So, you’ve hit on your Big Idea, validated it, and honed your elevator pitch. Now you need to convince other people to invest. Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking for external funding, or a director seeking internal investment, generating support for your Big Idea will be a challenge. But it is possible.
Your backers will want to know why the time's right for your idea, and how it aligns with your brand’s purpose and principles. You'll also need to show that you have the right team to turn your concept into reality. Here's how to prepare before you step into the dragons' den...
Before you pitch for funding, craft your investor pitch deck and get prepared. Create a short, punchy presentation that flows and tells a clear story. Make sure each slide has one clear takeaway, and summarise key points at the beginning and the end of the presentation. Ensure you know your product inside and out, and prep answers to the questions potential investors could fire at you.
While investors want to make a solid investment in a good idea, their reasons for investing will vary. Try to better understand their motivations by looking at LinkedIn to see what they’re talking about and sharing.
Whatever their personal motivation, backers will be investing in more than an idea – they’re investing in people. So have a compelling story to tell and know your ‘Why?’.
Time to present your compelling narrative. An authentic backstory will engage investors and win their buy-in, help to drive your marketing and PR, and connect you with your audience.
Be personable, demonstrate your passion and build an emotional connection. Be careful not to get bogged down explaining the technical ins and outs. Focus on the customer value proposition instead. Listen to what’s being said and asked of you during the pitch, too. Hone in on the story, not a dull litany of stats.
Keep your proposition simple and present it powerfully at the outset (try to keep it to 60 seconds or less if possible). Taking this approach will grab your audience’s attention from the off and make a positive impression.
But while it’s important to have a thorough and well-thought-through presentation, always be prepared to go off-piste. Be ready to jump around and go with the flow of the conversation to answer investors’ queries.
Every Big Idea, however good, needs the right people to make it work. Investing time in building your network will pay dividends, giving you knowledge and insight as well as confidence in talking about your idea. Be bold and ask for guidance or introductions – you’ll often find people are flattered to be asked for help and willing to share their knowledge.
Surround yourself with advisors that span the critical areas of your business too - from marketing and branding, to content, technology, product, legal and financial. Look for people who've been on a similar journey, and only invite advisors to come on board in an official capacity when you’re 100% sure they’re a good fit. Remember, it takes time to find the right people.
Networking is key to grow your professional circle and continuously connect with new people, generating awareness of you as an individual, as well as the new product or service that you’re bringing to life. But don’t stop at LinkedIn – pursue face-to-face networking opportunities too. This has so many benefits and you’ll glean much more than through a virtual connection. So, go to investor community events, share your thoughts and perfect your pitch.
Finally, don’t forget to thank every individual who helps you along the way. Acknowledge the part they play in your journey and your growth, and be generous with the information you learn. In other words, pay it forward – another generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders are just setting out along a similar path.
Breaking the mould of traditional time-based consultancy, iCrossing has a suite of fixed-price strategy products based solely on clearly-defined tasks and outcomes to supercharge your digital experience. Whether you have an hour to spare, or want to dive deeper into your business challenges, we can help.
We’ll draw on our extensive experience of helping clients who are raising money, making products, launching, growing a user base and commercialising.
Call +44 (0)20 3176 2632 or contact us to kickstart the conversation.
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