Nigeria is increasingly getting flooded with investors, and many are turning their attention to the country’s burgeoning SME sector. With a little less capital required and the propensity to record resounding business growth within a relatively short period, this sector is becoming much more attractive to a host of venture capitalists and angel investors scouring the SME scene for the next big idea.
As a young entrepreneur or a start-up, an opportunity to showcase your idea to one of these potential investors may be around the corner. Setting yourself out of the multitude of businesses seeking start-up capital will require you to have the perfect pitch on standby, one that investors just can’t say no to. But how do you prepare an unforgettable pitch?
Timing is critical: There is a rule of thumb that says if your pitch takes more than 10 minutes, you’ve already lost your potential investor. The more concise and clear cut your idea is, the easier it is to stick in the sub-conscious of a listening investor. The simpler it is, the better your chances of leaving with a cheque is.
Focus on the core: Why is your idea cool? What makes your business different from the rest? These questions should form the focal point of your pitch. Given that time isn’t a luxury for most investors, ensure you highlight the core competences of your business or idea. Ensure potential investors have fully grasped the benefits of your proposed business, and how it can grow into a reputable brand.
If possible, make it is visible: Paint a visibly conceivable picture for your investors. Show them a picture, a prototype or a presentation that offers a physical understanding of your product. This ensures a clear and concise understanding of your product, how it works, and how it should easily be developed into a thing of great value.
Discuss the commercial value: while an entrepreneur might be overwhelmingly excited about an idea or product, an investor’s excitement is usually reserved for the commercial side of things; they want to understand how smooth the road to profitability might be. Do not shield off this information from them. Build up their excitement by delving into the process that will yield significant commercial value. If done right, it is certain to leave a lasting impression on a lurking investor.
Let your story stick: Building a brand involves much more than having a brilliant idea. Perception, honesty and a host of other factors come into play when investors decide on where to put their money. So ensure all boxes are ticked; dress to kill, be honest, enthusiastic, clear and concise, and irresistible.