Coming up with a great idea for a business is only half of the struggle of running a successful startup, the other half depends on how good are you in selling your ideas to investors and ensuring your idea gets enough capital to succeed and take off. That’s why you must spend as much time perfecting your pitching and your presenting skills as you do perfecting the idea. This article should help you get your foot in the door and start thinking in the right manner about the ways you’re going to approach venture capitalists and angel investors.
Don’t Take No for an Answer
If you want your idea to be heard and funded, you must be assertive and not take no for an answer. Words fail to describe the number of startup ideas angel investors get, professional ones that do it full time may listen to something close to 50 ideas in a day, and this makes them pretty immune to rosy language and standard presentations, and they tend to dismiss ideas extremely quickly. To combat this, you must learn to be assertive and ensure you present your ideas in such a manner that displays your confidence and skill.
Furthermore, you should definitely expect some negative responses and harsh critiques before landing an investor that might be interested in your ideas. This is just how the startup world works, and you should prepare yourself for some rejection.
Ensure You Get Your Idea Across
Communicating effectively is a rare skill, and people require a lot of training to ensure they get their ideas across – A skill particularly important in time-constrained and high-stakes settings such as presenting a startup idea to an investor. That’s why ensuring you have the necessary skills and training to be reasonably certain you’ll get your ideas across and they’re the key to a successful fundraising campaign:
- Make sure you practice giving your pitch to a close person that can give you critiques and ways of bettering your presentation. Just doing mock pitches will help you internalize it and sound more assertive.
- Don’t shy away from using understanding aids and other inventive methods which will help explain your startup idea. New ideas can be quite intricate and unintuitive, and it falls on you to make sure the investors understand it.
- If you have a high-stakes meeting with a VIP investor, try to land a few interviews with small investors first. It’s always good to test yourself on small inconsequential events before going for the big fish.
- Make sure you get your idea and your startup out there especially specialized platforms for startups like VNX Exchange that will give you a window of access to venture capitalists and other industry leaders.
Try to Stand Out
You need to learn how to make your idea stand out if you want to ensure you get investors. As we’ve mentioned before, they get swamped with people who have startup ideas that they think will be the next big thing, and many of the investors are already pretty desensitized to grand narratives and big claims. Now, there are a few ways you can make sure you stand out:
- Pay Attention to Business Details: Many of those making big claims and predicting unrealistic profit margins don’t have any financial reports and market analysis to back it up. Although there is a small minority of investors that get bored at the financial stuff, most of them really appreciate it and get impressed when you show you’ve already done your market research and aren’t just pulling figures out of thin air.
- Make sure your idea is unique: do your research on past businesses that employed a similar idea to yours and make sure you bring them up, discuss their shortcomings, and mention how your business model is different from theirs during extended talks with the potential investors. This won’t only make you appear knowledgable in the area, but it also signals the fact that your assuredness- that your idea will take off doesn’t only come from a place of ignorance and optimism but there are real-life market cases behind it.
- This is a risky move that might come off as creepy if done wrong, but if employed correctly, it can definitely win you some investors: try to research the investors themselves, their hobbies, interests, past investments, and any public statement they’ve made on their job as an investor. This will ensure that you can adjust your presentation in a way that hits all the points the investor cares about, and you can even mention his past investments and your similarities/dissimilarities with them.