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How to Build an Investor Pitch

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									How to Build an Investor Pitch
Any discussion on investors and entrepreneurs quickly turns to the
business plan. How important is it and what should it contain? The best
business plan is the investor pitch. It is short, agile, flexible, and it
can make money. Here is how to build one...
Contact Information
Tell them who you are and how to contact you for follow-up. A business
card is not enough. Make sure it is on the cover and the closing page of
the presentation.
Your contact information should include standard name, email, and phone;
but, also include things like website, blog, and Twitter address. You
want them to tune in to you for the long term--RSS and Twitter follows do
just that.
The Team
Most investor presentation boiler plates put this at the back, but I
think it belongs in the front. This is what a venture capital firm is
buying. Chances are the business plan will not survive the first six
months. Hopefully, you have assembled a smart, talented, and agile enough
team to pivot to a stronger plans.
Presenting the team should be about talents and proven execution, even if
on a smaller scale.
The Big Idea
The idea needs to be big, but it needs to be consumable. Can the investor
get it in 30 seconds or less? Can a customer get it in 10 seconds or
less.
Ideas need to have a problem and solution, but don't forget the fun. A
lot of the most popular and well funded ideas in today's market are
obsessive time wasters--Twitter, Facebook, Myspace--with a secondary hint
of value and productivity.
The Big Market
There are a lot of factors that go into selecting a venture to fund, but
this is what sends investors on a hunt for companies. This also what
makes investors look like herds of sheep from time to time. If I tell you
that MySpace has millions of people looking at their web pages every day-
-then I am looking for the next MySpace.
Find a big market. Find macro-economic trends. Build a business around or
in them.
Show Me the Product
Nothing sells investors like a ready for market beta. Ideas are hard to
grasp and each individual is going to envision it differently. If you can
reduce it to a working prototype, beta, or production demonstration you
have a different discussion.
You move from, "will it work?" to, "how to make it bigger, faster,
better?"
Show Me a Customer
Investors love customers. If you can show them one or two that is even
better. Have a satisfied user tell your investor why they bought. Have
them present the obligatory problem/solution slide.
Why Do People Buy?
The customer may have already covered that. But, short of having an
actual customer tell the story help your investor see that person.
I always think stories and use cases work much better than demographics.
A mountain of data and bar graphs don't come close invoking the emotion
reaction to millions of people from elementary to geriatric with
signature white earphones streaming from their ears.
How Do You Find These People?
This is really the million dollar question, right? How do you get those
bar graphs full of people sending you checks or swiping their credit
cards on a regular basis?
This is where a good start accelerates your opportunity. Try to
demonstrate that you have at least partially figured this out. Show and
where you have gotten early adopters and beta users. Is it something that
can be scaled? Does it go beyond friends and family.?
Who Else Wants This Market?
The competitor slide. Don't hide it, they are going to find out anyway.
Same holds true for your prospective customers. Create a clear path of
differentiation and how you are going to leverage that path. The "we are
better than them" sales pitch does not work.
Have a plan. This is also when asking questions pays off. Present an
idea, but ask for suggestions, recommendations, past experience--get some
free consulting from the investors.
Why Do I Care?
Why do I care? The "I" being the investor. It is time to make it
personal. How will it make the investor money, increase the credibility
of their firm, accelerate other portfolio companies? This is the critical
moment, this is your primary goal.
Make them want the investment because they see your vision.
Bill Rice helps companies convert web traffic to buyers. He is a
recognized expert, adviser, writer, speaker, and entrepreneur in online
lead generation.
Bill Rice is passionate about the social web (social media), online
community building, and creating online consumer experiences. Bill Rice
regularly applies those passions to design and write money making lead
generation projects for his clients. Tell me about your project at It's
About Conversion! or Urgent Leads.

								
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