Tips for Pitching Your Startup or Small Business to Investors

So you’ve decided to go after an investment
from that angel or VC firm and you’re about to give your first pitch. This is your big
chance to get the cash you need to power ahead towards your goal, so make sure you’re well
prepped and can nail it. Having witnessed a number of entrepreneurs
pitch to VCs and angels and then having been involved in the decision about whether or
not to fund, I can tell you there are some basics you need to nail if you want to get
funded, no matter what your business is. FIrst up, get to the point. If you’ve been
talking for 5 minutes and I still don’t know what the heck your business does and
how you make money, that’s a problem. Investors see pitch after pitch after pitch so they’re
not interested in the fluff. We want to know what you do, how you do it, and why you’re
so much better than everyone else that the customers will flock to you instead of your
competition. And while we’re on that topic – do not say
you have no competition. There is no such thing as a company with no competition unless
your idea is horrendous. If you say you have no competition it means you either haven’t
done your research, don’t understand the competitive landscape, are straight up lying,
or you’re trying to sell something that nobody wants. Even if you have a brand new
product you still have competition – whoever invented the microwave had to compete with
conventional and toaster ovens, The first cell phones competed with pagers and house
phones. You still have competition even if your product is incredibly unique, so make
sure you know who you are and how you will convince customers that you’re a better
choice. You also need to know the workings of your
business and your business plan inside and out. Be prepared to answer tough questions
and make sure you can justify any of the numbers that you put in your pro formas. If an investor
asks you how you intend to get those 1,000 customers that you predicted in the first
month, you’d better have an explanation for it and its accompanying expense in your
financials. Plus, be prepared to justify why your team is the team to do it. Experienced
investors know that great ideas are a dime a dozen, it’s the execution that will make
or break you – so they want to know why you and your team are in charge and what you bring
to the table. Dead weight is a red flag, so don’t stack your c-suite with people that
don’t deserve to be there. Finally, try to remember to be likable. You
don’t need to get a standing ovation, but these investors are going to be tied to you
if they invest and if they can’t stand to be in the same room with you, they’re more
than likely going to pass. Don’t do a stand-up routine, but remember to be yourself, don’t
get defensive if they give criticism or ask tough questions, and make them see that you’re
a person who is smart, reliable, open to guidance, and one of the hardest workers on the planet.

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4 thoughts on “Tips for Pitching Your Startup or Small Business to Investors

  1. Your audio only comes out of my left speaker and music from the right. Thanks for the video but please try to fix audio.

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