Entrepreneurs know what invigorates their innovative ideas. They are passionate and excited about their work and cannot wait to share it with others. But when it comes to sharing their work with investors, entrepreneurs should first do a bit of homework so that their pitches are a raging success.
Strong partnerships between entrepreneurs and investors don’t happen without some hard work and dedication. Before you jump the gun and set up a meeting with a potential investor, make sure you know your startup better than anyone. First, who is your target market? What’s the underlying magic or value proposition? What makes you competitive and what’s your product’s roadmap? Do you have key milestones laid out over time? And even more importantly, have you created an MVP (minimal viable product) that you’ve tested in order to figure out how your target audience is reacting to your product?
Once you’ve sorted all those questions out, you can begin to develop a business model. Sure you can easily create an initial strategic plan for your startup, but what’s more important is being able to effectively articulate this plan to someone else. You should be able to give a quick break down of your financial plan, for the first year of the business and include identifiable milestones and achievements.
It is important to be able to tell a story that conveys your product in a nutshell. Be sure to show how your product is the solution to a problem, and how it is a necessary addition to the market. Research what your investors have invested in and craft your pitch to align with themes they invest in or believe in. Remember, you’ve got a great plane, ready to take off, but your investors are going to fuel your engine. Without a great first impression, you could be setting yourself up for failure.
Last, but not least, practice on friends and trusted advisors. You can never practice your pitch too much. Ask them to poke holes in anything and everything. Make sure you can answer these questions so you’re prepared to make the right impression. Your startup will appear much more professional if you take the time to practice.
Tweet @StarterNoise to let us know what you think about gearing up to presenting to investors.
Derek Rundell, is a successful business leader, operator, and serial entrepreneur. Derek has founded, managed and sold businesses in the technology, media and finance industries. He sits on several boards and serves as an advisor/investor to numerous established businesses and startups. Startups are Derek’s real passion, and in addition to building his own portfolio of technology, media and financial ventures, he invests in and mentors startups and entrepreneurs. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and helping other businesses succeed.