Pitching to investors is always a tough task, so where better to look for advice than in the Dragon’s Den? This hit BBC program has been giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to access business funding for years, and is renowned for giving a good grilling to any prospective business. James Caan, one of the Dragons, is keen on giving new businesses a chance, and he has offered a few tips on how to make the most of your opportunity to pitch to investors – whether they’re Dragons or not.
While pitching well is a bit of an art form, James Caan, who himself has build his own business worth £120m and now heads a large private equity firm, has distilled the process to a few key points.
There are eight P’s to successful pitching:
Person: Having an easy-to-work-with personality is essential, as investors won’t want to invest in your business if they don’t like you. This is especially true when you want to work closely with your investors and build a partnership.
Passion: Believing in your business is essential if you want to convince others to believe in you was well.
Preparation: If you’re going to get asked for facts and figures, make sure you’ve got them to hand. Understand all the in’s and out’s, and prepare in advance for some of the big questions you’re going to be asked.
Presence: Confidence will help you create a convincing pitch and will make you look like a credible investment.
Persistence: Don’t be discouraged if you don’t nail your first pitch – practice makes perfect, be determined to stick with it.
Product: If you’re selling a product, make sure you know your market and all your unique selling points that will make investors want to give you their backing.
Projections: Investors will want to see a return on their money. Don’t get carried away, but most investments are made with a 3-5 year time frame in mind, so have some figures ready.
Presentation: Presenting yourself well with give a good first impression. Make sure to look and sound credible.