10 Tips for a Successful Entrepreneurial Pitch

The business pitch is one of the most difficult presentations to give. You have a fantastic business idea and are seeking funding to make it a reality. The issue is that venture capitalists, angel investors, and even wealthy relatives have a strong bias against you. Why? Because ninety-nine percent of the pitches they hear sound like surefire recipes for financial ruin!

If you are requesting funding for a new venture from investors, you should adhere to the following guidelines.

1.Explain the nature of your business in the first thirty seconds. Many entrepreneurs squander valuable time by providing reams of data, background, and other information, leaving investors to wonder, “What does this business actually DO?”

2. Tell your audience who they will be serving. Create a vivid, specific image of these individuals.

3. Explain why your customers will hand over their hard-earned cash.

4. Describe your competition. (And if you claim you have no competitors, it’s a sure sign you’re unsophisticated and don’t deserve investment capital!)

5. Describe why YOU are the ONE who can make this happen.

6. Give your presentation with self-assurance and zeal. Investors desire a founder/CEO who is a chief salesperson; they want to see that you can persuade the entire world of your vision, not just them.

7. Describe the star to which you can hitch a ride. Has Radio Shack or Best Buy agreed to distribute your new product? Investors are considerably more at ease when they learn that an established player is willing to distribute your products.

8. Request a specific sum of money. You cannot complain if an investor gives you $3.25 for a cup of Starbucks coffee if all you do is ask for money.

9. Specify to prospects how you intend to spend the money (hint:a trip to Maui for you and your friends will not impress)

Dress well, exude confidence, and give the impression that you don’t need their money but would accept it if they bring enough value to the table to be a strategic partner. Human nature being what it is, people are much more likely to give you money if they believe you don’t need it.

Make each pitch presentation a focus group for your subsequent presentation. When one group of investors asks you a series of questions following your pitch, make sure that the majority of them are addressed in your next pitch so that the next group does not have to. Continue pitching and improving your pitch, and you may eventually receive funding.

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