Do you have a big business idea, but you need the support of a venture capitalist or other backer? Don’t let the pitch or proposal process scare you away from your dreams. The truth is, with a well-crafted pitch, you can find the financial backer that is perfect for you and your new business. Keep in mind however, that you may be seeking funding from many different sources, so you’ll want to craft your pitch to each and every source you’re contacting. It may take some time, but once the support comes rolling in, that time will be well worth it.
Tell them who you are
Your investor is going to be looking at a number of things, chief among them being your experience. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going to judge you based on your age, but you’ll want to make sure your pitch gives a good idea of how much experience you have, or don’t have, in the proposed industry. If your pitch requires a bolder, more adventurous type, then make sure you highlight that in your description of yourself. However, if your pitch requires a strong leader with a lot of maturity, then that is something you’ll want to point out. Be sure to tell your potential investor who you are and why you’re the person for this business to take off and to be successful.
What if this is your first big pitch? That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be a “no” from the get-go. While it’s true that many investors look for entrepreneurs that have a lot of experience already bringing a product or service to market, sometimes backing a new founder who has big ideas and the energy to execute them is just as successful. So don’t let your resume, or lack thereof, dictate your success with a potential investor. Take the time to show why you’re the person for the job, how you can do it, why your team is the best and why the investor needs to back you and your project.
Your personal story doesn’t matter
True, you want the investor to know who you are, but the bulk of the story isn’t important. While the investor will want to know your background, it’s equally important that he or she know that you’ve assembled a strong team capable of carrying the new business or idea to success, and to compete in an already saturated market. So your story matters, but not as much as the overall story of your whole team. Take the time in your pitch to show just why these people are all crucial to the success of your idea.
Research the culture
Whether you’re looking into a venture capitalist or you’re pitching a new idea to an already existing organization, be sure to take the time to research the culture of the business at hand. Show the potential investor that you’ve taken the time to do your research about them just as much as the product or service you’re pitching. This can also act as an interview of sorts for you. If the investor isn’t the person you’d want on your team, your research will point that out early, allowing you to back out gracefully should you disagree with their corporate culture.
This article was written by Deborah Flomberg for Small Business Pulse