While these tips seem to state the obvious, the reality is that investor groups too often see the mistakes over and over again.
So, to help you get started on the right path, we offer these three (with a bonus fourth) tips for filling out your pitch applications.
1. Follow the instructions specified in the application process.
Read the instructions carefully. While there are similarities, not all pitch application processes are the same. If the investor group is for technology, don’t apply if you are a food manufacturer.
If the instructions say to submit a pitch deck, be sure to do so. If the instructions ask to submit documents in a particular format, do as they ask. You would be surprised by how many applications were disqualified for not following instructions.
2. Be able to support any statements or claims in your application.
We know that it is hard to come up with financial projections, but so is starting a business. When identifying the size of the market, back it up.
When claiming the percentage of the market you’ll capture, back it up. When stating how long it will take you to create your product or software, be able to back it up.
And be aware that your investor group will expect you to come back for a second round, so know when that will be and how much… and be able to back it up.
3. Write so that your mother will understand.
We know that the new technology you are developing is incredibly sophisticated. We know you are very smart to have come up with this idea. But if your potential investors don’t understand what you are talking about, they will not be investing in you.
Investors want to know that you are solving a problem that causes pain for a sizeable market and that you are capable of building a business. Being able to communicate the problem and solution to your mother will be a good indicator that you can get your idea across to the investors.
Bonus Tip: Ask for feedback!
If for some reason you have followed all the instructions, applied to the right investor group, made your case soundly and clearly, and you do not get asked to pitch, then ask for feedback. Investors are typically happy to give feedback. They are seriously interested in your success.
So, find out from them how you can make your application and pitch better. And who knows, it may be that your investor group sets a limit on how many pitches they take from the pool of applicants, and you may have just missed that mark. You’ll never know unless you ask!
Filling out applications to pitch your business can be a long and arduous process. To help make sure you are covering your bases, we created this handy dandy checklist for you. It’s yours free to download.