How to present your business ideas
Presenting your ideas can be a nerve wracking experience, but with the right approach you can make an impact and significantly increase your chances of securing the interest of third parties.
Whether you’re pitching to a private investor, a business angel, or a lender, here are some valuable tips for presenting your business ideas effectively:
1. Know who you’re presenting to
If you can find out in advance who the individuals you’re pitching to are, it will greatly benefit you when presenting your business idea. Do some research on the industries they’ve worked in and the brands they might be connected to. Even better, if you can speak to them in person in advance you will be able to build some valuable rapport prior to pitching your business idea.
In addition, many people find that knowing the type of personalities they are pitching to is useful; for example if you are dealing with a creative personality type, you will be able to tailor your presentation to illustrate your idea in a visual way.
2. Keep it simple
It may sound easy in principle, but keeping your presentation concise and to the point will mean you can hold the attention of the room and create more of an impact with your ideas. If you find yourself moving off on a tangent, stop.
Time is usually a precious commodity in the business world so it’s best to stay focused, and keep the number of slides, if you’re using them, to a minimum.
3. Address weaknesses
If there are possible weaknesses in your business idea, you should address these openly and show that you have a contingency plan in place. Showing that you’ve anticipated all the possible pitfalls will demonstrate that you have planned for every avenue, making you a safer prospect for investment.
Similarly, be prepared to answer the toughest question: why? Whether it’s about the premises you’ve chosen, your business name or logo, or even the product itself, be ready to justify your decisions down to the tiniest details.
4. Know your figures
If you’ve had help with your business plan from an accountant or advisor, make sure that you’re familiar with all the numbers and that you’ve learned your key figures off by heart.
You should also be prepared enough to answer any questions off the cuff, regardless of how specific. Write these numbers down as a safeguard in case you’re too nervous to remember, but only refer to these as a last resort.
5. Research your competitors
To avoid a possible bombshell during your pitch, be sure to research your possible competitors beforehand. Nowadays it’s considered a rarity to find a completely original idea, so take the time to explore all the possibilities when it comes to businesses with a similar model to yours.
If the subject of a similar product or service comes up in the presentation, not only will you be prepared to discuss it, but you’ll also be able to turn it to your advantage by explaining why your business idea has the edge, and what will make customers buy your services over theirs.
Support for your business ideas
Lastly, if you’re still unsure about pitching your business idea, or you need advice on funding, there are several events at the British Library which are designed to help:
- If you’re in need of some guidance when it comes to funding your business ideas, you can take advantage of the British Library’s funding advice clinics or why not take part in our workshop, How to Fund a Startup
- If you’re pitching an idea for a green industry business, you can book a place on our How to Pitch for Green Investment bootcamp, where you’ll receive specialist advice from experts in the industry.