A fundraising pitch is a carefully crafted document that captures the soul and passion of your startup or organization. It very clearly explains the purpose of you asking for that financial support.
So, is fundraising all about being in a room full of people wearing suits with intimidating stares, pelting you with questions on KPI’s and your financial projections?
No denying that fundraising does involve showing up and answering those tough questions. But it is so much more than that. It is the art of narrating your story in a compelling way so that it connects with your audience at the very first instance and forges a successful long-term relationship.
Investors are more inclined to fund startups with a powerful pitch over those with a weak fundraising pitch, even if the latter’s business idea might be stronger.
Pitching to potential investors, therefore, a skill. When this skill is honed, you’ll be in an advantageous position over other entrepreneurs who might not be as well prepared with their respective pitches.
However, before you even get to pitch your idea, you need to have a solid website in place. Your website will be core to showing prospective investors how you envision your business taking form. It will serve as a resource for investors to evaluate you and for you to convince them of your expertise. In addition to the look, feel and content of the website, you’re also going to want to stand out with your domain name.
With quality .COM domains in short supply these days, a clever industry-specific domain extension such as .ONLINE, .STORE, .SITE, .SPACE, or .FUN etc. can help you stand out and communicate what your business might be about.
Now let’s get down to business and run through 7 tips that will help you master the art of fundraising and make every pitch memorable.
1. Practice your pitch
No pitch is static. A great pitch always adapts and changes based on who you’re presenting to, where you presenting, and what message you need to get across.
Moreover, a pitch will always have multiple versions; a 5-minute version, a 15 minutes version, or maybe an hour-long version.
Every version of your pitch is different and needs to be crafted with a different approach. Your pitch should be updated constantly with new information, statistics, and other details. It needs to be as active as your startup.
Having the perfect pitch that isn’t well-delivered is effort and opportunity wasted. It is not just important to update the pitch but equally imperative to practice it regularly so you can present it with confidence.
2. Know your audience
A pitch needs to be tailored to its audience. For example, the pitch you present to Private Equity firms (PE) will be slightly different than those you present to a venture capitalist. Understand and acknowledge the difference in your approach.
A PE invests to earn those returns. But a venture capitalist might be investing as he believes in a certain project or industry apart from those promised returns.
Dig out those details about the person or company. What causes do they believe in? What kind and stage of entrepreneurs do they fund? What metrics and KPI’s matter the most to them? Do the groundwork, research extensively and prepare a meaningful pitch that meets all their requirements.
3. Get an outside perspective
The pitch is your story and you are the most qualified person to tell that story. But as an entrepreneur, you might be biased towards your idea. And this bias sometimes skews the whole pitch. You might either end up painting too rosy a picture or share too little to appear succinct and modest. Either way, the pitch fails to make that impact.
One of the best solutions out of this dilemma is to pitch it to someone outside your company. Once done, have them pitch that idea back to you. If they do not get the essence of it, or cannot summarize what was communicated to them, or get the important facts mixed up then your pitch needs refining.
4. Know your numbers well
Having a great pitch is just half the battle conquered. Knowing your KPI’s, numbers and statistics on the back of the hand are equally important. KPI’s like ROI, margins, Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), run rate and monthly spends are important to the investors. Knowing it well not only demonstrates your preparedness but also displays your passion and dedication for your business.
Always try and include forecasts and projections in your fundraising pitch. Let your audience know the market opportunity and future demands for your goods or services. A powerful pitch with probability for future traction is a more attractive proposition for investors.
5. Carefully strategize
Being an entrepreneur is difficult as it is often a show run by a few hands. Responsibilities, day to day activities, and uncalled for emergencies all work as a catalyst to distract you from your goals. It is very common for organizations to get caught up in this whirlpool and drift from their fundraising strategy.
To avoid losing the required focus, prioritize fundraising plans. Delegate the day to day activities as much as possible and concentrate on pitching to raise investment. Review and monitor your progress with real-time adjustments.
6. Build and train your team
A successful fundraising pitch takes a concise and dedicated effort of not just the entrepreneur but the team as a whole. Identify the people in your organization who are capable of delivering, contributing to and improving the pitch.
Some people have the talent of interacting and nurturing new relationships. Some people are good at leveraging existing networks and adding value. Identify those talents and optimally utilize them in the right place with the right opportunity.
7. Be creative
Be flexible and creative in your approach when preparing your fundraising pitch. For example, an investor might not be ready to invest the whole amount you have asked for but might be willing to invest in tranches on your business meeting certain KPI’s and metrics.
Consider being flexible and not rejecting the offer upfront. Get creative on your plans by utilizing the money to best suit your needs to match the investors’ expectations at the same time. This shows the investor your seriousness about raising money and your belief in your business strategy.
Every entrepreneur understands both the immense need and challenges associated with raising money. However, it is not all that difficult. Your organization can raise the required funds with the right planning, training, team, and expectations.
The trick is to make the investors believe in your idea and make them a vital part of your journey. Focus your pitches on what you can accomplish and achieve together, rather than keeping the focus solely on raising money.
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This blog was written for Webnames Blog by Alisha Shibli, a Content Marketing Specialist at Radix, the registry operator behind great new domain extensions like .store, .online, .tech, .press and others.