Getting into entrepreneurship or even at any point along your journey as an entrepreneur, you will require capital. It is most assuredly inevitable lest you have your own considerable amount of capital – which is not always the case though. Thus the need to search for, identify and court investors for capital investment will naturally become a necessity. With that said you can see why you must familiarize yourself with the dynamics of pitching to investors. There are many types of pitches you might be required to make. The duration of time you are allowed to pitch is usually the major attribute that determines the nature of a pitch. In this article, I shall be solely focusing on the one-minute pitch.
Why Is The One Minute Pitch A Big Deal?
It might seem like a daunting task to compress your whole business or business idea into a minute or less. However, it corners you to focus only on the core elements and chuck out the non-essentials. Not only will mastering your one minute pitch catalyse your prospects of getting funding. It will also become a key tool to use in your marketing drives. Your one minute pitch can essentially be fine-tuned for use as your marketing message or marketing blueprint. The other thing has to do with the usually busy schedules of potential investors. These people tend to be so busy that if ever they give you the platform to pitch to them it will only be for a limited duration of time. Thus if you have your one minute pitch on lockdown then you know you will always be on point. Let me now get into things you must consider in creating your own one minute pitch for your business or business idea.
What To Include In The Pitch
Your pitch must address certain fundamental areas of interest to the potential investor. Obviously you must highlight the problem you are addressing and how (the solution). You must point out your unique selling point or unique value proposition. You must also layout how far along you are in the business and some noteworthy milestones or achievements. That is where if you are a business already in operation you must mention things like turnover, gross margins, net profits and the like for particular prior periods. You can also go as far as mentioning some future projections in those regards.
To attain some serious attention from the potential investors and to be considered credible you must do this: name drop! This will only come in handy if you are connected to some notable brands or some renowned entrepreneurs. This could be with regards to either having them as clients or simply have worked with them in some shape or form. This will definitely garnish your pitch. Depending on the type of investor you will have to mention what it is in it for them. For instance, some types of investors might be requiring equity in exchange for their capital investment. Some might just be requiring a time-bound repayment guarantee. So in your pitch, such details must be highlighted.
Save The Best For First
Normally you have heard people say, save the best for last – for a pitch you must reverse the order. So here is what I mean, start mentioning the juicy stuff and progressively continue like that. For example, if your revenue performance is the juiciest element of your business then mention that first. Remember you are a courting an investor so you must appeal to his interest by letting him in on the positives of your business.
You would not want a potential investor get to halfway into your pitch without a clue as to what you are talking about. They must immediate see what you are talking about and driving at. Things to use to aid you in achieving this can be visuals, analogies and being simple in a straightforward manner. Get rid of things that are too academic, scientific or technical. Albert Einstein once said, “If you cannot explain it to a six-year-old, you do not understand it yourself.” So it is important that you present everything in simple terms.
Infuse genuine, relatable and engaging personality as you do this. This also plays into the previous point perfectly. A well-told story expressing some points quickly creates immediate clarity and the much-needed relatability. People love stories and they are wired to quickly grasp a story-like presentation as opposed to just abstract chunks of information.
Make Your Audience The Focus Of Your Pitch
Still, on the issue of relatability – it is important that a potential investor relates with you and your business or business idea. Make your audience the central focus of your pitch rather than focusing too much on yourself. When pitching it is very easy to use “I” a lot so much that you lose the audience in the process. You want to get a capital investment from your audience so make everything about them. For instance, rather than abstractly laying out your unique value proposition you can make your audience the subject. An example would be, “once you start using this product you will enjoy A, B and C…”
You might be wondering on how you will cover all essentials in just a minute or less – the answer is in summarization. Remember what some of you used to do when you summarized a piece of writing for your English exams. That is basically the trick – earlier I explained to you what to include in your pitch. In order to make your pitch sweet and short, you must breakdown each key item into 1 or 2 short sentences. Then obviously practise the pitch by rehearsing it till you know it by heart. Do bear in mind that after pitching investors will usually ask questions to know more on some aspects, be ready for that! Particularly your numbers or figures – know them well.