Delivering a compelling pitch is Step 0 in building your company. Whether you are pitching to a customer, an investor or a potential hire, you need to sell your vision with clarity, passion, and conviction.
Listed below are the 11 slides you must have when pitching to an investor:
Explain what you do. Your “Elevator Pitch” should be succinct and powerful. This is where you get their attention or lose it.
Explain the problem you solve. Hopefully your product or service is a pain killer, not a vitamin. List statistics that support the opportunity.
Explain how you are going to solve the problem in a unique and defensible way. How is your solution better? What is your unfair advantage?
Describe why your team is qualified. What have they done in the past that makes them credible? Remember: investors invest in people, not companies.
How big is your addressable market? Don’t make the mistake of listing a widely published industry statistic as your addressable market. Conduct a bottom up analysis of you market. If you sell software to health clubs, list how many health clubs exist. List the dollar value that it represents.
SALES, MARKETING + DISTRIBUTION
How do you plan to get money out of your customer’s pocket? Explain your sales process. Investors want to know that you have, at the very least, thought through the process. List results for past marketing campaigns and committed distribution partners.
List your competitors. Explain why you are better. Never list that you do not have competition. If you product or service is a novel idea, you will want to list alternatives to your offering. If you are building the first personal, commuter helicopter that fits in a garage, your competition would be cars and other commuter airplanes.
Remember: investors are investing for a return. You need to convince them that you are going to make money and deliver a healthy return. Show your assumptions. Make sure they are well researched and believable. A bottom up analysis will deliver a clear picture of your prospects and aid you in building your company.
What are others saying about you? Ask your customers to provide quotes on how well they like your product or service. If you don’t have customers, ask experts to weigh in on your idea.
List paying customers and those that are in the pipeline. Show that you have identified future prospects and explain how you are taking steps to win their business.
How much capital do you need? How will you use it? This is where a well-detailed financial model will help you be clear in your goals. Don’t forget to add a small amount for reserves.
A few tips for getting people to believe in your idea:
Connect Research your audience and relate to their interests.
Use images. A picture is worth a thousand words.
Research. Know your industry inside and out.
Be likable. Smile. Make eye contact.
Practice, practice, practice
You should know your story so well that you do not need to look at your slides. When raising capital, you never know when you will meet a prospective investor. So always be ready.
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