No matter how innovative, game-changing, polished and developed a big business idea may be, the mere thought of pitching it to big investors has the power to strike fear into even the boldest among us. Afterall, the right investor can make or break your business.
Are your palms sweaty yet? Well, never fear because we have a few top tips for pitching your big business ideas to potential investors...
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Prepare yourself as well as your idea
On the whole, angel investors invest in the entrepreneur first, rather than the idea or business plan. So, it's vital that you and your potential investor can get along. The people you're pitching your business idea to will want to see that you are quick off the mark, thoughtful, efficient, and will be able to sustain the project through its conception and growth. Make sure you show this in your preparation and let your personal qualities shine through.
Showcase the essentials
Startup investors are more concerned about the presentation than the business plan. Make sure that in less than five minutes, you can outline the project, explain the return on investment and pinpoint the growth strategy. If you can't you need to edit your pitch until you can - it's that simple.
Come out of the blocks with an exit plan
Investors are often incredibly interested in your exit strategy. It's a known fact that a large proportion of investors get itchy feet after around seven years with a company and start to look around for new opportunities. So what's your exit strategy? Are you going to sell up your shares to a new go getter? Will you go public with the business? Will you sell to venture capitalists? Or, will your franchise? Think about this from the start and take it to your pitch - you'll need it.
Research your investors
Before any big funding pitch, you should find out as much as you can about your potential investors - like everything. Who has he or she invested in before? Have they been successful in your industry? How well do they operate? How much time might they devote to you and your idea? What are their personal or sub interests? What have their career highlights been? Find out this information as it will be magic during your big pitch.
Don't do this
Ever seen or heard of popular UK investment show Dragon's Den? Well, if you're a budding entrepreneur, you must check it out. - The Den offers an incredible insight into the cutthroat world of business pitching and investment. Watch this video of Dragon's Den blunders, and you'll know exactly what not to say or do during the big investment pitch...