Pitching your business to investors - checklist

A young businessman is pitching his business idea to a possible investor

If you need money to start or grow your business, chances are you will need to pitch your business to potential investors at some point. In order for other people to believe in your business, you need to be able to sell it effectively. Read our tips on pitching your business persuasively

  • Be confident. Confidence makes it easier for people to believe in you and your business. Smile, make eye contact, use relaxed gestures and be enthusiastic without being over the top.
  • Practice your business pitch in front of the mirror, family, friends, colleagues and anyone who will listen. Remember, you also need honest feedback so make sure you include people who won't sugar-coat their response.  
  • Keep it brief - people quickly lose interest if it's too long. Give people the essentials and invite further questions after your pitch.
  • Know your audience to enable you to have ready answers to hand for likely questions. Investors will be interested in how you plan to make money; customers will be more concerned with the benefits to them.
  • Clarify your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Your audience needs to understand why your business is different from others in your sector. When you introduce yourself, say what makes you special.
  • Focus on your solution and stick to headline points. What are you proposing in your pitch? What problem will you solve? Why should they invest or buy from you? Outline your key messages swiftly and avoid lengthy explanations.
  • Make your product accessible by describing it in layman's terms. Don't use technical terminology unless your audience has specialist knowledge.
  • Show awareness of your market and acknowledge competitors in your pitch. Demonstrate that you know what they're up to and how your offer compares.
  • Invite questions after your initial pitch. Be prepared to prompt them by asking some of your own questions about their needs in particular. Listen to what they have to say and answer their questions clearly and calmly.
  • Don't be defensive if you feel you are being quizzed or pretend to know what you don't. If you don't have an answer, admit you don't know and tell them you will respond later.
  • Thank your audience for their time and hand out business cards and marketing material. Invite your audience to contact you if they think of any other questions or would like to meet again. Invite them to connect on LinkedIn.
  • Make notes afterwards and learn for the next time you pitch your business. What worked well? What didn't? What questions were asked?
  • Be prepared to adapt or even completely change your pitch in order to make it work better next time.

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