You might have taken a look at our tips for pitching your business idea. While this is a great place to get you started, as your business grows you will likely also need an investor pitch, where you pitch your existing business to investors for access to capital for growth. We know, we wish this was a one-pitch-fits-all scenario. But don’t worry, there are many similarities between the two, with some minor differences that make your pitch more investor-centric. We put together our “how to’s” to get you prepped and ready to prove your business’ worth.
How to prepare your investor pitch
1. Target the right investors
Like any great pitch, it is important to know your audience. Before you tailor your pitch, make sure you are selecting investors that invest in your industry and provide the kind of funding you need. Remember, different investors can invest in your business at different stages of your growth (check out page 21 of our growth guide for more info), so knowing where you are in this process can help you select your audience accordingly. While it is best to leverage your network for investors, these sources can also connect you with potential candidates.
Once you have selected your audience, do some research and tailor your pitch to match their needs.
2. Have a great deck
What’s a great pitch without some powerful visuals to back it up? We know you could talk about your business for hours, but most experts recommend that you keep your pitch to no more than 10 minutes with a maximum of 15 slides. This exact number can vary slightly from pitch to pitch, but make sure to ensure that you present in less time than what you are given. This ensures that you are respectful of the time of your audience and have some time for questions and answers, where you can reassure your investors against their areas of concern.
When keeping it short and sweet, make sure you don’t leave out the essentials: the problem you are trying to solve, your solution, the market, how you can compete in this market, the team that has developed this product, your financials and most importantly, your ask. Remember, you can always have supplemental materials for the investors to read later, but keep your initial pitch succinct.
3. Focus on your financials
While some investors might have a personal interest in your business, it all comes down to the numbers. Investors invest with the belief that they will receive a positive return on their investment. To assure them that your business is worthwhile, show them how long it will take for their investment to pay off and why you are sure that it will.
This means including a number of financials and being transparent when outlining your assumptions. Based on your historical numbers and current expansion plans, put together your sales projections for the next couple of years. While usually sales projections are presented for the next five years, if you can only forecast accurately for the next few years and can show profitability in this timeframe, showing five years is not a requirement.
4. Always have an ask
Asking for funding is more than asking for some money to help you reach your business goals. When presenting your ask, you must not only have a clear number in mind, but you must be ready to defend what this amount of money will be used for and how you came to this amount. Although the reasoning behind your numbers may not be included in your initial deck, be prepared with your explanation and have a copy of your calculations or a slide explaining them in your appendix. Your ask shows that you have put a fair valuation on your business and will prove to investors that you have done the work to back up your ask.
While reading this, you might have come up with some more questions about financing, investors, and growing your business. We’ve put together ATB’s Guide to Starting and Growing a Business: Infrastructure.