You’re going to need money. That’s a fact, but you’re probably not going to score a meeting with a venture capitalist or angel investor before your business opens its doors but the way you pitch your idea to family and friends may be the difference between getting the funding you’re looking for and putting your idea back in the file cabinet for another time.
If you’ve never had to give an elevator pitch, the ultra short synopsis of your company, there are a few things you should remember when talking to potential sources of money about your startup.
Be Overly Prepared
Regardless of who you talk to about your idea, you’re going to have a question and answer period. If you’re presented with a question that you can’t answer or the answer is less than impressive, that may end your chances for securing funding. Not only should you prepare for all questions by having detailed financial plans as well as other business model details, pitch your idea to others before approaching your potential funders. Have them ask as many questions as they can to see where your pitch is lacking in detail.
If You’re Going to Use Visuals
If you’re going to have visuals, make sure they’re professional. A sea of clipart may work if your idea revolves around children, but grown up businesses require highly professional art. Remember, how you present your idea speaks to the professional standard you will use when your business opens.
Don’t be Theatric
It might work on the hit TV series Shark Tank, but when you’re pitching an idea in the real world, there’s no need for skits or other dramatic elements. Since you’re most likely not skilled at putting on a show, you risk making those listening to your pitch feel uncomfortable.
Do Make Your Presentation Memorable
One person who was pitching a group of venture capitalists told them that if they gave him the funding he was after, he would give all of them piggy back rides. This may not fit your personality and might be inappropriate for your audience but finding a way to be memorable and creative without making the room uncomfortable may work in your favor.
The best pitch is the well prepared, concise, and well presented pitch. Keep it simple enough that you can do a professional job with the skills and talents you have. A good business plan will hold its own with simple, straightforward information.