In almost every entrepreneur’s journey, money is definitely one of the biggest challenges. Whether you’re just starting out and gathering money to launch or are seeking funding to aid your company as it scales, finding streams of support are critical to company growth. That’s why presenting a pitch for funding is so crucial.
It’s the best chance you have of making an impression and convincing a potential investor that your company and product are needed in your industry. So, to help you prepare, we asked 11 members of Forbes Coaches Council to share one aspect of your plan or vision you must cover to stand out from the competition and increase your chances of success.
Forbes Coaches Council experts share the top details you can’t afford to forget in your funding pitch if you want to succeed. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.
1. Your Unique Value
When delivering a pitch to potential investors it is important to explain what you do, why you do it, the market and how the funds will be spent. However, in the most compelling pitches, entrepreneurs are able to clearly articulate why their target market will view them as uniquely valuable. By doing that you have shown investors you are ready to be competitive. – Donald Hatter, Donald Hatter Inc.
2. A Success Map
I asked a client whose wholesale business is over a million dollars in revenues. She said: “I would encourage whomever is giving the pitch to provide a map showing how the business will succeed. What will set them apart as a dedicated, serious entrepreneur is taking the time to research, test the market/product/customer base and use external, unbiased data that shows the potential success.” – Cindy Stack,Whole-Life LeaderForbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches. Do I qualify?
3. The Capability Of You And Your Team
Most investors know that whatever idea is on paper will likely go through multiple evolutions to become the end product. The leadership team is significantly more important than the idea itself. What experience and training does the team have? What about the entrepreneur? What challenges have already been faced and overcome? This helps increase investor confidence in concept and team. – Billy Williams, Archegos
4. Clear Vision, Values And Mission
Getting clear on your startup’s vision (what problem you’re aiming to solve), your values (how you plan to work as a team to reach that vision) and mission (your strategy) outlines a game plan for your business, provides the guiding principles for any decisions you’ll encounter and aligns your organization on this as well. – Aaron Levy,Raise The Bar
5. The ‘Why’ And The ‘How’
Entrepreneurs must know the numbers inside and out. This sets the foundation for understanding where the business is and how you are managing it. Investors also need to know who you are and specifically why you are in this business—what motivates and drives you when times get tough. They are investing in you, not just your business, and they need to know you’re in it for the long haul. – Tracey Grove,Pure Symmetry Coaching and Consulting
6. Your Purpose
Do your homework and have all the necessary documentation that makes an investor feel like you know something about running a business. But more importantly, share a compelling vision of how you see your future. This vision must be propped with an equally compelling mission statement and an attitude that positively focuses on the accomplishment of your mission and business plan. – Jorge Gutierrez, BMOC Group
7. Your Brand Strengths
Knowing the unique value or selling proposition of your business is the cornerstone of your business plan. The answer is rooted in knowing your strengths first. What do you and your brand have to offer when securing the financing relationship that is a solid ROI? Concisely communicate and cement those quantifiables in your presentation. The pitch is about you, your business and the marketplace. – Gayle Draper, Intentional Careers and Human Resources
8. Commitment To The Dream
Anyone who invests in an entrepreneur’s vision is more focused on who the entrepreneur is than what his or her idea might be. In addition, most entrepreneurial ventures are made more from hard work than brilliant ideas. Therefore, it’s critical to demonstrate your commitment to the dream and the vision. It’s essential to show how hard you are willing to work to make this dream a reality. – Arman Sadeghi, Titanium Success, Inc.
9. Heart, Smarts And Guts
As you pitch your plan, keep these three words top of mind: heart, smarts and guts. The investors need to feel your passion for this idea. They need to know you have book smarts, people smarts and street smarts. And finally, they need to know you have both the guts to initiate this plan and also the guts to see it through. As much as they are investing in the idea, they are also investing in you. – Dean Miles,Bridgepoint Coaching & Strategy Group
10. Your Story
Many pitches I’ve seen are full of numbers, targets and research. That’s great, but an aspect some entrepreneurs tend to forget in their pitches is a great founding story. Why did you decide to start the company? What was the real-world pain, the struggle behind it? Why are you going to 1000% commit to this journey? Why are you breathing, sweating and living this company? Use the power of emotions! – Dr. Natalia Wiechowski, Think Natalia
11. The Repayment Plan
Before they get enamored with their idea, vision, novelty, etc., the entrepreneur must cover how they plan to repay or collateralize the money being requested. It is easy to fall in love with the features and benefits of the idea/product/service/experience but the “USP” around all of it must be shared in the context of how the investors will be repaid and profit on their money. Cover that first! – Jeff Klubeck, Get A Klu, Inc.