Preparing your Pitch for Dragons or Angels
If you’ve seen a few episodes of TV’s The Dragons’ Den, you may have been exasperated with some of the entrepreneurs who failed to impress due to lack of knowledge about their own business. People who are invited to pitch to the ‘dragons’ must surely have watched the programme and know what to expect, what works and what doesn’t?
Before you stand before your dragons or angels, here are 5 preparation tips to help you present a confident and, hopefully, successful pitch.
First and foremost, know your audience.
Research the credentials of everyone you are pitching to – what they have done and how each one can be of most help to you. Showing that you have done your homework creates a good impression and saves valuable time for pitching your business case.
Investors want facts, not theories or conjecture.
Unless you are an expert in absolutely every aspect of your business, enlist a partner or small team to be on hand to answer questions in detail. If you are a ‘one man band’ business, you should have a support network, perhaps an accountant or a business mentor.
Investors will be concerned, primarily, with making money.
Ensure that financials for your business are clearly stored in your head: turnover, gross and net profits, debtors and creditors, confirmed sales going forward, and so on. Also, don’t value your business in line with your dreams, apply a fact-based valuation.
What is your USP?
Your investors will have conducted their own research about you and may know more than you expect about your marketplace. Make sure that you know more than they do about your unique selling proposition and why you will be able to succeed.
Prepare to make a great impression!
When you walk into the room, be dressed appropriately for the occasion. Practice your presentation to the point where you feel comfortably confident. Consider how you will address (or field) any questions that are raised. Presentation aids or demonstrations must be interesting and should run smoothly but have a back-up plan, just in case!
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