Have you ever thought about how much one minute can change your life? Now imagine if you were given 10 minutes to pitch the potential of your business?
You can’t make your business successful with the simple wave of a magic wand. It can take years to dream up an exciting startup, and even longer to turn it into something substantial, but a strongly crafted sales pitch can propel your business in the right direction.
How exactly can startups launch themselves toward success
In the United States, 99.9% of businesses are startups. There are more than 37 million of them in the U.S., creating millions of jobs across different industries. The reach of startups spans beyond the United States, too — some businesses choose to include international clients and workers in their scope, leaving a lot of room for growth.
But this also means that running a business can get real competitive, real fast!
In fact, founding a new business can get so competitive that 21.5% of startups fail within their first year of operation. Most of these businesses find that keeping their efforts properly funded is a struggle. Keeping a business running takes more than heart and effort: It also takes a LOT of money.
Some of today’s largest multinational companies had humble beginnings: Instagram, LinkedIn, and even AirBnb started small before growing into the giants they’re known to be today.
With a large number of today’s newest, most profitable companies having come from small beginnings, a lot of business owners might be thinking about how they can possibly do it!
While it’s true that venture capital can play a huge role in the maintenance, expansion and overall success of a business, plenty of these companies start with little to no money. So, what made them different?
A lot of these business owners saw a problem in their daily lives and hoped to fix it with tech.
Ben Chestnut, founder of email marketing supertool MailChimp, hated designing email newsletters. He created a tool that would help him — and ultimately millions of others — market their businesses.
Eventually, his confidence grew enough to help him find his way into growing MailChimp into what is now a $400-million business with 11 million users.
Criteria that predict success to investors
Investors can determine the potential success of your startup with a set of criteria.
Instead of wondering what you can do to find the right and best investors for you, think about it from their point of view: What’s the team dynamic like? Is the market profitable? Is the product or service something that shows a high level of success?
These markers are usually what investors consider to determine whether their resources will be placed in something that is likely to give returns. Some also look at what communities your project can help, what long-term changes it can bring, and if it can ultimately become a game-changer in its field.
Whatever the nature of your business, it’s important to be able to know the ins and outs to be able to sell it.
Careful planning can help turn the brightest and biggest of dreams into a reality that changes thousands (or even millions) of lives.
How to explain your business plan and its potential
Even for the most charismatic, word-savvy entrepreneurs, being able to share the details of your business plan can be stressful. Condensing the most important information about your venture and presenting it accurately and competently can be an understandably daunting task. This is also why some startups struggle to find the right people to fund their businesses: an unintentional lack of research and preparedness can make obtaining funds difficult, thus making it practically impossible for a business to survive, much less thrive.
Learning how to present your business realistically, but teeming with potential, is an art that can (quite literally) pay off well when correctly mastered.
Some of the most common preparations for pitch events include pitch decks with well laid-out and easy to understand statistics, short-term and long-term plans, as well as other plans that are absolutely essential for investors to know.
Investors only fund about 1% of pitches that they receive — how can you make sure yours makes it into that slim percentage?
Steps to an effective sales pitch
1. Prepare your pitches well. The best and the brightest put a lot of thought and effort into their pitches: not just in what they wear and how they present themselves, but also in the content of their presentations. They know who they’re talking to, what potential their business offers, and how to properly prepare and present their numbers and projections. You must research, research, research!
2. Compile your data with appropriate visuals. A good pitch is detailed and inviting — but a great pitch? It’s comprehensive and engaging. Compiling data and being able to present it with minimal, but pleasing, visuals is one of the first challenges: Get the key data you need to present and arrange it in a readable, eye-catching manner. How much time will your audience need to read each slide? Will they need graphs and tables? View your presentation from the audience’s perspective and adjust accordingly.
3. Know the ins and outs of your presentation. You have to 100% know what you’re talking about to gain the trust of the people who are looking to invest in your business. One thing you definitely shouldn’t overlook is the fact that you MUST learn about your competition. Investors most likely listen to dozens (or perhaps even hundreds) of people discuss why they need or deserve funding and how they can stand out in their field. It’s key to be able to elaborate how well you know your competitors to better share how you plan to compete with them.
4. Practice makes perfect. When your numbers are realistic and you’re absolutely confident and passionate about your presentation, the offer becomes a lot more enticing to the people you’re speaking to. Sometimes, less is more. You don’t have to dive too deep and risk information overload when you can share the information that matters.
When your numbers are realistic and you’re absolutely confident and passionate about your presentation, the offer becomes a lot more enticing to the people you’re speaking to.
Now that you have this knowledge under your belt, what comes next?
COVID-19 has drastically changed the way of life for businesses: a lot of things had to rapidly shift into online platforms, and pitch events are not excluded from those. Being able to present these decks online has proven to be an additional challenge for entrepreneurs. If you need feedback or advice, companies such as The Farm Soho offer investor pitch nights and networking.