How to Present Well When Fielding Investors
Attracting and impressing potential investors is an age-old challenge for startups and entrepreneurs. Get the tips to make your pitch stand out from the rest.
It’s a position nearly every CEO has been in: You have an amazing, innovative idea you think has a real shot at being profitable, but you need the capital to nurture it to success. This is when you have to turn to an angel investor who’s willing to move your idea from the seed stage to a flourishing, profitable business. Learning how to impress investors is one of the most important things you can do as an entrepreneur. Sure, you’re passionate about your idea—but how do you get the buy-in from an outsider? You need to get a plan of action in place before talking to potential investors. But first, get a few tips from AmpliFi’s Director of Capital Markets, Steve Swanson and Co-founder, Nick Lipetzky.
Understand which stage your business is in, and tailor your pitch accordingly.
Of course, you know exactly what stage your business is in and where it needs to go. But how you present your business will really depend on this. For example, a Fortune500 company can have a new CEO every few years and not need to adjust much to everyday operations. The processes and frameworks have been tried and tested over many years, and their track record is well established, so it doesn’t really matter who’s at the helm. If this company needed outside capital, a venture capitalist wouldn’t necessarily need to be impressed by the presenting team, rather than the money that the product or service could generate.
Let’s take a look at a hypothetical seed-stage startup business. This stage is saturated with businesses vying for outside capital. The hard truth is that most ideas will be rejected. So how do you set yourself apart? How do you convince an investor that you are the right person to turn this idea into a billion-dollar business? The key is focusing on the strengths of your people. Who is part of the team, what expertise do you have? And if you yourself don’t have the years of business savvy built up—have you brought on someone else to provide that insight? It takes a convincing personality and crystal-clear business plan to attract potential investors. If you can tailor your pitch to clearly highlight your own industry expertise, you’ll be positioning yourself for a better shot at accessing outside capital.
Demonstrate your own belief in your product.
You know the phrase “eating your own dog food?” There’s a reason it’s tossed around so much in the investing world. Essentially, investors want to see that you’re not just trying to make a quick buck. Belief in your own business is a time-tested way to impress investors. You need to deliberately show that you’re invested (literally) in your own idea. If it’s a product, do you use it?
Have you invested your own money into the business? If so, you’ll be making a much stronger case for a potential investor.
Your financials listed in your executive summary will also need to hit home on this idea. Are you beefing up your salary too much instead of putting your money where it could be used to grow the business? This kind of savvy indicates to investors that you’re passionate about your business and you’re willing to invest your own money to help get the business off the ground.
Provide the proof.
When talking to potential investors, you’ll need to show up with the proof of momentum you’ve already built. And to complement that, you’ll need a pitch that clearly outlines your business plan in a way that anyone could understand. If you’re pitching an angel investor, they won’t necessarily be as interested in getting a big cut of your profits as a venture capitalist would, but you’ll still need to prove that your idea has traction and potential to be successful. Demonstrating how an angel investor could stand to benefit from your idea is always a good element to work into your pitch.
Besides a no-nonsense, jargon-free executive summary of your business, you’ll need to demonstrate the proof that you’ve invested effort to get your idea moving. Have you worked with an advisor to gain insight into your idea’s feasibility? Anything you’ve done so far to legitimize your business idea needs to be included when talking to potential investors.
Gain the insight your business idea needs to take off.
Need help getting your business to stand out during a pitch? AmpliFi Capital provides expert insight on how to attract and impress potential investors. Contact our team and we’ll work together to get your business the capital it needs to flourish.