How To Pitch Like A Pro

At some point or other, your business is going to need investment. Whether you are a long established company, looking to expand and move on or you are a novice, hoping to launch your fledgling pop up on the world, you will be going through the same process.

You will find yourself asking someone for cash. Someone, probably, other than a bank or a close friend. In other words, you are looking for a partner or an investor.

Suddenly, this means pleasing another person and getting them on board like never before. But how is the best way to do this?

Because as well as having a flawless business plan written out and knowing every facet of your business and its books, you now need to know how to perform as an investible commodity.

It is often said by investors, that they are looking at the person standing in front of them as much as they are at the business or the idea that they are asking for investment in.

We have a list of some pointers for when you need to prepare for the pitch of your life!

  • DON’T PANIC

This is a big deal and it is likely that you are going to be very nervous. That’s okay, but you need to try not to let it show. The more outwardly relaxed and focused you are, the more it will probably help calm your fast beating heart.

Remember to smile and greet your panel. Be friendly and natural, but polite too.

Try not to gabble on and speak slowly. If you need time to compose yourself and think, then take a moment. A few seconds silence is alright, if it puts you back on the right track.

  • KNOW YOUR NUMBERS INSIDE OUT

When you are delivering a pitch to the boardroom, or whoever it is, that person wants to get to facts and do it quickly. You need to know everything about how your company performs, the cost prices, the overheads, the projections. You need to have all the numbers committed to memory. If you really can’t remember them, make sure you have them close to hand.

  • NEVER EXAGGERATE

Investors want to know the facts of the matter, not the fiction. When it comes to pie in the sky projections and crazy sounding numbers, reel them in.

You are asking people to give you their money, sometimes in large quantities. They want someone who sounds serious about money, not someone who keeps pulling fantasy numbers out of the hat.

  • LOOK INVESTIBLE

It should go without saying, but you need to project an investible, credit worthy image. At the very least, this should mean looking presentable and wearing a suit. Try and look smart and as if you mean business.

You need to project confidence in yourself firstly and foremost and that will follow to your business. When speaking, make sure you can be heard and you don’t waffle.

Remember to give time for others to speak, as well. Passion to your cause is one thing, bamboozling people and never giving them chance to get a word in edgeways is another!

  • KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET

Ideally, you should be able to deliver your pitch in less than fifteen minutes. Maybe even less time. Work on your timing and your delivery and getting your major points out as briefly as possible.

Good luck!

How To Deal With A Cash Flow Crisis In Your Business

Unfortunately, sooner rather than later most small businesses hit a financial iceberg. More often than not, this will be the dreaded cash flow crisis. This is when your order book is singing but your cash till is not.

If you haven’t yet hit a financial crisis with your start up or business, it is most important to try and do everything in your powers to prevent it from happening. Cash flow crises can be a major obstacle for most small to medium sized business and if you have got staff to pay, on top of suppliers and other overheads, then you simply have to stay ahead of the game.

Here is what we suggest:

  • TROUBLE SHOOTING

If your business is already experiencing cash flow problems, it is important to set some serious time aside to thinking about how these problems occurred and how best to deal with them.

If for example it is one certain customer who is slow to pay, either recognize this fact and make sure you factor them in the next time you deal with that person, or even ask yourself if their business is worth the problems. Quite possibly they are, but they need dealing with.

  • FUTURE PROOFING

Try and look into the future and spot any potential problems before they occur. Okay, we know this is easier said than done, but if you know there is a big public holiday coming up and banks will close etc then make allowances for that.

  • INCENTIVIZE CUSTOMERS TO PAY EARLY

Most cash flow problems are caused by customers who have failed to pay promptly. Depending on your business or industry you may have a long wait to be paid by certain clients and possibly, you were not anticipating that. Large businesses and government organizations may be a good source of revenue, but they are not always known for their prompt payment. So give them a reason to settle up quickly. Offer discounts on invoices that are paid quickly and within a certain date. Maybe think up an offer that will get them pre ordering or pre-paying for their next delivery. Anything that you need to do in order to see some cash going into the till.

  • SHOP AROUND

When it comes to your outgoings, you really need to tighten up and make sure that you are getting the best possible deal. This means checking everything, from which courier firms you use, what car you’re running and who your energy suppliers are.

Use own brands and generic products wherever possible, they are usually just as good as branded and can save you lots of money.

Add up your outgoings and expenditure on the ‘little things’. These can really make a big difference. If you are spending $5 a day on Starbucks, stop and make your own coffee, for example.

  • MANAGE YOUR STOCK CAREFULLY

As well as managing your cash, you need to stay ahead with the ordering and paying for stock. Don’t leave it to the last minute to order and pay for essential items and then realize you haven’t budgeted for them. You need to know in advance what needs to be purchased and make sure it’s done in good time. You may even be able receive a discount for prompt payment.