Pitching to Investors: How to Present with Confidence
By Staples Canada
August 04, 2020
Tools to Re-Open and Grow Your Business
Pitching to investors as a small business owner or startup is a lot like pitching to your parents as a kid. They have the capital and you have the idea in your head of how great life will be once you get your hands on that new toy you’ve been eyeing.
“That new toy” in your case is an oversimplification when you’re thinking in terms of opening new locations, launching a product, or testing new business models. Many of the principles at play in getting what you want, however, remain the same.
You have to make a case for yourself and whatever it is you’re looking to put funds behind. What’s in it for the other party? What do they have to gain from revenue that does not yet exist?
Those are daunting questions to answer, especially when all you can think about is your fear of public speaking. The good news is, businesses secure funding from investors all the time—it can be done.
Before making your pitch, consider these tips for how to do so with confidence.
Know Your Stuff
As a new business owner, you might not be as knowledgeable on your industry as the investors you’re pitching to. That doesn’t mean you should go in blind.
In fact, if you’re taking the steps to build out a strategic business plan, there’s no way you’ll go into a meeting without knowing your stuff. Do your market research, forecast, and recheck the numbers of your financial projections pitch deck slide.
It also helps to keep an eye on evolving trends in customer behavior. There are some outside factors you simply can’t plan for, but you can mitigate risk and prove more persuasive when you speak to your industry as part of a larger consumer ecosystem.
Get Feedback Ahead of Time
A little practice goes a long way. If you have a mentor or trusted business advisor on speed dial, propose a mock investor pitch session in exchange for dinner and drinks, your treat.
Additionally, thanks to the internet, there’s no shortage of information at your fingertips. Research industry-specific musts to include in your materials and compare pitch deck examples from those who’ve already gone through the process.
Cut Out the Fluff
You know everything there is to know about your product or service. That doesn’t mean investors will be interested in every minute detail and elaborate hypotheticals over what could be.
You should, of course, be passionate about what it is you’re selling—just make sure you’re balancing that passion with practicality. Keep explanations direct and to the point. If what you’re pitching is too complicated to be described in two to three sentences, you might want to go back to the drawing board.
Consider leaving a relevant tip or professional takeaway behind post-pitch as well. The Staples Solutionshop is there for all of your design and printing needs. A branded one-pager provides investors with something tangible they can easily revisit or reference during internal discussions.