When starting a business in the tech industry, you need to consider what you’re going to do when it comes time to pitch to investors. You may not be ready to start pitching to investors quite yet, but it’s never too early to start preparing — especially if you have a fear of public speaking.
A successful pitch is heavily based on your ability to talk to people and essentially convince them to give you money. As such, very few businesses can succeed in the long term without a successful pitch. After all, about 82% of businesses that fail do so because of cash flow problems. One of the best ways to combat cash flow issues is to convince investors to commit to your business from the start.
One challenge, of course, is that investors often hear from many different tech entrepreneurs every year. Right now, a lot of people are interested in starting a business in the tech sphere. You’ll need to be able to prove in your pitch why your business is worth investing in. But how do you do that? Below, we’re looking into a few tips to help you pitch to investors and successfully secure funding. You don’t have to be an international public speaker in order to convince people to invest, though you may benefit from learning from one!
1. Hit That Elevator Pitch
You’ve probably heard about an elevator pitch before. An elevator pitch is a pitch that you could theoretically execute in the span of the time it takes to ride the elevator to your designated floor. Now, most investors will have more time than that to spare — but you still need to be able to deliver an effective pitch within a short amount of time. Most investors do not trust pitches that take a significant period of time to execute. They want to hear something punchy and quick.
Generally speaking, your elevator pitch needs to cover what you do, the problem your business solves, and what makes your business different from the competition. Don’t rush through it, but keep that elevator ride timeframe in mind when developing it.
2. Be Ready to Prove Your Results
When starting a business, it will take a while for you to gather proven data. If you don’t have results of some kind, however, you probably aren’t ready to start pitching to investors. Once you do have data, you need to make sure that it’s proven. There are a lot of tech entrepreneur resources available to help you gather and display pertinent data. But savvy investors will be able to tell if you’re trying to lead them astray. Don’t even try it. Instead, make sure you do your homework and can back up your claims.
3. Know Your Audience
If you’re looking for investors or tech entrepreneur partners, you need to know who you’re pitching to. Are you pitching to people who invest just to make money? Or are you pitching to people who want to take active roles in the businesses they’re investing in? The more you know, the easier it will be for you to provide targeted information that will appeal to them specifically. Now, you won’t always know exactly who you’re pitching to. But you should be able to get a general idea before heading in to make your pitch. Don’t go into a pitch completely blind; rather, take the time to know your audience as thoroughly as you can.
4. Work On Those Speaking Skills
When pitching, you’re essentially telling a story. You may be telling a story that is backed by evidence, but it’s a story nonetheless. You need to be able to engage your audience and draw them in so that they feel compelled to invest. While data is important, it can also be boring — so you’ll need to supplement that dry information with an emotional buy-in, which often comes in the form of storytelling. For a lot of entrepreneurs, starting a business is actually much easier than telling that story. If you’re uncomfortable with pitching, try taking a public speaking course. Look up videos of successful pitches and try to hone in on what made them successful. And if all else fails, just be honest and relatable. You don’t need many bells and whistles. You just need to engage your potential investors.
Pitching can be scary, but it’s also an amazing point in the life of your business. Hit the ground running and focus on making a pitch that you can be proud of!