Fails in the Pitch
I can share with you lots of thoughts and ideas to incorporate into your “pitch”, but I also wanted to share some things you should NOT be doing during your meetings and presentations with investors. This is the first post in a series called Fails in the Pitch.
Fail #1: Don’t OVERWHELM me with a 31 page business plan.
I can’t tell you the last time I read through a normal “business plan”. That was something you did in the 1990s. Today, most Angel investors and Venture Capital investors don’t even want (and will never ask) to see your business plan. I would rather shoot myself in the big toe then waste an hour of my life digging through any business plan.
Most investors, like me, only want to see a 1-3 page executive summary. That’s all we need to make a decision on whether or not were interested in your product, idea or service. If I can’t understand your business, market and potential customers after reading a few pages then it’s way too complicated for me, and I don’t invest money in things I can’t understand.
I don’t want to crush your entrepreneurial dreams, but spending two weeks writing a 31 page business plan is probably a “big waste” of time, and using the boilerplate version of a business plan you have find on the internet – makes it even worse!
Fix #1: A well done Executive Summary is enough.
Most startups don’t have the luxury of using a “high end” design firm or branding company, but a well designed executive summary, with a put-together pitch deck, and a simple idea and/or product will go a long way in peeking the interest of potential investors.