The wall-street landscape is filled with visionaries that are aspiring to change the way we use products, services, and ideas. However, life is not all about Rainbows & Brownies. Plenty of startups fail within the first 5 years of the creation. Their ideas might be extraordinary, but what these young Entrepreneurs lack, is pitching to investors. The Entrepreneurs should avoid mistaking while pitching their idea to investors.
Most mistakes are just blunders that are made by founders who didn’t know well about their investors. The good is, you can avoid these blunders & get you’re a-game started.
I, being a serial Entrepreneur, know what it takes to pitch your idea to the investor. You need to create that perfect pitch to inspire your investor.
After listening to hundreds of pitches, some amazing, and others boring, I’ve brainstormed some ideas that can help the young Entrepreneurs, or the startups to avoid these mistakes while pitching the idea to the investors.
The whole team is present but only your CEO is speaking
Finding an investor is like finding a new family for your business. And the more your investor know about your team members, the better.
Give introduction of every team member & let them speak. Don’t intervene while your team member is speaking.
In this way, your investor will be comfortable with all your team members.
You are telling a dry story
What most of the Entrepreneurs need to learn is the art of storytelling. Everyone can tell a dull story, but it takes practice to tell an engaging story.
The art of storytelling is one vital skill for every Entrepreneur. By laying down a powerful story you can convey your message with passion & enthusiasm.
Whether you believe it or not, we humans are social animals that are touched by emotions. Investors will be looking forward to your big idea to unleash in a story that they can relate.
Whether we like it or not, we are all somewhat emotional creatures, investors included. Engaging your audience with a good story they can relate to captures their attention and opens them up to want to learn more. A use case is a great way to structure a story and allows the investor to visualize how your customers could use and benefit from your solution.
Keep the presentation duration less than a minute
Most the young Entrepreneurs feel like, a long email will help to impress the investors.
This is a total myth. Your presentation should be short & simple. You need to divide the presentation among your team members so all can speak and there is some diversity for the investors to keep the conversation engaging.
Even if you’re pitching the investor via email, make sure it is a short one. No need to give the full details in the email.
Just give an overview of your business idea and save the curiosity for the presentation.
Lack of clear direction & Strategy
What most of the Entrepreneurs fail to realize is that investors are visionaries too. If you’re willing to get something from the investor, you need to be specific about where you want your business to be in the next 5 years.
The investor needs to know your growth plan & strategy you will be using to move your business to the next level.
And one thing more. You need to ensure that all your team members are on the same page. When in front of the investor, do not argue or negate your team member. But make sure you all know where you want your business in the next 5 – 10 years.
Features, not benefits will level up your game
Another mistake which entrepreneurs make when creating their pitch is to list a ton of features and technical terms.
Sure, the investors are smart, but some of them lack the technical know-how and the jargons.
Do not impress them with the technical lingo. The Entrepreneurs make a mistake of focusing on the benefits rather than features of the product.
Your investor and even the customers don’t care what benefits they are getting. What they need is what features are there that can help them solve their problem.
How you share that with the investor will help the investor in taking the right decision.
Ignoring the competition
It is surprising how many startup decks do not even mention competition. Some claim to have no competition while some claim minimal competition. This is where you start losing trust with your investors. Look at the market in the totality and mention all your competitor names. You can then go niche, talk about a sub-segment and highlight absence of competition there. For 99% of businesses in the world, there is always a competition. As one investor told me, “If there is really no competition, I might not even want to invest.”
Lack of communication skills
It doesn’t matter if it is your idea or not, if you cannot put your idea in the right words in front of the investor, all your efforts will go unnoticed.
Many founders have no negotiation skills or lack confidence in what they are worth. They’re often unable to sell the product – especially techies have this problem – or unable to sell the company to investors in a persuasive manner.
On the other hand, they don’t see they are not unique, many ignore the market. They often ask for too much while not having a clear vision on how to spend the money.
To end it all. Pitching is one the most difficult part of the puzzle. But if you go well-prepared you will be able to pull off the deal.
These are proven tips that have worked for me, and my friends. Try them out and let us know the result.
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