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"Today is a very difficult time for investment capital." One way to prove to investors that you are investment-worthy is to show that you are investing in the business, too, by putting up your own capital and being willing to trade some equity for their financing. A pitch needs to be prepared in a variety of formats to take advantage of not only the formal pitch and presentation meeting but the informal chance meeting in an airplane or elevator.Here are a few types of pitches:• E-mail message and elevator pitch.
' It's got to have an overview of what you're asking and what you're trading for it.
Is this a business that looks like it will have fast and sustainable growth and get the returns to the investor that he or she is looking for? The reason an entrepreneur makes a pitch is most often to request funding.
"You're not going to cover those details in many encounters with investors, but you need to know your plan backwards and forwards, inside out before you start, whether you show it to investors in early meetings or not. You are supposed to have them ready to go from the first encounter."Venture capitalists, for example, may have 100 or so business plans piled on their desk at any given time.
They only listen to formal pitches and presentations from a handful.
"It can be as simple as your reality check in a one-person business, or agreeing with a spouse or significant other, your team members or your boss," Berry says.
The more formal process of pitching and presenting is usually before an audience of venture capitalists, angel investors, or bank loan officers in an effort to secure a loan or investment in your company.Every entrepreneur should have a short, concise speech ready whether they step onto an elevator or prepare to travel on an airplane.You never know who is going to be sharing the ride with you.The written business plan is often the way to get in the door with investors.If they like your plan, they may invite you to pitch and present.The pitch involves summing up your business plan -- going over your product/service offerings, your market, your leadership, and why you will succeed.Informally, you may have done this a thousand times already.The goal of the business plan is to convince investors that you are worth the risk of investment. Small Business Administration to write its government business plan publication."It really has to pop them," says Linda Pinson, author of Automate Your Business Plan for Windows® and Anatomy of a Business Plan, who runs a publishing and software business Out of Your Mind and Into the Marketplace. "It's got to say to that VC 'What's in this for me?Usually, an entrepreneur starts off by asking for a certain amount of money, and the value proposition for the investor -- such as what percentage of equity in the business that investment would buy.Most of the time, an entrepreneur would make a formal presentation -- often with a slideshow -- to help illustrate a pitch.