As entrepreneurs, we find problems. We come up with ideas. Through trial and error, we discover solutions. Then the real work begins. Design. Plan. Execute. Analyze results and implement improvements. Iterate. Ready to pitch? You may want to consider a few additional steps prior to your pitch meeting.
Identifying the right potential investors to pitch is as critical as understanding your target market. Look for investors who will be able to benefit from your company on a level that goes further than simple financial gain. While return on investment is obviously the key goal, looking for investors who may be able to apply your specialties to other businesses where they’ve invested can spark additional interest and opportunities. The importance of your goals and objectives are critical to keep in mind when searching for financial backing, as you want to find the investor who not only has the money but also the belief in the industry where your product will make an impact. By researching and vetting investors thoroughly upfront, you will save yourself and your company valuable time and resources in the long run.
Time is of the Essence
Opportunities to meet with investors may be available sooner than you think, especially if your idea is perceived as one with rapid growth potential. Make sure that you have the fundamentals of your pitch nailed down before you start actively seeking potential investors. When you finally get the meetings with the investors you’ve targeted, be succinct and passionate. Be open to alternative or creative ways that some investors may wish to align themselves or structure a partnership. Some investors prefer to invest their time – in addition to their money – and they want to get their hands dirty by participating in the startup process. After all, it can be exhilarating when things are going well.
Entrepreneurs all have a story to tell about how they came up with their idea, what it took to bring it to fruition and how they will be able to address a problem with their unique solution. In a world full of numbers, symbols and even emojis, the art of personal communication is fading fast, but you still have something to convey and share with the business world. Your idea. Your excitement. Your hard work. Your pitch. The opportunity to pitch your business venture to potential investors is hard to obtain, but gaining their attention will seem like the easy part as compared to gaining their trust. Whenever given the option, choose to meet in person. This shows that you are willing to invest your time and money not only into your venture, but into them and their company. If it involves driving a distance, make the drive. It if involves longer travel plans to accommodate them, make those travel plans happen.
When it comes to courting potential investors, apply the same dedication to perfecting your pitch as you apply to growing your venture. Be willing to do whatever it takes. Prepare a little more than you think you should. Keeping it simple and establishing a personal connection can help take your bootstrapped startup to well-funded media darling. Batter up!