Many investors and mentors say they make their decision within the first few minutes of meeting an entrepreneur. This makes it important to keep a few basics in mind during your pitch, including telling a story, defining your audiences, chalking out the business plan, and describing your funding needs in detail, to clinch a funding deal.
It is also important to avoid a few things while pitching to an investor. These include going unprepared, not knowing your market, not having a business plan in place, and more. 1) Saying you have no competition It is understood that all companies have some form of competition or other. There are few companies that were the very first in their space or sector. Also, being first doesn’t guarantee funding or capturing the market. Your pitch needs to showcase how it is different from the competition, what is the USP, and what makes it sticky with users as opposed to the competition. 2) Keeping the presentation too long Less is more, and a good deck usually comprises 10 to 12 crisp slides. This ensures that you avoid reading out the slides, which can derail the interest of an investor. An overtly long presentation can be distracting and can detract from the focus of the pitch. It confuses the investor, making them unsure if they should invest in your company or not. 3) Not doing your homework Nothing is more off-putting to an investor than an entrepreneur who is not prepared. Ensure that you thoroughly research the market and the audience. It is okay to not have all the answers, but it’s important to know the basics. You need to be able to give confidence to the investor that you have a grasp of the market, space, your team, and idea. 4) Lying in your pitch This is a big no-no. Avoid lying of any kind and form while pitching. An entrepreneur-investor relationship needs to be built on the basis of trust - that can be established only when you are completely honest. Investors always look for entrepreneurs who are genuine and honest. Avoid exaggerating or lying about numbers, market size, competition, people, or your background. Investors run background checks, and always cross-reference everything. Lying in your pitch will lose you more than one investor as word will spread. In conclusion, when raising funds, it is important to dot your i’s and cross your t’s to make a good first impression on the investor.