After attending some startup events recently I hear Entrepreneurs asking speakers or leaders about pitching and finding investors again and again. Especially in these days there are dozens of ways to get investors on board. But with most investors, business angels, partners … we have only one shot.
There isn´t the one solution but picking the best of any perspective can lead to a pretty good outcome.
The good news is that a pitch deck can (and should be) be almost formulaic. You’ve got to tell a story, paint a vision, know your metrics, and sell, sell, sell.
Michael Harper from Venturebeat points out eight advices:
1. Have a big vision, then make it 10x bigger: Don´t think to small!
2. Explain in detail how you´ll use the money: I´ll get back to this at the end of the article.
3. Know you metrics better than anyone: There are always are few KPIs/metrics you just need to know and be sure about.
4. Have a short main deck: Supporting slides should always be in the appendix.
5. People grow a company, not capital: Spell out your talents. It´s always about people. The best idea presented by the wrong people won´t be listened in most cases.
6. Talk about pain and how you solve it: Regarding to this point I use one of my favorite sayings: “Be the aspirin for the market; not the vitamin” – vitamins are great to have, but not neccessary. Aspirin cures pain (headache).
7. Traction speaks louder than words: It´s always wise to choose metrics which show some traction; which show the potential of the business even though it´s not generating revenue yet.
8. Pitch, polish, repeat!
To give an addition to this what I´ve learned from presenting projects, ideas and businesses to friends, business partners or on events: sell like you love your product. I don´t like using the word “passion” but you will be more interesting and more reliable once you present open and with a glint in the eyes – as they say: It´s about the people in a business. I don´t know every detail about all of my projects but I could talk for an hour about any of them and would enjoy every minute.
How will you use my money? – this is a “make or break”-question!
We need to make sure that we show the potential investors that we want to use the money to scale the business. Cover marketing, sales, inventory … positions which push the business to a higher level and bring sustainability, profitability and value. Buzzwords for the usage are founder salaries for example.
The amounts must be calculated reasonable. Martin Zwilling shares great points and advices on entrepreneur.com.