By Damilola Faustino
Getting an investor is one of those things that you need to take your business to the next level. Investors are the people that can give you some breathing room and allow you to grow at a steady pace without too much stress. Investors hear business pitches all the time; some they love right away and get involved with, and others they forget the second the person leaves the room. If you want to give one of those memorable pitches, there are a few common mistakes that you need to avoid.
Pitching for too long
The fact is investors both big and small do not have long attention spans. It’s not that they don’t care or are uninterested. They are approached almost daily by shiny new businesses all vying for their investment. They need to consider a lot of other pitches and proposals at any given time. So, you need to wow them straight away, not bore them. Don’t elongate the process.
Never improvise or freestyle in front of an investor. They will definitely know. Avoid this at all costs! Pitching is based solely on facts; if you don’t know the facts, don’t improvise them. Do your best to memorize your pitch: practice it in front of different people, record it and constantly listen to it until you know it off hand. If all else fails, bring in a cheat sheet with notes as a reminder.
Pitching to investors that are not suited for your business
An often-overlooked mistake is an entrepreneur not doing their research and getting a meeting with an investor who isn’t suited to their business. It’s understandable, as you want to cover all bases and you’re often excited to get a response, let alone a meeting, with an investor, but unless you are a good fit, you are wasting your time.
The whole point of a pitch is to sell yourself as well as your business to an investor. You need to show them why you are worth their time and money as well as that you are competent, ambitious and savvy. It’s not the easiest list of things to complete in a short space of time, which is why people often oversell and over exaggerate. An investor will know when you might be overdoing it and that can be a big turn-off. Relax, stick to your script and answer their questions; that’s how you make a good impression.
Overlooking the facts
Remembering your pitch is important, but if what you remember isn’t factually accurate, it’s pointless. No matter how much you wow an investor, if they look over your material and it doesn’t match what you have said, it will never end well. Overlooking the facts means one of two things: either you did not prepare your pitch enough or you are a liar.
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