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.