The single scariest aspect of starting a new business is pitching for investment. You’ve all seen Dragon’s Den. The nerve-wracking process...
The single scariest aspect of starting a new business is pitching for investment. You’ve all seen Dragon’s Den. The nerve-wracking process of asking for investment can get the best of anyone. It is the moment of truth, where all of your hard work comes under scrutiny. It is here where you discover whether your project has legs. You’ll discover if you’ve created a viable company.
However, don’t worry if you don’t get the answer you want immediately. To secure investment on your first pitch is almost unheard of. It will take months of practice and rejections before you get it right. There are thousands of angel investors out there. Don’t let the first rejection get you down. Go back to the drawing board and address the problems. Here are the main points you should look out for when convincing investors.
Tailor your proposal to each investor.
Pitching for investment is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Every investor is different. Each one will have different goals and dreams. They will each have their own criteria for success and failure. Before you meet with an investor, do your research on them. What projects do they typically invest in? What are their passions and dreams? How do they define success? Tailor your pitch to meet their dreams. Show them that your company will help them reach their goals.
Explain exactly how you will use their investment.
‘Changing the world’ is not reason enough to invest. Savvy and sensible investors will want to know how every penny of their money is being spent. Explain the short term plan for their investment. Will it be used for recruitment, marketing or prototype design? If you’re asking for resources or manpower, show them a plan and timeline for how they will be used. Give complete transparency.
Don’t ask for too much.
I’m sure you have big dreams for your business. We always do. These are important to investors. Tell them the mission statement. Explain the future and why your business is important. However, when it comes to investment, talk specifically about the next step. Remember, you’re still a small business. Ask for just enough to reach the next level in your business. Let investors buy into your dream, but give them a realistic expectation for how you’ll get there.
Show that you have a great team.
Investors aren’t just investing in your product, they’re investing in you. They need confidence that you will manage and lead the company effectively. They want to trust that their money is in good hands. That means showing them that you’re a great leader. One of the best way is to show your delegation skills. Show that you understand the importance of building an expert team to support you. You could also hire a management service like Acquarius Trust. This shows that you take the business aspects seriously.
Say thank you and ask for feedback.
After the investment pitch, don’t expect an immediate answer. Remember, it’s a big decision for investors. After a couple of days send them a note to say thank you and ask for any feedback. It will help you learn and develop your pitch for the future.
Now you’re ready to take on the scary world of angel investors. The key is to do your research and cover all bases. Be professional and passionate and you’ll soon be walking away with the investment you need.