This is the era of Entrepreneurship. Workaholic blood is marinating in a pool of ideas seeking fruitful opportunities. Some ideas are intellectually formulated while others are passion driven. But sooner or later, every idea has to go through the catastrophe.
Because you are reading this blog, I assume you’re on the path of planning pitches. Now ‘You’, the pitcher must know that 25-35% of valuation is actual cash funding. So your idea cannot be an understatement but beyond the horizon.
If you are familiar with Shark Tank, you can experience live incidents of how great or may be average ideas confront both acknowledgement and failure.
But before you start, don’t you think it is vital for you to understand the investor’s perception also? After all, he’s the one to gamble with his money.
Picture yourself as an investor. Now apart from the idea, what key elements would impress you to make his yet-to-be-true fantasy come alive?
This is the time when you expect impulsive research and carefully done homework before the showdown.
Coming back, now that’s exactly what you need when you’re all set to pitch. Here’s a set of practical advices for you:
1. Sell yourself, before your idea
It is your first attempt and the investor knows it. ‘Your’ patience, composition, belief in the idea and natural respect towards the investor are few probable parameters you’ll be rated on the basis of.
Let’s make it a little easy. Remember your first ever job interview? There you were the product and company was the buyer. You had to sell yourself for the role you applied for and influence the company to invest in you.
Why not apply it now?
Inspiration: It’s out open to the world how Snapdeal, country’s largest digital commerce ecosystem roughly started in 2010 as invisible, and since 2011 it has made its impression by enjoying 7 continuous rounds of heavy funding.
2. Present more as you have less time
It is smart to stay prepared for the worse. You must realize that the investor is uninterested already and has decided to slip out of your presentation in next 10-15 minutes, obviously because he is a more demanded person that you are right now.
So you have less time to enchant him with your insight of entrepreneurial skills.
Why not take it like an exam? Remember those academic exams that gave less time to present a lot?
Similarly, here you need to survey if your presentation is communicative enough to answer the What, When, Where, Why and How factors in barely five minutes. Believe me, this is what he is actually looking for.
Inspiration: Yet another food story that is on the roll. Box8 enjoyed revised funding since inauguration in 2012, despite being restricted within Mumbai city’s premises.
3. Plan! Avoid performing on the spot
Be the investor a good egg or a tough one, he always wants to know your vision. Make sure you are prepared for some commonly raised questions, like:
- What level of funding are you expecting?
- What period will the business-investor relationship last post funding?
- What’s your exit strategy?
- Are you planning to sell collective shares to an Entrepreneur?
- Have you gone public with your idea yet?
- Is your vision of that to become a franchise?
If you prove smart here, you might just reach the next level!
Inspiration: redBus made a side entry in August 2006, but it made a smart move when had its stake to Ibibo Group in June 2013 and marked an estimate of 65% in the market.
4. Do your research on the money man
It’s always a good idea to study about the one whom you have to enchant. Ask yourself these questions:
- Whom has he invested in before?
- What’s his current rating in the market?
- Does he have any idea about your industry?
- How much time will he dedicate to you?
This is where the homework actually counts.
Inspiration: UrbanClap as country’s leading daily service marketplace, has received up to 10 crores of funding including one round performed by Snapdeal, who itself is a prime example of a memorable brand creation.
5. Make sure your diligence shows
On an average, the investor spends 2 to 3 months in making up his mind whether to buy you or not.
You should be precise about your idea being the best for him, in order to push his decisiveness. Other than a pitcher, you need to become a good observer too.
Just to simplify, think of a scenario when you realize that your hang out friends’ aren’t fascinated by your stories anymore.
Similarly, try reading the investor’s attitude and gestures that signify his level of interest in your presentation and confidence in your idea.
Inspiration: Chaayos is a bizarre idea confined to making Chai (Tea), with the only USP of being freshly made and creatively served. Started in 2012, it has moved on to targeting 60 outlets as a whole along with an app dealing in B2B subscriptions.
6. Be worthy for the money
Fortunately if you are going on good notes, the money matters usually don’t take very long. If not, you’ll know it way before reaching the negotiation part. But you do need to summon your negotiation limits indeed.
To make this part easier, try testing through a role-play.
Sit down with a piece of paper and fold in two halves. Mark one half as ‘Deal points’ (where you want the investor to climb up) and the other half as ‘Trading points’ (where the investor wants you to surrender).
- Unnerve him with your precision and your set facts about the negotiation;
- Try not to become the first one to quote the number (else you’re trapped);
- Don’t let your neediness pop out from your word of mouth (else again you’re trapped); and
- Don’t settle in somewhere ‘between’ or at least don’t make it obvious that you’re intimidated
If at any point the payer gets nasty you need not lose it, rather just seal the deal.
Inspiration: OYO started with one small hotel in Gurgaon, in May 2013. Since then, it has addressed an immortal hike shoot up to 10,000+ hotels in 250+ cities.
7. Excel your vocabulary
No philosophies here! Just browse; find; jot it down; learn and start implementing, as believable and doable words don’t fail.
Conclusion: Remember, it is a game of mind. Both parties tend not to give up until the saturation point is touched. But now that you have decided to enter the battalion, keep the melancholy aside and start pitching.
Author Bio: Richa Agarwal is a graduate in Journalism & mass comm and currently works as a Marketer at MyOperator. She has found her interest and drive in writing. She is a big time foodie and loves to travel.
(Image credits: MyOperator )"7 Steps to Making A Great Pitch For Your Startup!",