The truth is that investors are always getting pitched – and statistics show that there are far more ideas looking for funding than there are funds. As in the case of everything that works on the principle of demand and supply, it is crucial for entrepreneurs to know that investors have very limited time and several options to choose from, more-so in a new year and at a time when Government is competing with businesses for the limited funds on the market. Pitching to find investment for your business therefore requires that you do your best to catch the attention of the investor within the first few minutes you have with them.
You will want to do your homework about the investor(s) so you know what aspects of your business could potentially excite them to make them want to dig deep and ask follow on questions about your business. It’s equally important to keep it very simple whether it is a verbal presentation or with the aid of slides.
The following are some important aspects of your business you should master and be ready to speak about or include in your slides, the next time you pitch.
This will answer the question on how the problem is currently being solved and who by?
Talk about who has the problem, who your potential customer is and the size of the market. Even better if you have some data to support this and as well if you know what the size/value of the market is.
Intelligently talk about how your solution earns the business money. Be prepared to also answer questions about your pricing policy etc.
How the business scales
Investors look for scale so be prepared to talk through how your business will scale to say other markets or what other complimentary products/services you can introduce in future.
Realise that investors bet on teams and not necessarily the ideas. Who is going to be in charge to execute the business model? What have they done in the past?
What are you asking for and what are you willing to offer in exchange. While this can be negotiated, putting forth fancy figures may give you away as being unprepared.
Finally, you need to talk about the ease of exit for the investor. Investors are usually not in for the long haul so talk about the possibilities that exist for them to be able to exit your business typically within 2 to 5 years (depending on the investor). If there are companies that may acquire yours or you plan to list on the stock market or even want to buy back, you will want to talk about these options.