More than ever before, a good investment pitch is a requirement for any entrepreneur who needs to raise capital in order to launch a new idea, brand or product. With so many start-ups and savvy small to medium enterprises (SMEs) launching each and every year, competition for funding is fierce. What steps can you take to ensure that you secure the funding that you need to turn your idea into a reality?
What is an investment pitch?
At its most basic, an investment pitch is a punchy and engaging verbal delivery of one’s business plan; boiling down the innovative, unique and valuable aspects of a business idea and presenting them in a way that makes everyone who hears the pitch want to be a part of the action. By demonstrating the value, benefits and potential financial reward opportunities an entrepreneur can attract investors whose funds will help get their projects off the ground.
Successful pitch strategies
There are myriad ways you can present your ideas in an engaging and effective way that will help to seal the deal. Here are a few strategies to consider when pitching your ideas:
- Know and target your investors – and make sure you have catered your presentation to the audience at hand. Is a conservative business man likely to be interested in your off the wall idea, or vice versa? Make sure you don’t waste your precious time on unresponsive audiences.
- Be bold –don’t be afraid to speak out, emphasize important points and be bold – highlight what makes your idea different than anyone else’s idea.
- Tell an engaging story –You know that your product or idea is valuable and unique – now convey that conviction! Use evocative language, rich imagery and key figures to demonstrate that your investment is the best suited for their money.
- Highlight the money making opportunities –Investors are like you– they want to see a return on any money that they sink into your business. Whenever making a pitch you should focus on the financial opportunities that are sure to follow.
- Be brief –You only have a few minutes to capture potential investors’ interest and make them excited to do business with you – boil your brilliant ideas down into a succinct presentation and keep them engaged the entire time. You will usually not have more than 20 minutes in front of an investor, so make sure you address the key messages quickly.
- Never just read from your slides –Nothing is more boring for an investor than watching a presenter simply read from their PowerPoint slides! Your slides should be light on text and filled with evocative imagery, and your presentation should be well rehearsed but never delivered from rote memorisation or read aloud.
• Be and sell yourself – Remember, it’s never only about the business you are selling. Many investors would cough up the cash and invest in ideas that they don’t really understand because they like and believe in the person owning that idea. Be humble, yet confident of your plan and show respect to your investors.
- Create 10-12 great slides –Many experts suggest that you only utilise 10-12 slides in your presentation, and that each slide should focus on a different aspect of your pitch. Some key topic to cover are background, the problem/opportunity, your competition, your clients, your unique selling/value proposition, management team and your financial projection and where will the money be spent. As a rule of thumb, do not have more than 5-7 key points in each slide, you want to focus on the discussion on important points.
At the end of the day, it’s about you and your idea. Make it simple and effective, engage your investors and make sure that your truly believe in your idea and know everything about it before going out to raise capital.
If you need help with an investment pitch you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
CEO – Managing Partner