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You’ve got the best idea for a business startup that the world has ever seen. You’ve spent months tirelessly researching the market and you’ve got the qualitative and quantitative data to prove it. You know that there’s quantifiable interest in what you have to offer and that you’re the only one who can give it to the world. You’ve constructed a rigorously detailed business plan that will one day be hailed as a classic of world literature. You’ve even done some exhaustive calculations and determined your first year’s cash flow projections and… it all looks good.
Yet every time you get in front of a bank, a business lender or a grant assistance board, you’re met with rejection after rejection. It’s frustrating, emotionally draining and with each rejection the process becomes a little more soul destroying. Is it possible that your investor pitch is making one of these cardinal errors?
Too much information density
One of the problems with carrying out exhaustive research when developing your business plan is parsing out what information is necessary to sway an investor and what isn’t. As a result we can throw everything but the kitchen sink at them, bombarding them with so much information that the pitch starts to lose its clarity and if an investor doesn’t understand something, they’re more likely to shy away from it than to take the time to get to know it.
Not adapting to the environment
The environment and context are a huge factor in how your pitch should be presented. If it’s an elevator pitch, you want to narrow it down to a few scintillating sentences that will leave them wanting to know more. The last thing you want is to become a nuisance as you stalk down the corridor bombarding them with facts and statistics. If, however, it’s at a lavish business event, you’ll want to match the mood and feel of your presentation to the theme of the event.
Furthermore, you should appear comfortable and at ease whatever the environment as if this is your natural habitat.
Not showing a clear knowledge of your market
When your attention is based solely on your business and why it’s such a surefire investment, it can be easy to neglect showing off your knowledge of the market in which your business operates. Again, you don’t want to bombard them with statistics (though a few cherry picked market trends can do wonders). Little things like knowing what software you’ll use to track calls for inbound sales and how your product fulfills a niche that isn’t being catered to by your competitors can make all the difference. Failing to acknowledge your business’ market can lead investors to believe that there isn’t sufficient interest to establish a consumer base.
Being a robot
Finally, it’s important to imbue your pitch with personality and passion. This is your project so get emotional about it. Your passion and enthusiasm may well be contagious! Remember that consumer behavior is driven by emotion and justified by logic. If you can engage with an investor emotionally and then use your data to show why they’re right to be engaged, you’re on to a winner.