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Know the Game Before You Pitch to an Investor.

Updated: Dec 29, 2021

Sitting in front of a person who can “write the check” to fund your business doesn’t have to feel like you’re on trial before the Supreme Court. Honest.

When you prepare, anticipate and are concise you speak from a place of power not weakness. Let’s imagine you’re the brains behind a knock it out of the park product.

Maybe this is “Business 101,” for you. Yet mastery of the basics will take you from idea to execution, to business growth and perhaps to a Fortune 500 company.

A word on the check writers.

Metrics aside, investors are highly intuitive. They can smell success or not. They want to see if you have the chutzpah to make it happen.

Show don’t tell the money folks you have the chops.

Know the answers to the questions before the investor asks and then some. You’ll increase your funding chances ten-fold. Hint. It’s okay to see yourself sitting in the corner office, reviewing the company’s billion-dollar financials. However, before picking furniture for your corner office, let’s do a testing 1-2-3 on your investor pitch.

If investors don’t understand who you are, what you’re selling, to whom and why, case closed. Cliché or not, you have one chance to make a good first impression. Next.

If you notice folk's eyeballs hazing over when you talk about your business/product, note to self, simplify. As brothers, Chip and Dan Heath of Made to Stick cite, when you can take a simply profound idea and make it profoundly simple, it’s sheer genius … and oh … people understand it. Paint the picture. Make it easy for them to connect the dots. Engage your imagination. Stand out from the crowd. Be bold. Be different. Be memorable.

Back to your pretty baby, in one sentence describe your business/product, what it does, who’ll buy it and why. Time starts now. Go.

Fast forward, you’re working your fingers to the bone, days run into weeks and into months. You’re in front of the long-awaited Angel, who with the stroke of a pen will help your business take flight.

After you’ve brilliantly delivered your product/business pitch … get ready to answer these questions.

  1. What is your "special sauce"

  2. What is your revenue model

  3. Where is your business coming from

  4. What is your Total Addressable Market, TAM, Serviceable Addressable Market, SAM and Serviceable Obtainable Market, SOM

  5. Have you boot strapped your business?

  6. What are your sales?

  7. What are your credentials? “Everything is on you.” What qualifies you to do this?

  8. Is your model built for expansion

  9. What is your unfair competitive advantage

  10. Is an acquisition possible

  11. Can you point to industry acquisitions and at what prices?

  12. What is the multiple on revenue?

  13. Are you building a legacy company or are you open to an acquisition?

  14. What are your capital requirements?

  15. Are there big players with the existing infrastructure who can rollover and squish you?

  16. Does your business/product depend upon the X factor to succeed

  17. How are you going to use the investment funds?

  18. Finally … what is your exit strategy

When you can answer these questions to the satisfaction of a potential investor, they’re able to accurately evaluate your proposal.

Funny thing about investors, they like to mitigate risk. With a word from Captain Obvious, investors are in the game to make a return on their investment, communicate that, great. If your product aligns with funding initiatives, you may get to the next step.

This is not the whole story or its end … rather it’s the beginning of a journey where the highs are indescribable, the lows feel like you’re walking a tightrope across the Grand Canyon without a net.

There will be times when you have no idea what the path will hold, yet only a burning desire to follow it.

Business ownership is not for sissies. The sleepwalkers through life need not apply. Rather ownership is for you, if you are willing, no excuses, tick-tock, to step into the brilliance of your life and at all costs …make your dream a tangible reality. There are God Winks and guideposts along your way. Watch. Listen. If one single person has accomplished something others consider impossible, thank them, they’ve shown you the mechanism exists.

Good luck, future business owners, entrepreneurs and visionaries, for it is your passion, ideas and persistence that propel humanity forward.

So, there you are …. in the corner office and it will have been worth every single second.

© Paula M. Parker M. Parker 2018.

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