Many tech startup employees are sold on the idea that they are the next big thing. Unfortunately, they often fail to take the needs of investors into account when creating their pitch and planning their initial presentations to potential buyers or investors. Let’s look at the four crucial mistakes people make when they pitch their tech startups.
Locked In Assumptions
Don’t use a spreadsheet that has locked-in numbers for expected market share, prices or profit margins. If you can’t adjust the spreadsheet to take investors’ considerations into effect, they’ll think you may not take their concerns into effect later. You can save your main version of the spreadsheet with financial projections and have a separate version with investor modifications so you can review their assumptions at length later.
Not Using Charts, Diagrams and Visuals
Data is dry. Long lectures on numbers and figures are boring. One of the biggest mistakes many people make when pitching a tech startup is assuming a presentation full of numbers will sell their idea. You will lose out to the person who shows clear graphs of expected market trends and how they will capitalize on them, even if your expected potential profit and return on investment is better. Investors will assume that if you can’t take the time to put in strong visuals to sell your idea to them, you probably won’t be able to sell your product or idea to the broader market.
Tell Your Story – and Tie It to the Customer’s Story
Too many tech startup pitches focus on the story of the founders. While this might make for an interesting story, it won’t sell your company except to show why you’re experts in your field or how you got a good business idea.
Tell the story of your target customer struggling with a problem, how they’ll learn about your product or service, and how they will end up becoming a customer. Describe the benefits of your product or service compared to the competition, which shows you understand both the customer and the market.
You have to tie your financial model to your narrative. This shows that you understand your target market and business model. If you don’t have a profitability analysis based on this narrative, you need to do one before you seek funding.
Forgetting the Hard Copy to Give Out
There are several reasons you need to have a hard copy of your pitch deck, no matter the quality of your video sales pitch or PowerPoint pitch. When you leave the room, the financial gurus may rely on their notes or their memory, and the latter will fade as they interview the next groups asking for funding.
A hardcopy version of your presentation, even if it only contains the highlights, will help keep your pitch fresh in their minds and remind them of why they should consider your company. To make your pitch deck stand out even more, consider hiring folder printing services to brand the presentation folders containing the pitch deck with your company logo – this will help it stand out from the pack of handouts.
Use your pitch deck to tell the story of how you’ll sell your product and service, not why your tech startup is so awesome. Give out hard copies summarizing your pitch deck to reinforce the message.