Pitching for beginners - Part One

2nd August 2018

One of the most commonly asked questions by business owners seeking investment, or those looking to increase sales is “how do I create a winning pitch”

Pitching for beginners - Part One

Out of the frying pan

Despite developing a product / service that has shown potential, so much so the possibility of significant growth seems ever more on the horizon. It is something many business owners seem to struggle with.

The idea of being taken out of the proverbial ‘comfort zone’ and presenting the very thing they have laboured intensively over for months, even years, can reduce even the most promising intrepid entrepreneur into a quivering wreck of perspiration and confusion.

There can be no doubt, introducing your business concept to a selection of individuals whom you’ve never met before, and who have the capacity to make decisions that ultimately affect your future is daunting. However, here are a few key points to remember when about to take the leap out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Start with the end in mind

Before attempting to enter the wilderness of finding the right words, images and other useful graphics to depict the business model in its brightest light, take a moment to consider the purpose of the pitch.

Information conveyed to potential clients / customers will most certainly be less complex and in depth from both a financial and organisational perspective, than if pitching to investors. It is ok to have more than one pitch for more than one purpose and indeed entrepreneurs will need to create and become well versed with each pitch that is created in order to make the right impression.

Knowledge is power

If you have ever watched an episode of Dragons’ Den or The Apprentice, it is highly likely that you have sat through and endured some of the most cringe worthy, epic fail moments on TV. Where individuals described as being some of the UK’s most promising talent, or budding entrepreneurs, attempt to pitch their ideas to potential investors in the hope of securing finance, and becoming Britain’s next big thing.

However, whilst in the midst of trying to create the right impression, dry mouth syndrome kicks in, vital information is lost as a result of confusion, or is simply unavailable through lack of preparation.

Or, when challenged by investors, the presenter (would be entrepreneur) becomes defensive at the mere suggestion another human being should dare question what they believe to be fool proof plans for world domination.

In short, avoid all of the above like the plague. Know your facts and figures, technical specifications, market research and test trading results. Stay grounded - whilst investors want to see a return on their investment, it is also a good idea to be honest and realistic about key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Investors will equally want to be made aware of key challenges and gaps in skills, so it is important to address as much of this as you can beforehand, as well as being completely transparent on the day.

Confidence is essential

Try to remember that whilst your presentation has the potential to secure the future of your business model, you are pitching to other human beings just like you!

At no time at all will they leap across the room and devour you for breakfast, so keep calm. If you have ticked all of the right boxes, sought professional advice, and jumped through the myriad of hoops associated with talking to investors, you will have learnt a great deal. Not just about your business model and its potential, but in regards to your own strengths and weaknesses. Practice makes as near to perfect as it will ever be, so practice, get feedback and above all allow the belief you have in yourself and your business model to make the biggest impact.

How Newable can help

There are three ways that Newable provide assistance to businesses looking for investment opportunities.

Newable CASTS

Newable CASTS is a dynamic new training programme geared towards business owners looking to develop pitching skills to attract investment, providing practical advice on how to create a winning pitch. The next round of training kicks off in autumn 2018, for further information, or to express interest, Email: casts@newable.co.uk.

Newable Private Investing

Newable Private Investing formerly known as the London Business Angels Network, specialise in providing, information, guidance support and investment for potentially high growth tech businesses throughout the UK for further information visit: https://www.newable.co.uk/private-investing/.