When the time comes to get your start-up off the ground, you’ll need a boost of practical and financial assistance. There is always a great deal of talk in the entrepreneurial community about how to attract investment. It is not hard to see why: securing the necessary funds is almost always a fledgling business’ top priority.
If you want to know how to pitch investors successfully, you should consider the following seven tips.
1. Have a compelling vision
To attract investment, you need to present a compelling vision – and you need to communicate it clearly. What are your start-up’s overall business goals? Keep it short, a sentence or two should do it, and make sure that it answers why your business needs to exist.
Investors will want to see a big, bold, clear vision that can plausibly generate significant returns to justify the risk they take.
2. It is all about the people
A successful start-up is always the product of many people’s hard work. Turning a good business idea into an investible proposition is rarely, if ever, a solo mission. Investors know this and are far more impressed with entrepreneurs who have gathered a winning team to help them achieve their goals.
Make sure your team, or at least the key members, are all involved in the pitch – and present on the day. Investors want to know who they’re going to be working with and meet the people involved in making your start-up a success.
3. Put the user first
In addition to knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing, you also need to show you know who you’re doing it for and that there’s a real opportunity in the market for your product. Who are your end-users? What are their frustrations and pain-points and how can your start-up help solve their real-world problems? How big is your potential audience and what will your product or service be worth to them? If you lose sight of this, the very likely outcome is no users = no business.
4. Maintain a laser beam focus
In a start-up, time and money are always critical resources. Therefore, it is absolutely vital that you are extremely disciplined about where to put your energy. You should ruthlessly deprioritise anything that does not help you in solving your biggest problem.
5. Build your user base in a niche
Of course, a large market sounds compelling and many start-ups are attracted by the promise of sizeable opportunities. However, it is going to be attractive to many people and competition therefore intense. With this in mind, don’t be afraid of starting small! Start in a concentrated niche that you can plausibly dominate. You will stand a much better chance of finding an army of engaged early users that will allow you to test your offer and provide feedback. With this support and validation, you can then gradually expand into niches with similar characteristics.
6. Test, learn and demonstrate traction
Your business will live or die by the adoption of your end users. Therefore, you should strive to get a live product out as early as possible. Live data is the most powerful source for learning – your users’ feedback is invaluable. This may seem brutal to you and there may be a natural tendency to hold back until your product is closer to “perfect”, but there is no way around this reality check. In the early days, you will want to seek validation for the stickiness of your product and organic growth.
7. Be tenacious, yet flexible
Positivity and brutal realism are not always easy bedfellows, yet it is essential to the success of your start-up to juggle both. If you realise you are stuck in a dead end, consider changing the angle of attack and pivot to a new approach. Time and money are precious, limited resources. Don’t shorten your runway by stubbornly following a path that has proven unviable.
The pitch is your moment to shine. Don’t let your great business idea fall apart at the last minute – do your research, test the market, crunch the numbers, and rehearse as often as you can.
If you think your idea has the potential to flip the traditional lottery industry on its head, get in touch.