You have a great business idea and a bring-to-market plan, so what now? Seek funding.
Engaging investors can be intimidating for entrepreneurs especially if they don’t have prior connections. Working with Pre-Seed to Series A+ startups we have collated our top tips for pitching and winning over potential investors.
When it comes to self-financing it tends to have a better return of investment than other forms of funding. Most choose to either use savings or remortgage assets. Regardless of your route, it is best to always speak to a professional financial advisor and review all the options available. Investors want to see that you back your idea, you’re responsible with your money, and that you’ll produce a solid return of investment (ROI).
2. Due diligence
It’s critical to do your own research about the investors you are pitching to on the day. Speak to the founders in their portfolio and work out which investor is the right fit for your venture. Understand their interests, behaviours and language and you should be on the right track. You need to liaise with and please investors beyond the pitch, so you need to be comfortable working together.
3. Understand KPIs
Know your numbers. You will be asked to evidence everything you say in the room with data. Most successful Founders will have an obsessive understanding of their KPIs including:
- Customer acquisition cost
- Lifetime value
- Conversion rate
- Profit margin
- Monthly burn
4. Share your why
What inspired you to start your company? What is unique about your offering? Share the story of your journey, include interesting details of the triumphs and hurdles to get investors to buy into your vision. Be authentic in explaining the problem that your solution solves. People invest in people, bring out the personal in your passion.
5. Short and sweet
You need to be able to explain your core business idea concisely: in three bullet points or 60 seconds. There is a rule of thumb in pitching: 10/20/30, and it states that your pitch should have 10 slides, last no longer than 20 minutes and contain a font of 30 points.
6. Demonstrate transactional interest
Your idea may be great, but investors need to see that the business is viable. Create and share the revenue model, conduct market research and initiate a marketing and customer success plan that aligns to your sales plan.
7. Sustainability and scalability
Create an honest financial forecast that shows key milestones based on actual revenue, projections and achievable growth. Factor in the amount you have requested and how and on what it would be spent. Include details on how each cost relates to your vision.
8. Control the narrative
Talk about the things you know, acknowledge when there is more discussion to be had and be skilled in redirecting towards the bigger picture. Keep the pace and be human, investors want you to be prepared but know when you are too rehearsed or out of your depth.
9. Take inspiration
Review other pitch decks and executive summaries. Ask your professional network including lawyers, entrepreneurs, financial friends for samples or examples of good ones. If you don’t have a network to leverage, search online.
As part of our sales strategy programme, we assist founders to position their startups in a place of investment strength by building sales operations that scale and produce predictable revenue.