Starting a business is an exhilarating endeavor. The prospect of offering a product or service to the world, designing one’s own future, and creating a legacy are why many people step into the world of business. Yet, there are many mundane facets that must be addressed. One of these is obtaining the requisite funding to begin the business or to facilitate growth.

These are the important things to know about a powerful pitch to investors:

1. Turn your pitch into a story

Begin your pitch with a compelling story. This will engage your audience right out of the gate and if you can relate your story to your audience even better. Your story should address the problem you are solving in the marketplace.

2. Solution

Share what is unique about your product and how it will solve the issue you shared in your story. Keep it short, concise, and easy for the investor to explain to others.

3. Target Market

In showing the market size of your product, you need to break out your market into TAM(Total Available Market), SAM(Serviceable Available Market), and SOM (Serviceable Obtainable Market) because this will help you to think more strategically about your roll-out plan.

4. Customer Acquisition

This is usually one of the most skipped sections of an investor pitch and a full business plan. How will you reach your customers? How much will it cost? How will you measure success? Your financials should easily allow you to calculate your customer acquisition costs.

5. Team

Investors invest in people first and ideas second, so be sure to share details about your rock star team and why they are the right people to lead this company. Also, be sure to share what skill-sets you may be missing on your team. Let them know that you know what you don’t know.

6. Competition

A very important part of your pitch is to provide your value proposition over your competitors.

7. Revenue Model

Investors tend to care about this, how will you make money? Be very specific about your products and pricing and emphasize again how your market is anxiously awaiting your arrival.

8. Financial Projections

Show what you are projecting in revenue over the next three to five years and you must backup your numbers by sharing your assumptions and give them the information they need to see that your calculations are accurate. If your financial chart shows “hockey stick growth,” be sure to explain what happens to cause those inflection points.

9. Funding Needs

Spell out how much money has already been invested in your company, by whom, ownership percentages, and how much more you need to go to the next level and be clear about what level that is. Remind the audience why your management team is capable of managing their investment for growth.

10. Exit Strategy

If you’re seeking large sums of investment capital over $1M, most investors will want to know what your exit strategy is. Are you planning on getting acquired, going public or something else? Show you’ve done some due diligence on this exit strategy.

The goal of a great pitch is to have investors begging to invest in your company. Sure, that sounds too good to be true, but it is possible.

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