As a start-up entrepreneur, or, probably, founder, on the lookout for investors, you will not, always have multiple stages, to make a first impression, a reason you ought to get yourself, well prepared, for an unexpected elevator pitch.
Though not all presentations, take the elevator pitch style, nevertheless, you must be ready, to throw all you have, out at once, about your business, in a precise and concise effort.
A number of business founders, most of the time, fail to catch up, with essential points, which often results in them, falling out of the VCs good books.
On a daily basis, VC companies receive loads of pitches; therefore, it is imperative, for business founders, to keep in mind some basic rules that will ensure, you scale the first stage of funding.
As much as possible, you need to avoid some common pitching mistakes. Some of these pitfalls gathered from investors are summarised here:
No Executive Summary
Hardly, will you find an investor that would take out time, to go through the whole pages of your business plan.
You need to take your time, to come up with a well-constructed brief executive summary.
Your PowerPoint presentation too has to be top-notch and must, at least, contain the following:
- The customer acquisition cost
- The market size
- The target market
- The projected revenues and expenses
Zero-knowledge About Your Investors
It is often a daunting task, to find investors.
When you, finally, get one, ensure that, you have all the information about them, before you, probably; get your first meeting scheduled.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do they invest in your business type?
- Do they belong to any angel network?
- What investments, have they made in the past?
Misplaced Pitch Presentation
This occurs, as the entrepreneur’s bias, where there is an unnecessary focus, on what their products and services do, rather than, dutifully, explaining why it is needed.
At this juncture, you need to wield the power of storytelling, to drive home your point.
Figure out, how your products and services, would be beneficial to your potential customers, else, you would end up with no offers, for your funding.
Zero-Knowledge Of Your Competitors
You are, actually, shooting yourself in the foot, when you pitch before investors, with zero knowledge of who your competitors are.
This demonstrates to your competitors that, you are not yet ready for the business journey.
These investors are vast, in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, so, there is always a high chance that they know one, or, two, of your competitors.
You should be ready, to explain to them, how your venture would differ from your competitors.
No Time Control
Investors do not have the whole day, listening to your pitch, do not waste the whole time, making unnecessary introductions.
Ensure that, you are aware, of the time allotted for the pitch and hit the very essential parts of your presentation that would catch the fancy, of the investors.
No Valuation Discussion
As a new start-up, you are, probably, yet to acquire a significant number of customers.
Trying to discuss your business valuation, at this point might appear difficult.
It is advisable that you rather wait for the investor, to throw the question at you, in order to avoid an eventual rejection.
In conclusion, some of the points discussed above, indicate pitching mistakes that you should note and also, how to avoid the pitfalls.
Asides all mentioned you should, also, have it, in mind that, seeking a lasting relationship, with any investor you come across is, equally, as important as, wanting to get them, to fund your start-up business.
Also read our ICT Clinic column on the Punch, Pitching, the key to Start-up Success.
Are there other pitching mistakes that you know, feel free to state it in the comment section below
Featured Image: uclfintechbr
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