If everything goes well this week, I will be heading out to Newark for a chance to have an investor invest in my business.
There will come a time if you want to start a business and you don't have money that you will need to raise capital.
This is one of those times for me. Entrepreneurs don't really get chances like this so I need to make sure I make the most of it.
The way to do that is to study up on what I need to present. If you are going to present to investors, here are 10 things you need to be aware of as you prepare.
Related Article: Putting It On Paper: Free Business Plan Template [DOWNLOAD]
1. Know Your Learning Style
This means if you can acquire information better through video - use video. Learning is different for everyone and you need to make sure you are well capable of answering questions on pitch day. If you don't know which way you learn best, take a learning style quiz. This will help you plan your study strategies.
Once you know your learning style, decide what to study, how long to study, or how much to study before you get started. Set a goal and stick to your deadlines. This means what should you study for your business? What is most important to investors? How long will you take to study that? There's a ton of information on the internet but if you took most of your time just learning that one part then you won't know other things investors might ask.
3. Complete Difficult Tasks First
Figure out the lifetime value of a customer. Find out how much money it takes to acquire a customer. Figure out why investors should invest in you and not other people. Not the business. But you. For procrastinators, start off easy with interesting parts of the presentation. Like the name, company, logo etc. Reward yourself as you accomplish the tasks. This way you stay motivated throughout.
4. Have Special Places to Study
Take into consideration lighting, temperature and the location of everything. For example, when I write these blog posts if my office space isn't clean. I won't write to my full potential. I'll get easily distracted with my phone or a pencil popping out in the wrong place. A pro tip is to practice your presentation in a similar setting as in how you will be during pitch day. This way you get a feel for the stage and nothing will take you off focus. However, if you are studying your presentation then I suggest a quiet place with simplicity to it. Don't have too many distractions.
Related Article: 9 Helpful Guides and Tools to Develop a Smart Business Plan
5. Study 30 to 50 Minutes, Then Take a 10-Minute Break
Stretch, relax and have a snack. If you get tired or bored move to a different location, subject, or task. This is important. If you don't rest when you are working you will find that you didn't work for three hours straight. You worked for 1 hour and dozed off the remaining two. However, if you do short bits of work you are much more likely to stay focused the entire time, which results in better and more efficient work. As you may have noticed the brain has a very short attention span. That's why movies are constantly switching scenes every five seconds or less. They need to keep you intrigued.
6. Time Management
Allow plenty of time for reading, outlining, and structure. Use less time for memorization, review and self-testing. Many times when I write my posts - they are finished the time they are structured. If I write without an outline, then I might not even get to the point and I'll doze off. Use most of your time knowing your business instead of memorizing it. This way you can answer questions and explain it to investors.
7. Use Memory Activities to Review Just Before You Fall Asleep
It's been proven that if you study during the night you are able to acquire more and memorize more. This is called retention. You want to make sure you study before bed so that the next day you are able to re-emerge what had happened the day before. You must be prepared if you want to rock your presentation.
8. Study With a Friend
Have him quiz you and predict questions investors might ask? Now this is a big one. You have to think of possible questions investors might ask. Something I would do, which I am going to do is search up popular investor questions. This way I prepare myself for the inevitable. It's not enough to study by yourself. You can only know so much. You might think you hit every aspect of your business but you never know. Your friend could have brought up a question you would have never have asked.
9. Read the Rules Carefully
This is another big one. Usually, every competition or pitch will have rules. If they have a presentation time of three minutes and if you didn't read through the rules you could have prepared for a 10-minute presentation. Which means you would have been disqualified after the three-minute mark. You would have ended a chance at starting your business. If they have rules on the investment PowerPoint.
For example, I know Fownders has a limit on how many bullet points you can have on each slide. If I can't even follow those directions, what do you think they will see me as? Competent? I doubt it.
10. Last but Not Least, Speak Up
If you need help, man/woman up and ask for it. Don't let your ego hold you down. You can lose out on a perfect opportunity because of it. Asking for help is a great sign of leadership.
There you have it. Take these to heart and actually apply them before you present your pitch. It pays off being prepared.