So, you have the idea. You’ve written the business plan. You’ve perfected your numbers. But do you know how to pitch?
If you’ve ever been to a networking event, then you are no stranger to elevator pitches - a short, but sweet, summary of someone’s business or brand. But, after you’ve made your way home through the long lines of traffic, only a few of those pitches will have become embedded in your mind.
So, what is it about these pitches that make them so unforgettable?
Here are our top 6 tips on how to perfect your pitch, so you’re the one people can’t stop thinking about!
Less is Always More.
Remember those days sitting in school assemblies or university lectures staring out the window wondering what you were having for dinner later, or thinking about literally anything other than what the teacher was saying? Well, lengthy pitches and presentations will only invoke the same feeling in your potential investors. Keep it quick and keep it simple. If they don’t understand your company within minutes of your pitch, how will your customers?
“Have more than you show. Speak less than you know.”
Never guess! And NEVER lie!
There is nothing worse for an investor than an entrepreneur who doesn’t know their business. Do your homework, know your target market and know your facts and figures! If you are asked a question, you shouldn’t falter in your response. But, most importantly, if you don’t know the answer, never lie! This will only cause your investor to lose all confidence in the credibility of your business, and you as a person.
No, I don’t mean stand on stage and sing like the 1970’s American rock band, and I definitely do not mean kiss your investors! K.I.S.S stands for ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’! Don’t over complicate your pitch to sound impressive. Basic ideas with proven models will impress your investors much more than long-winded sentences and unnecessarily fancy vocabulary. On the other hand, don’t make your pitch too simple as you may not captivate your audience!
In the words of Albert Einstein, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
Starting a business isn’t easy, and it often takes years before you see a return. Many business pitches fail the minute the entrepreneurs are asked for their projected turnover and forecast for the business over the next few years.
Be realistic. Show your investors you have thought about the best, moderate and worst case scenarios based on actual facts and figures. There is no harm in aiming high, but remember you need to learn to walk before you can run.
“Making sure your goals are realistic is a essentials as being able to monitor success in the business. If someone is pitching an idea with completely unrealistic targets, you start to question their understanding around the industry and target market.” — Ben Towers, Innovation Director, Young Start-up Talent
Know What You Know.
Nobody likes a know it all, especially not investors. It is important that you build a strong team around you who compliments your strengths and weaknesses. No one person can know everything, and no one expects you to! Celebrate your challenges and show your investors you are willing to share your business to help it succeed.
Keep Your Cool.
I know, easier said than done. When on the spot and in the limelight, the gruelling questions coming from every angle and investor can begin to feel like an attack. But think about it, would you give your money to someone you didn’t know or trust based on a five minute conversation? Investors will always want to find more about you than you can present in your pitch, so remember, keep your cool and smile. They are not attacking you, they are simply trying to get to know you and your business. Listen to their questions and advice, because even if you don’t secure the investment, you will inevitably gain helpful tips and comments to ensure your next pitch is a raging success!
. . . . . . . .Make it Happen - Shock Everyone. . . . . . .
So, there you have it, our six top tips for your perfect pitch. The most important thing to remember is to have fun - after all, you love and believe in your business and that passion will take you a long way. You never know, you may just come out on top!
If you think you’ve now perfected your pitch and have a budding business idea that could be the next big thing, then apply now to be in with a chance of winning a prize fund worth £50k! Find out more enter your details now at: www.youngstartuptalent.co.uk