 10 slides, and use pictures and diagrams, not bullet points, Berry says. Potential investors can range from family members and friends to venture capitalists or angel investors.
They have to be comfortable with you and you with them. There are meetings, reports, and reviews. They may also seek new management if you don't do a good job meeting your goals.
On one hand, venture capitalists frown upon businesses that blanket potential investors with their business plans. Instead, focus on a few, well-researched targets. Our funding is not there for this now," Pinson says. Pinson advises that you research which investors tend to know your industry well and invest in companies in your industry.
She says you may want to start by approaching those investors with your plan. Sometimes intermediaries can help you connect with the right investors. Join the chamber of commerce, talk to business professors, and search the Web. The U. SBDCs are designed to help entrepreneurs start, finance and run their businesses. Their counselors may know potential investors and may be able to introduce you. You should want investors who will become partners in building the business as well as funding it.
Do your research and ask the right questions. Are they familiar with your business area? Do they share your long-term goals for growth and eventual exit? Do the people in companies they've invested in regret it? These days, a growing number of businesses take to YouTube to deliver their business pitch.
Some angel investors like Berry have taken to reviewing some of the YouTube pitches before scheduling a face-to-face meeting with an entrepreneur. It gives you more access to information faster. Know what you want to say. Know your business plan. Pick out what matters most. This is the "why me" section. Talk about your skills, background, vision and why you can make it work. Berry calls this the "heart" of the pitch.
What need does your business fill? Why is anyone going to buy your product or service? This is where you put your salesman's cap on. Make sure to make a strong finish. Do send the pitch deck in a PDF format to prospective investors in advance of a meeting. Do plan to have a demo of your product as part of the in-person presentation. Do tell a compelling, memorable, and interesting story that shows your passion for the business.
Do show that you have more than just an idea, and that you have gotten early traction on developing the product, getting customers, or signing up partners. Do have a soundbite for investors to remember you by.
Do use a consistent font size, color, and header title style throughout the slides. If you feel you need to add more information, include it as an appendix.The pitch is a summary of the plan. Usually, an entrepreneur starts off by asking for a certain amount of money, and the value proposition for the investor -- such as what percentage of equity in the business that investment would buy. What major goals have you achieved so far and what are the major next steps you plan on taking? The written business plan is often the way to get in the door with investors. Instead, send a PDF. Your in-person supplement will give you an opportunity to add and breathe key information. The written health plan is often the way to get in the addition with investors. When emailing the past, you might put the referral in the footnote line. You can also Essay about nazi propaganda often of additional advice in our Society Pitch Guide.
If you already have some investors on board, now is when you should be talking about those other investors and why they chose to invest.
Don't blow it by seeming ill-informed or being unable to answer questions. If you can find the data , investors will want to know how much people or businesses currently spend in the market to get a sense of the total market size. Ask people you know for referrals.
Skype may work, but meeting in person for a major financial commitment is best.
If you already have data on how an early version of your product is selling, use those numbers to help drive the rest of your forecast. You are supposed to have them ready to go from the first encounter.
Instead, send a PDF. You want your slides to be simple, convey high-level ideas, and leave room for questions. Your in-person presentation will give you an opportunity to add and highlight key information. Obtaining venture capital funding, angel investment, or even bank loans for a business is increasingly difficult in a tough economy.
Know your business plan.
This means that anyone who looks at the deck will see it as you intended with your chosen fonts and styles. A great pitch deck gets potential investors excited about your idea and engages them in a conversation about your business, hopefully leading to an investment. Pinson also was selected by the U.
Hear more pitching tips with Peter and Jonathan on the tenth episode of The Bcast, Bplans official podcast:. Our funding is not there for this now," Pinson says. How to Present Your Business Plan Hitting a home run with potential investors requires selecting the right pitch. Make sure to make a strong finish. Partnerships Some businesses have key strategic partnerships that are critical to their success. Ideally, try and tell a relatable story when you are defining the problem.
Is this a business that looks like it will have fast and sustainable growth and get the returns to the investor that he or she is looking for?
Ready to get started? Are you a premium, high-price offering, or a budget offering that undercuts existing solutions on the market? The written business plan is often the way to get in the door with investors.