Pitching

Business Show Talk Part 2: The Art of Pitching for Investment

May 17, 2018

Pitching to investors can be an unnerving experience; however, with the correct preparation and research, it can become much simpler and lead to a higher chance of receiving funding for your business. 

Below we will outline what your deck should look like, what it should contain and how you should ask for funding from investors.

Less is always more

Too often do we see pitch decks that are a bunch of paragraphs spread out amongst a bunch of slides. Leave these paragraphs for a Word document. Instead, use icons, graphics, arrows, pictures and anything of the like to explain your words. This is a great way to showcase your product, website, app, etc. within your deck so your investors can get a better idea of what they could be investing in.

Never hypothesize

Also, it’s a good practice to always back up your information, especially when it comes to numbers, with facts rather than fiction. This increases the trust from funders, and thus will increase their want to invest in you.

Avoid being excessive

When you are budgeting, ensure that your numbers are realistic. Conduct research on how much other businesses have spent on the things that you are budgeting for.

Rome wasn’t built in a day

Show that you have a logical step-by-step business model that has the potential for scalable growth. You can’t just go from the ground and immediately catapult to greatness. These things take planning and time.

Represent your company

To go even further, the way your company is portrayed with your logo and name should be representative of what you do. For example, Spotify’s logo contains a symbol that tends to be related to sound and music. Your branding, such as your colors and fonts, should match your product or service as well.

Be human and specific

In regards to the language and words you use in your pitch deck, be human and be specific. Try to avoid trendy buzzwords, as they tend to just confuse and put off the investors rather than encourage them to invest. Also, if you have a percentage that you can use to describe your product, use it. Be straightforward. Don’t add any fluff. After all, saying, “We can improve the current process by 90% with our product” is much better than saying “We can improve the current process with our product.”

Use graphics

Last, just to reiterate, use graphics and illustrations rather than words whenever you can. Do, however, ensure that these illustrations make sense. Don’t just put a fruit or something of the like on the screen and assume that the investors will say, “Ah yes, of course. I understand this.”

Now let’s get into what you should be including in your pitch deck. 

The product and the market

Advising to include your product in your presentation might seem redundant; however, you would be surprised at how many pitch decks don’t explain what the product is. What does it do? How does it work? Make sure to address these questions. When it comes to the market, explain where your product fits in a competitor analysis graph. These graphs have an x- and y-axis that highlights key features and compares where your product lies amongst your competitors.

Why you?

Carrying on from that, why should investors support you as opposed to these other logos on this board? What makes you unique? Include this in your deck. Don’t be too modest. Investors want to see that you’re proud of your product and that you believe in it.

Previous traction and funding

Finally, demonstrate that you have previous support behind your product. This includes both traction and previous funding. Have you acquired any partners? What have people said about your product? Who is keen to try out your product? Also, have you raised any previous funding? Have you or anyone else on the team invested money? This support will encourage more support.

Now that you’ve outlined everything investors want to know about your business, it’s time to ask for the money! This tends to be the trickiest part for some entrepreneurs, but there is a process to it that can increase your chances of securing investment.

The ask

First, let them know how much you need. It’s best to get this out right off the bat. With this, you should put together what you need funding for, how much is needed for each, and then reach an end number.

Use of funds

Now, let’s break down what these funds are needed for. Try to be as specific as possible. For example, don’t just say ‘Marketing.’ Rather, you should say ‘Customer acquisition using advertising channels such as social media, underground/bus advertising, …’ Tell the investors exactly how you want to use this money. This proves that you are both financially responsible and have an exact vision for the future of your company.

What will investors gain? What is your competitive advantage?

Next, outline what the investors will gain from investing in you. This goes back to the question, “What makes you unique?” What is your competitive advantage? Are you offering a stake in the company, a position on the board or something of the like? Similar to how you should tell investors exactly how you want to use the funding; you should tell investors exactly what they would get out of investing in you.

CTA

Finally, close with a call-to-action. This can include sending the investors your business plan, planning a follow-up meeting, attending a pop-up shop, etc. By ending with a call-to-action, you are giving the investors a perfect way to continue the conversation with you, which could then lead to acquiring funding.

Need help? 

If you find that this process might be a bit daunting to you or you don’t think you have the time to compile all this information into a nicely designed deck, consider our pitch deck design service! We will work with you to create a deck that is not only visually captivating but also includes every aspect that investors want to see. Email us directly here, and we will provide more information about our service. You can also view our consulting services here.

 

 

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