Prepare for the pitch: making a positive impact
Can you imagine what it might be like to stand under bright television lights and pitch your business idea to potential investors? What about making that same type of presentation to family members or to a financial institution? If you are considering becoming an entrepreneur, or an entrepreneur who is looking to grow your business, chances are you will be called upon to pitch your business idea.
Although you know the aim of your business and have a clear idea of where you are headed, you will eventually have to share your vision with others. Are you ready? How do you prepare?
The first step in planning your pitch is ensuring that all sections of your business plan are up to date. Be sure to include a solid investment proposal that you can present to your potential investors. Having a clear picture of your financial position will offer future stakeholders a real sense of security. Learn how you can offer a realistic picture of your business using financial forecasting.
You may only have a short amount of time to make your pitch, so use it wisely. You will want to:
- Confidently explain why your business is different from others — back up your claims.
- Show your audience that you know your market and the competition that you face in your line of business.
- Try to anticipate the types of questions that you will be asked.
- Prepare some well thought out questions that you may want to ask of potential investors.
Be ready to answer questions when asked. A good pitch will involve you knowing, and being able to present and defend, all aspects of your business. Demonstrate to potential investors that you are serious about being willing to risk something to make the business succeed.
For some, the idea of speaking to a stranger (or potentially a group of strangers) may be the most worrisome part of starting or growing a business. If you lack confidence in any particular area of your business, you may want to consider finding a coach or a mentor to help you through. Focus on the positive impact that your business has had as it has grown. One way to demonstrate this is by creating a corporate social responsibility roadmap, whether formal or informal, for your business.
If you are having difficulty building your confidence and perfecting your pitch, try and remember all the kudos you've received from your current customer base. Count each successful client encounter as a win; past successes can help you build future accomplishments.
Get more ideas on pitching your business to potential investors on the Accessing equity financing page.