Need to create an investor pitch?
Here’s how to do it. It’s easier than you think.
So, you’re ready to meet with investors and get some capital flowing. This is the hard part – make investors believe in your company as much as you do. You’re enthusiastic, motivated… but that won’t be enough to truly impress an experienced VC. You need to create the perfect investor pitch. Well, here are the 9 main steps in that process. Get through these – and you’re off to a good start!
Start by writing down exactly what your product or service is.
Make your own list of what exactly you have to offer- what the value proposition is, who the customers are, and why you are different. Narrow down your list to ten main points. Then narrow down each point, until you feel that every single word serves a clear purpose. This list will serve as the backbone for every pitch you will ever need to write. It may look something like this.
Prepare a use case or physical demo of your product/service
Whether your product is physical or an abstract service, find a way to present it in a real-life framework. This can be a short user story example with photos/art or a physical demo of your product sample. The investors want to see how real people will apply your services, so keep it super simple, with clear graphics and realistic flow. For example, flowcharts are great for presenting user stories.
Get that PowerPoint magic going
You pitch deck should be a PowerPoint presentation with a maximum of ten slides. As Guy Kawasaki says, ‘a normal human being cannot comprehend more than ten concepts in a meeting—and venture capitalists are very normal’. Your slides should follow the logic of your list from point 1 – what your product is, who your audience is, and how you are different from your competition. Keep your slides clean, with no more or less words than absolutely necessary. It may sound simple, but you would not believe how many entrepreneurs overcomplicate their own product/service. Research your competitors pitch decks and be inspired by their success.
Wrap your pitch into a story
Facts and spreadsheets are important- but an investor wants to know the real-life story of your concept. This can be your journey – or an example of a user enjoying your product. Wrap your content into a story to give the listener a feeling of beginning-middle-end.
Practice your pitch
Get your storytelling down to 10 minutes – max 20. Distil your ideas into pure precision, so nothing you say is redundant, and every sentence is actionable. Practice saying it – to others, to the mirror, even record yourself speaking and play it back. The more you practice, the more likely you are to sound smooth and natural in your presentation. Move at a good pace and make sure not to rush at the end.
Define your target audience and how to reach them – and then do the research
Prepare with as many numbers and stats on your idea as is reasonable. Have all data available for the presentation when investors ask questions. No need to tell them all the stats at first, wait for the question that lets you lead into all the knowledge you’ve collected. Use demographic and psychographic parameters to define your audience, and look up their defining market features.
How many people of your audience type exist in society? Why will they become your customers, and how? Always recommend a strategic plan for online marketing, as digital marketing is a must in today’s heavily digital world.
Clearly define your revenue model
The one question investors want answered is: ‘How will your company make me a solid return on investment’? Research terminology and make sure you’ve clearly defined exactly how the money will be flowing through your business.
Look amazing: clean, sharp and smell wonderful
The way you treat your body and image will subconsciously affect how people view your ideas. You don’t need Prada – just a clean scent, brushed teeth and a simple yet sleek outfit. Looking expensive does not need to be expensive.
Define the exit strategy: The sweet spot of every business
If you have thought of an exit strategy, you are already more likely to score an investment. VC’s are interested in making a lot of profit quickly, and they want you to be in the same frame of mind. Ideally, you’ll be planning to make your fortune within 10 years and exit gracefully to live the good life. How will this exit happen? Acquisition? Market float? Again, research your terminology and give the VC’s a proposed exit plan.
If you’ve completed all these steps, you may still feel there is work to do – but trust me, you are already way ahead of most other companies. Keep doing research and improving your deck as you go. Stay calm and show those VC’s the true value of your business.
Watch Investor Pitch like a Pro Video: