Small businesses and entrepreneurs depend on investors to get their business off the ground, keep it afloat, and even take it to the next level. Without investors, many businesses that have found success would’ve never gotten the opportunity.
While an investor can do a lot for the right small business, investors are often hard to find and it’s a large reason why many owners avoid pitching to investors. The fear of being told “No” consumes the hope that’s supposed to drive our motivation, causing us to look at other solutions instead.
Pitching to investors is terrifying and you’ll likely be told “No” more than you’re told “Yes,” but that’s one of the keys to finding an investor. After all, you’ll never find an investor if you never pitch your business to one. Furthermore, you’ll never truly learn how to pitch to an investor if you never try it for yourself.
Below, we’re going to help you navigate the process of pitching to investors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Things aren’t the same and you’ll be asked to present yourself in an optimistic manner, as well as represent your business positively.
Do You Know What Investors Want?
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to pin many businesses in a tight spot, investors are carefully considering which ones are worth saving and which ones don’t have any value left. If you want to be seen by the right investor, you have to know what the right investor is looking for.
One thing you’ll want to remember is that the mind of an investor is much different these days. Much like everything else, investors have had to accept a “new normal” and aren’t going to be looking for the same things necessarily.
When pitching to investors, you need to make them feel comfortable. In today’s climate, nothing will please them more than showing the investor you can remain viable, profitable, and operational when circumstances beyond your control are negatively impacting so many others.
They want to know you understand your customer, your market, your product, and your ability to stay relevant before they give you any money. As much as your business means to you, their money is important to them and they’re not just going to give it over to anyone asking.
If you want to have more appeal the next time you’re pitching to investors during the COVID-19 pandemic, follow these three guidelines:
Don’t Stop the Grind
When you opened your business, it’s most likely because you had a passion for that industry and wanted to make a difference. You had a vision and wanted to see that vision turn to a reality.
This is exactly what pitchers want to see and it has only multiplied since the pandemic started. Businesses are being asked to dig deep and work hard. The last thing an investor wants to see is a business that is giving up on themselves.
Don’t stop developing, don’t stop competing, don’t stop investing your own time and money, don’t stop innovating, and don’t stop building. An investor will only believe in your company when they trust that you believe in your company.
Try putting yourselves in their shoes — would you want to invest in a business that wasn’t giving it their all? If you wouldn’t, why should they?
Know Your Business, Know Your Plan
As much as we instinctively want to “wing it,” your business won’t survive without a plan and it certainly won’t grow without one. If you don’t have one already, I suggest you get to work on building one so your business can have a sense of direction.
An investor will be specifically listening for your plan when you pitch. The second you stutter, the moment you hesitate, and the second you say “I don’t know,” the investors get nervous. They need confidence, they need an owner that’s energetic, and they want to see a future.
Create a plan, study it, perfect it, then present it. Don’t allow the investor to have any doubt about your vision. This is your moment to not only ‘wow’ them, but make them feel comfortable about putting their money into your company — even during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, don’t rob yourself of this moment, but rather take advantage of it.
Get a Grip of Your Financials
Investors love numbers and they love money even more. If you start to pitch to investors without knowing where your current financials are, where they were a year ago, and where they’ll be a year from now, then your investor will lose interest quickly.
This is where you have to do your homework. You don’t want to only study your plan, but you want to study your payroll books, financial statements, income reports, expense reports, and anything else you can think of. You never know what they might ask you, but you better have the answer.
Of course, this becomes much easier when you have a professional by your side to help you through this. The preparation can be difficult for some owners, but the right help will ensure you’re put in the right position to succeed.
I’ve helped plenty of people prepare for pitches and meetings with potential investors. I can ensure you understand where your business currently stands and ensure you have the right numbers in front of you to properly represent your business.
If you’re preparing to pitch to investors, contact me today and let me help prepare you!
Fallon, Nicole. “How to Pitch Investors After COVID-19.” Https://Www.uschamber.com/Co, 25 June 2020, www.uschamber.com/co/run/business-financing/how-to-pitch-investors-after-covid-19.
Cremades, Alejandro. “How To Pitch Investors.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 9 Dec. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/alejandrocremades/2018/12/09/how-to-pitch-investors/.