Pitching

IT’S CALLED A ‘PITCH’ FOR A REASON

Many brilliant business ideas go as far as their original sheets of paper because their entrepreneurs failed to breathe life into them- the art of pitching! You could think up genius business plans, but without the subtle skill to pitch them to the right people, you may as well have never drawn them up. In those few minutes when you meet an investor, how do you maximize that moment out of time to secure the loads of cash that will set up that business? Your success or failure at this will be the fate of thousands of cedis, or another set of papers tossed into the waste bin.

You could call these your business ‘scriptures’:

  1. Brief, logical, persuasive model– It’s a pitch, not a business lecture. In those moments your investors are not seeking to be schooled on business management. They want to know if you deserve their hard earned money! Avoid being verbose and theoretical. Give them real time, practical answers that fit teeming business gaps, with concise information. If your investors struggle to understand your basis, they would assume the market will respond similarly, and look elsewhere with their cash

 

  1. Real is key– The last thing you would want is to rely on assumptions and mere hypotheses to convince an investor. It’s not the lottery. Support your market targets and returns with real time evidence about performance trends in the industry. Show with evidence the performance of new entrants into the market overtime, while juxtaposing your model to theirs and showing why you’re a better option

 

  1. Go slow and easy on the cash-Do not scare away investors with huge sums of money into what you yourself call a startup. Make sensible monetary demands that tally with the scale of your business plan. You would rather want to show how that relatively smaller cash would grow into tons of money via a realistic model. Everyone would pick extra returns over cut throat costs.

 

  1. Know your field– Have informative command over your field and competitors. Show thorough awareness of your competitors. Do not be afraid to show the threats available. Every sensible investor would know those exist and will read between those lines if you do not. Prove how your model with its peculiarities can withstand the competition and chalk positive returns overtime

 

  1. The best-moderate-worst case scenarios– let your investors know the best possible peaks the venture could reach, and the worst as well. Be realistic! Show how in all of these times, the pros outweigh the possible cons, with brief time frame analysis of these possibilities. Use this to eliminate any doubts about the safety of their investments. Let growth be the fulcrum for this aspect, and show how that is going to happen amidst the laid out possibilities

 

  1. An exit plan– Investors may not stick around forever in the lifespan of your business. Let them know these possibilities are available after certain maturity periods. This does not mean you should compromise your safety. Lay out the conditions for this feature and show how either sides still benefit in the long run

 

  1. Be worth investing into– You are the face of the investment. Essentially, look the part, speak the part and act the part. Be prepared for this exercise and get your confidence notches up. Let them feel comfortable around you before delving into your business. You would not want to afford your investors the chance to question your persona before they even consider whatever you’re laying out before them.

 

Remember, it IS called PITCHING for a reason!

 

By,

Solomon Omani-Mensah

(The Pitch Hub Team)

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