So, you have an amazing idea for a small business. You’ve thought it through front to back and you know it’ll be successful. But, how do you plan to pitch your business idea to a potential investor? Good question, isn’t it?
Let’s be honest, you need cash if you want to start a business, and unless you strike oil in your backyard between now and the day you want to open up shop, you’ll need a strategy to get funding. So, rather than telling you to set out a “Starting a business, anything will help” coffee mug fund, I’m going to tell you how to pitch your business to anyone. This will ultimately help you get the funding you need.
Now, we won’t be focusing on the specifics of funding in this article as much as we will be on the way you actually pitch your business to get funding. Why? You’ll be using your business pitch for just about everything you do. And trust me, by the end of this article, you’re going to feel ready to pitch your idea to just about any joe schmo on the street or top-level executive.
Confidence Is a Must
Before we go anywhere with your business pitch, let’s get something straight. If you really want to get somewhere in the small business world, you’re going to have to really up the ante on your confidence game - here’s why.
If you’re not ready to pitch your business idea, you’ll be eaten alive. I know, sounds harsh. But, it’s a hard truth. However, with a good idea and some confidence, you’re unstoppable.
How do you gain confidence? Easy. Tell yourself you have confidence. As strange as it sounds, the mind is a powerful thing. If you start telling yourself you have confidence in what you do, you’ll believe it. Now, go out there and get ‘em.
Pitch Your Small Business Like This
You’re ready, you’re confident, now what? Prepare to pitch. How? Follow my lead.
Prepare two business plans. You’ll need a long version (pitch deck) and short version of your business plan. This way, you can pitch your amazing ideas in five minutes, or in 35 minutes - it all depends on the audience.
You may come across someone on a plane, while riding the trolley, or while you’re in line at Starbucks - this is where you use your five-minute business plan. It could even be a two minute plan, too. Your short plan should include:
Your unique selling point
When you’re required to present a long version of your business plan say to an investor or someone who wants to be a partner, you’ll need to include:
What you’ve achieved so far
Statistical data backing up your claims
Why you’re the right person to run the business
Once you have these written up and printed out, it’s time to move to the next step.
Memorize your plan. If you want to be able to pitch your business plan and ideas to anyone, you need to know the ins and outs of it. So, have someone quiz you. The harder the questions they come up with, the better the chance you have while pitching your business idea.
First Impressions are Everything
I know, it’s too bad someone can’t just look at you and know you have the best idea out there, right? Unfortunately, you’re going to have to show them in the way you dress, act, and speak. In other words, when you’re pitching your idea for a business to anyone, look and act the part.
Be professional. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to walk around in a suit and tie all the time, but you can be a professional entrepreneur in the way you carry yourself. Don’t use slang or be nudging someone in the ribs saying “You know what I mean?” and “Am I right or am I right?” Instead, show someone you’re an individual who knows when to be professional.
Don’t be afraid to be you. Sure, it’s important to be professional and present yourself in a confident manner, but at the same time, you need to be who you are. Why? It’s hard to pretend to be someone you’re not. Instead, look at it this way: be the best version of you.
Practice Makes Perfect
Lasty, let’s quickly talk about something called TED Talks - ever seen it? This is a great show you can access all over the internet. The reason you need it is because it’s full of individuals presenting their awesome ideas. Case in point - you could learn a thing or two about pitching your ideas from any one of these talks.
It’s true, you’re not going to make it far with your amazing idea if you don’t have the tools to present what you have worked so hard on. The solution? Be a confident, knowledgeable entrepreneur with a slew of great ideas ready to present to anyone at any time. Doing this will allow you to go far with any new small business ideas you have and help you get the support and funding you need to be successful.
What questions do you have to pitch your small business? Leave a comment in the section below.