Investment Pitch Checklist
Your first pitch in front of an interested investor is one of the most important moments in your business’ life. You’re standing in front of a room of strangers, trying to effectively tell the story of your product, predict the future of your finances, and showcase confidence and competence, all in the same breath. It’s beyond nerve-racking; it’s a make or break opportunity that can leave you feeling overwhelmed as you prepare. So, while you’re getting your copy deck put together and neurotically picking out the perfect outfit, peruse this checklist for writing and making your pitch.
What’s Your Mission Statement?
Your mission statement needs to be a reflection of your vision, of your ethos, and of yourself, all while being as concise as possible. In fact, your mission statement should be able to fit on a bar napkin and still remain captivating to anyone who hears it. When Google launched in 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin needed only twelve words to perfectly encapsulate what would become one of the most important technology companies of all time: “To organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."
Who You Are You and What You Do?
Similar to the mission statement, this portion should be free of unnecessary frills. However, you still want to balance straightforward brevity with thorough and complete information. You should be able to succinctly define who you are, what you do, and why it’s important. What’s your market and what are its pain points? How will what you create solve these problems? What is your value proposition? If your pitch is missing the answers to any of these questions, this section should be revisited. Even if data later in the presentation can offer up a response, you’ll be in trouble early if your overview is already giving pause to those listening.
Who Is Your Customer?
This is a time to show off your marketing muscles. Your investors are interested to know how well you understand your market, and there’s no better way to demonstrate this than with a detailed understanding of exactly who will be forking over their cash. Who is your demographic? Is your client base localized, or spread out? Additionally, you’ll need information on just how you plan on reaching them with your product. Have you had any specific success with a certain type of advertising? Has your brand become visible thanks to social media? Comprehensive data on each of these points will prove you’re not just going into this market wearing a blindfold.
What Are You Going to Do with Our Money?
It may seem like an obvious question, but it can be easy to overlook its importance. Investors may be nice people, but at the end of the day they need to know what their bottom line is. You should know exactly how much you’re asking for, and, if given that amount, how you would allocate the funds. What areas of your business will benefit from a cash influx? Will you be buying tech? Growing your team? Perhaps implementing a shipping or distribution aspect to the company? These burning questions are answered best when it shows you play to be careful with the investors’ money.
What’s in the Future?
This is where all those fancy KPIs, metrics, and formulas you learned in class will come into play. Your pitch should have an in-depth overview as to what you plan on achieving and how you plan on doing it. What kind of milestones are you shooting for? How do you know you’ll reach them? If you’ve set up your data models correctly and have enough information, you should be able to map out your goals and prove that you’ll achieve them through the hard numbers provided by your calculations.
A pitch meeting only goes as well as the pitch that’s written. While it might seem overwhelming to achieve greatness in your first pitch, you can skip the guessing by following a simple checklist in preparation. If you make sure you know your story, understand your market, have plans for any investment, and know what lies ahead for your company, you’ll be on your way to a successful pitch in any situation.