Published July 25, 2018
This is the moment you’ve waited 3 years, one summer Olympics and four seasons of Game of Thrones for: you’ve grown a successful business out of your garage and now it’s time to take it to the next level. Now it’s time for investors. Out of the 20 or 30 or 50 or so lenders you’ve contacted you’ve landed a meeting with one down the block. Score!
On your big day you make sure to arrive 20 minutes early to relax and dry off the visible beads of sweat on your forehead. You ignore your doctor’s advice to take the stairs and hitch a ride on the elevator instead as not to spill your coffee on your freshly ironed white button down shirt (did you think I was going to call you lazy? You are a hardworking entrepreneur after all!). As you enter through the steel doors a familiar face appears: it’s the investor you’ve been stalking on LinkedIn for the past three months. You have three options: you can press the emergency stop button to give them your full presentation (which may or may not be illegal in your area), hide in the corner hoping they won’t notice you, or give a concise pitch about your company to sell yourself before you reach the tenth floor. Here are our tips on what to include in your speech when you go for the last (and best) option:
Why Did You Start Your Business?
Don’t get into the nitty gritty details about how you lived in your parents’ basement until the age of 30 and thought that starting a business would be your ticket out. Investors want to hear why your business is relevant to consumers: maybe you invented a new dog umbrella to solve the problem of your pooch shaking off water onto your clean white couch. Or maybe you have a personal connection to the cat cafe you founded because your daughter loves kittens but you are allergic and can’t own one yourself. Investors want to be comforted by the fact that others need or can relate to your good you sell or service you provide and, therefore, will buy what you’re selling. Without this, investors are sure to zone out while you’re speaking and might even find the elevator music more riveting.
Why Are You the Man/Woman for the Job?
Do you have a PhD in animal behavior and are selling a dog workout tape? Spent five years as a chef and created an iron that can de-wrinkle your clothes and also grill your cheese? Investors want to know that you have the education or experience needed to take your business to the next level. Remember, most investors just want to write a check to get a larger one in return and do not have specialized skills for specialized products. If they think your elevator doesn’t go to the top floor they especially won’t invest. Think about it: would you give your hard-earned money away to pay for a haircut from someone who picked up a pair of shears for the first time the day before?
What Makes You Special?
You may have been called a special snowflake on the internet but that doesn’t always mean that your business is special (in a good way). In business it is important to have a unique selling point (USP) that sets you apart from your competition. When you specialize in a unique product that is actually useful you have far less competition for customers. This means that you (and your investor) will have to spend less on marketing and customer acquisition which means more profit. How many coffee shops do you pass on your way to work? 10? 20? Now how many coffee shops do you pass that sell coffee for dogs? I know which one I would rather stop in.
Ask All the Interesting Questions
Have you noticed that all these subheadings are questions? Did all my rhetorical questions about coffee and grilled cheese get you thinking deeply about your life? Asking questions is a tried and true tactic in presentations to engage your audience. If you go on and on about yourself the investor is sure to raise some eyebrows and will surely forget about you in the future. Remember that lenders are inherently selfish (they are using you to make money after all) so they are thinking in terms of themself. Asking rhetorical questions incorporates them into your pitch and they won’t have to lift a finger to figure out how they factor into your business.
Show Your Personality and Passion
Remember that investors invest in people, not businesses. They need to find someone they can trust to keep pushing their business forward as they’re too busy counting their cold hard cash to weigh in on marketing, design and product decisions. If you charm the lender with a perfect pitch they can’t resist investing in your business. Also remember when you’re in an elevator (or airplane, or waiting room or bathroom) you don’t have the data, spreadsheets and graphs on your sales to back you up- You must rely solely on your charisms to sell yourself. If you can make a great first impression with your passion and drive you can get your foot in the (elevator) door where they’ll think about investing in you down the line.
Ready to take your business to great heights but too acrophobic for an elevator pitch? One easy way to get and keep customers is by using a professional billing system. Easily create, print and send invoices using our site or app to make getting paid a breeze. With our fully customizable invoice templates you can elevate your business and go straight to the top of the small business world without the help of an investor.
- HOW TO: Add Two Taxes or a Compounded Tax to an Invoice
- HOW TO: Manually Mark Invoices as Paid
- HOW TO: Copy Invoice Items Quickly!
- HOW TO: Add Taxable and Non-Taxable Items on One Invoice
- HOW TO: Self-Organized Invoicing is Here!
- HOW TO: Get Paid in a Flash With Payment Links!
