Today, there are more opportunities for small business funding than have probably ever existed.
It is an exciting time to be starting a business and looking for investors.
From TV’s Shark Tank to equity crowdfunding to traditional fundraising there are different environments for your pitch. But regardless of whom you are pitching or where you are pitching, here are four key tips for a successful crowdfunding pitch.
Timing is Key
For the potential investors, their time is money. Be respectful and be as succinct as possible.
Ideally, keep your entire pitch to 10 minutes.
Keep it short and powerful!
Pack the time you do have with all of the passion, expertise, and enthusiasm that got you into this business in the first place. That being said, be laser focused. Know exactly what your product or service is and why it is the most important moneymaker to come along since sliced bread.
Get to the bottom line quickly.
Investors want to know how much you need, what you need it for, and when they are going to get their money’s worth. For more specifics on questions investors may ask, check out our series: Questions Investors Ask. Remember, don’t worry about answering all of their potential questions in your initial pitch. Focus on engaging them, then they will ask more questions, and you will have the opportunity to go into more details.
Pitch Your Story
Yes, it is true that investors care about the money and their potential return on investment. However, more often than not, they are investing their money in you. It is your passion, your knowledge, your excitement that they are going to connect with. Over and over, when polled, investors repeatedly list the founders as one of the number one reasons they chose to invest.
They want to connect with you. So tell them your story!
This is when you get to let all of the bone-deep drive that has gotten you this far shine through.
Practice! Practice! Practice!
You know your product or service inside and out but distilling it down to the most compelling message and delivery possible is going to take some practice. You want to practice until you feel comfortable with all of the material.
Again, if the investors like what they hear in your presentation, they will ask you more questions. So use the list of items in our blog series “Questions Investors Ask” and practice answering them until you feel confident.
Bring Your Team
Unless you’re at the very early stages of your business, you most likely have a rocking team that helps you make the magic happen. Consider bringing some of your key players along to help with the presentation.
Investors know that it takes a team to make a growing business happen and they like to see and meet the team whenever possible.
Remember that while the pitch is an intense moment in time, raising capital is all about the relationship. Both you and the potential investors are looking at what will hopefully be a multi-year business partnership. Don’t get so caught up in the pitch itself that you forget to research and “get to know” the investors before you pitch. And after the pitch, the relationship development will need to continue.
A truly successful pitch deck is about more than just engaging the investors’ minds, it is about connecting to their hearts.