Fundamentals of pitching- take note, start-up founders!
Pitching: Everyone pitches for something or the other right? Whether that’s getting into university or at a job interview or even convincing someone to marry you! Start-up founders particularly have a lot more pitches to give considering all the stakeholders involved — whether they are looking for investors, customers & clients, or just trying to convince their family members and friends of their stellar business idea.
These pitches are going to be a lot more frequent when you begin your startup journey, so remember to have your pitch ready at hand, tailored slightly towards who you meet in the startup ecosystem.
JPIN has come up with the following 7 key insights that can help you perfect your pitch in the competitive world of raising investments.
Do Your Homework
To do a pitch well, you have to understand your audience. Thank god there’s this thing called LinkedIn. Look up everyone in the room and research their background to find points of common interest, like you’re both film aficionados or addicted to caffeine. But you also want to find where you’re not relevant and omit those ideas and thoughts from your pitch.
Set the Stage
Build a strong foundation for your presentation by asking three simple questions:
How would you define yourself?
Are you a high-impact or small business entrepreneur?
How long do you have?
You should swallow the time capsule before you run out of time. If you have made your pitch on the premise that you will be speaking for an hour, while all you are going to have is half an hour, you are in for a shock. Keep it short and simple, stick to 10-12 slides and speak for a maximum of 8-10 minutes whilst keeping the rest for questions.
What are the three most important things that I can explain?
Try to figure out what the three things the investors want to hear and the topics relevant to them, don’t digress if it is not necessary.
What’s your story?
Even if your company’s startup bio isn’t very engaging, you need to learn how to brand your name with a compelling, humanised core. This is where potential customers (and investors) begin an emotional connection with your product or services, whether it’s the Ah-ha! a story that kickstarted everything, or an anecdote about sacrifice, something as straightforward as you leaving a comfortable career in search of a more meaningful journey can help connect with your audience. Once you have the hook, maintain it for the rest of your pitch.
Know your competitors
If you can’t name any of your market competition, then either (A) you haven’t done enough research, or (B) you may not be targeting an attractive enough market.
Know your location
The actual address of your company headquarters means a lot more than just how far the nearest pizza joint is. Your location determines:
Access to funding
Even the perfect pitch can’t pull capital out of a hat.
How does your city compare to other cities regarding tax percentages and incentives?
As your company grows, you’re gonna need a reliable pipeline of young talent, and that pipeline must be able to diversify along with your company’s staffing needs.
Investopedia defines this as “the network of organizations – including suppliers, distributors, customers, competitors, government agencies and so on – involved in the delivery of a specific product or service through both competition and cooperation.” Everything has to do with everything, no matter how gleaned your business model is.
Endorse Your Team
Entrepreneurs often pitch along with some of their core team members that can provide additional information on key aspects of the business. But while many entrepreneurs briefly introduce their team, JPIN recommends going a step further and offering a quick, impressive insight into exactly what each member offers towards the business and why you have the best team to deliver the kind of product/service you’re offering.
Brag about what is impressive about your team, because nobody else is going to do that if you don’t. Don’t say, “John runs our database marketing effort”; say, “John has this amazing ability to tease actionable insights out of data. Last week, he found a causal relationship that allowed us to increase our gross margin by a full percentage point with no impact on sales rate.”
These endorsements endear those team members to the people receiving your pitch, giving your business credibility. It also provides investors with specific, timely information about what roles these individuals play and how the business will formulate in the future. . Finally, it shows you as a leader, capable of leading the company and bringing a healthy return to investors.
Ask for an amount you think your startup deserves
Pitches, ultimately, are about securing funding. Success means having a funder decide to invest in exchange for equity in the company. This is not the time to be bashful or overly frugal.
When you are communicating your financial needs, JPIN recommends breaking the total ask into four buckets:
- Product refinements and improvements
- Sales and marketing
- Allocating rough amounts in these buckets will help funders understand why you need what you need
Finding your way around a perfect pitch might seem like a daunting task, but with this blog, JPIN has come up with a comprehensive and discernible list of 7 tips that aim to educate startup founders about devising the perfect pitch that shall assist them in wooing investors and enticing them to give a considerable amount of investment to the startup. It is JPIN’s earnest belief that the investment a startup deserves is proportional to the amount of work that the startup founders put into their pitch.
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