- HOW TO: Invoice Customers Faster With the Email Feature!
- HOW TO: Copy an Invoice to Create a New One
- 300 Stunning Invoice Templates for a Polished, Professional Look!
- 3 Tips For Enjoying Summer, Even When You Have to Work!
- 7 Ways to Prevent Work-From-Home Burnout
- How to Get a Customer to Pay Your Invoice
- New Year’s Resolutions for Small Business Owners
- Holiday Gifts for Small Business Owners
- Why You Should Use an Invoice Template Software
- Managing & Engaging Your Remote Employees
- How to Deal With Difficult Customers
- How to Send an Invoice
- 4 Simple Steps to Start Freelancing
- How Your Business Can Profit From Halloween
- You’re Setting the Wrong Goals for Your Business
- How to Get Over Your Phone Anxiety
- Questions to Ask Yourself When Starting a Business
- 4 Steps to Take When Taking on a New Client
- Introducing Cash Receipt Templates!
- How to Make Your Small Business More Professional
- 9 Invoicing Documents, and When You Should Use Them
- Common Mistakes Freelancers Make
- How to Network Without Leaving Your Home
- 6 Signs That You Might be Ready for a Side Hustle
- 8 Financial Blogs Small Business Owners Need to Read
- How to Prevent Late Payments on Invoices
- Top 10 Countries by Startup Ecosystem
- 5 Reasons To Use Paperless Invoices
- How to Avoid a Toxic Workplace
- Why You Should Upgrade to Unlimited Invoicing
- Tech and Economy: How Tel Aviv became the Start-up City
- The Importance of Customer Service
- What is an Invoice?
- 5 Plants to Minimize Toxins & Maximize Productivity
- M-Commerce in Developing Countries
- Customize Your Invoice
- 9 Ways to Vacation Stress-Free
- How to Get Your Laptop Spring-Ready
- The Truth About Failure
- 5 Women You Should Know About
- The Most Expensive Super Bowl Ads of All Time
- Top 10 Cities for Female Entrepreneurs
- Jobs That Didn't Exist 20 Years Ago
- Gifts for the Entrepreneur in Your Life
- How to Secure Your Small Business
- Unique Ways to Thank Your Customers
- Best Cities to Live in With a Salary of $50,000
- How to Separate Yourself from Your Business
- How to Manage Your Mental Health as a Business Owner
- Books to Read Before Starting a Business
- 5 Ways to Get Loyal Customers
- Why You Should Take a Staycation
- Businesses You Can Start While Working Full Time
- Should Freelancers Ever Work for Free?
- How to Stay Active at the Office
- Best Business Ideas for People Who Love to Travel
- How to Perfect Your Elevator Pitch
- The Best Places in the World to Work Online From
- 5 Businesses You Can Start for Free
- How to Organize Your Desk for Maximum Productivity
- How Your Business Can Profit off the World Cup
- What the Color of Your Logo Says About Your Business
- How to Become a Wedding Planner
- Why Veterans Make Perfect Entrepreneurs
- Why Every Day Should Be "Take Your Dog to Work Day"
- 3 tips For First-Time Freelancers
- 3 Tips for a Stress-Free Vacation
- Spring Cleaning in The Office
- 5 Tips When Starting Your Business
- New to Invoicing
- 3 Tips on Last Minute Tax Filing
- Characteristics of a Successful Business Owner
- Accomplishing Your 2018 Goals
- How to Set and Achieve Your New Year's Goals
- Tips For Boosting Your Productivity
- Motivational Quotes to Get You Through Any Day
- New Flags on The Template Gallery!
- Be Featured on Our Site!
- How to Create Your First Invoice
- A Helping Hand on the Road to Success
- How Wine and Invoicing Go Together
- How to Use 'My Reports' as Statements
- 1st Day of Summer
- A Faster Way to Organize and View Your Documents
- 3 Ways to Wrap Up Your Month
- 5 Activities You Have Time for While Using Invoice Home
- Creating a Partial Payment
- What Invoices and Technology have in Common
- Get an Invoice that Suits You
- Need more details in your Invoice? No problem! Use the Advanced Form.
- Ready to bill your client? Awesome! Time to convert your Estimate into an Invoice.
- Stay organized! Bookmark customers, unpaid.. Here’s how!
- Providing discounts? Effortless work-flow here!
- 500 Free Business Logos for You!
- Don't mess with passwords anymore!
- See why the New Invoice Home got a 5 Star Rating!
- 100 Professional Invoice Templates to promote your Brand