How are you supposed to shrink down years of your hard work, dedication, and stress that you put into your ‘baby,’ into just 60 seconds? The answer isn’t that simple, but Shark Tank has made it evident that it is able to be done. Getting investors to fund your startup is one of the most challenging steps you will encounter when it comes to the different stages of a business. So what is the key to success?
An “Elevator Pitch” is a 60 second pitch of your idea or business to an investor or audience. From the moment the doors shut, you will have roughly 60 seconds to make an impression and leave the investor wanting to learn more.
I have 5 simple steps that will help when it comes time to pitch your ‘baby’ in front of those Barbara Corcorans, Mark Cubans, and Mr. (Not-So) Wonderfuls.
1. Know who you're pitching too.
Lead the pitch with what the investor will care about and relate to most. The rest will follow with ease. This is important in having a good elevator pitch because your pitch should be able to shift depending on the audience you are targeting. Understand what their forte is and where they can help your company.
2. State the problem and your solution.
Is cutting bread too much of a burden, tiresome or even perilous for you? Well that is the problem that Otto Rohwedder solved when he invented a machine that pre-sliced bread in 1928. So, what problem does your bread slicer solve? This should be the first part of your pitch when in front of investors. It helps to introduce the point of your product or service and what it is doing for the market.
3. Your vision.
This is where you feed in a little bit of your personal story and maybe even gain some sympathy. Where do you see the company’s future? What is your reasoning for starting your own business? This helps the investor get a small taste of your own background that helps provide character to the product or service itself.
4. Don't incorporate too many statistics.
Take this with a grain of salt. As the person pitching the business, you need, I repeat, you NEED to know your numbers inside and out. Like the back of your hand. Better than you know your own children. After all, your business is another one of your children, right? But, when it comes to the actual pitch itself, you don’t need to incorporate any numbers about your business unless you have some drastic growth that had occurred in a short span of time, or any other incredible numbers that will really help in the investor’s vision of your current business and how it could make him money if he chooses to invest. Remember, you only have 60 seconds to explain your baby to complete strangers who have never heard or seen what it is, how it works, and what goes into it all.
5. Leave them wanting more.
How are you supposed to get an investment, if you’re just boring the investor? Your tone, enthusiasm, and excitement about the company mean everything when pitching your business. If you expect just the idea to take off with an investor and no money-backing, you might as well just light your entire business plan on fire and call it a day. End with a good one-liner that captures your business and can be funny and entertaining to the investor. Make sure when those doors open, the investor doesn't get out because he is interested in learning more.
Getting funding for your startup is the difference between just being known as a "startup" and becoming a big, well-known company or corporation. These five tips on how to pitch your business to investors will assist in getting you and your business the funding you need.