The business world is competitive and not a field for the faint-hearted.
To succeed in the entrepreneurship world, you need to be determined, enthused, and ready to face real challenges as well as stay focused.
If you are fundraising, here are 10 deadly sins of a bad pitch.
Don’t do it! It shows you are a complete novice. Venture capital firms receive hundreds of pitches a month - they don’t sign NDAs.
A simple pitch deck is commendable, but invest in design. Unprofessional decks show you don’t care enough. Your cover needs a “hook”, what you do in less than five words (not jargon or gobbledegook).
Get out of possible debt. Come up with many income outlets and have insurance to take care of contingencies.
Boil it down to 12 slides. Volume does not impress.
Simple and clear pitch decks get funded. Cluttered text is an immediate turnoff. Investors know you don’t understand how fundraising works.
Your business should solve a big problem that a lot of people have. Stay laser-focused on the message.
Show the upside, investors want to be inspired. But base claims on defensible facts.
Know what should go in - it’s no good saying “I’ll cover that in a meeting”. You won’t get that far.
No competitor analysis what are you hiding?
No clear USP means no business. Show yours and tell the right story around it.
Many entrepreneurs focus on their strengths and fail to look at their weaknesses. Investors could call off business deals if they realize you have been hiding your weaknesses. You need to know the kind of business you are establishing and the kind of people you want to buy your products and services. Bear in mind that not everyone will be attracted to your business.
Bill Lewis is a sought after Board advisor and counsel; he is also a renowned entrepreneur, technologist and workshop speaker. An experienced Corporate Executive and Non Executive Director advising Fortune 200 companies, Bill has served on the Boards of five companies, including the Global Board of a major system integrator. A prolific writer on technology, the digital age and entrepreneurship, he is the author of three acclaimed books: Midas and 1000 Cows, 100 Mistakes of a Start Up CEO, and 25 Kickass Lessons for the Budding Entrepreneur and numerous blogs and articles.