6 Bullet-Proof Tips that Will Make Asking for Funding Less Scary and More Profitable
Last week, we wrote about creative ways to fund your product idea whether you’re just getting started or looking to expand your existing line. But whatever avenue you choose, you need to be able to tell your story effectively. Convincing people to give you their hard-earned money in support of your dream is one of the bravest things a new entrepreneur must do.
So let’s dig in deeper. We sat down with Howard Lis, Hubba’s COO and former serial entrepreneur to decode what it takes to sell yourself to potential investors.
Rather than focussing on being better than your competition, focus on how you’re different.
“Compare and contrast your product to competitors and alternative products. Highlight the interesting and unique features rather than how it works better” Lis says.
If you’re going to do a prototype, do it well.
People are visual by nature, and investors are people too… just with super nice suits. “[Product] mock-ups and prototypes make your vision more real to investors. But whatever visual avenue you choose, be sure to make sure it’s good quality”.
Clearly frame your market.
These guys want to know that you understand the industry you’re getting into. Be very clear about the market/consumer you’re going after. Try to include as much information as possible – size, demographic details, sales potential, etc.
Spend equal portions of your presentation talking about your product and how you’re going to run the company.
“As great and innovative as your product idea is, investors are putting money behind people they think can grow a business” Lis continues. Show them you know what’s up – that you understand how a business works and your plan to turn that great idea into a best-selling product. Don’t just define your end-goal, also provide insight into your short-term and medium-term success.
Pick a story and stick to it.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. Build a narrative around your brand story, and be sure that whatever it is you say, you remain consistent with the tone of the meeting.
Be prepared to be challenged.
It’s an investor’s job to poke holes in your plan… they won’t leave any rock unturned! So try to put yourself in their shoes. What would they be most concerned about in your plan? What parts can you improve on? Be prepared to answer the questions they’ll inevitably ask.
Do you have experience pitching your product idea? Let us know your best tip in the comments!