You’ve got a great business idea that’s going to change the world. You’ve got an iron will and buckets of enthusiasm. You’ve got an expertly thought-out, clearly written business plan.
You’re on a sure-fire path to success, right?
Maybe – but there will come a time in your life as an entrepreneur when you’ll have to present your business plan to potential investors. And no matter how compelling it is, it’s unlikely to score points if it’s poorly presented.
Don’t let a weak pitch stop your business dreams in their tracks. Set your sights on success with these six tips for presenting a business plan.
1. Know your business plan
Before presenting it, make sure you know your business plan inside out. This is your business idea, so you need to be able to talk about it with confidence.
Your presentation may be your only chance to get a foot in the door with a potential investor – don’t blow it by coming across ill-informed or unsure of yourself.
2. Keep it short and sweet
Most people have short attention spans, and many investors will have busy schedules. You’ll need to get your idea across before they lose interest or excuse themselves.
Aim to keep your presentation under fifteen minutes. Remember, you’ll need to leave time for questions as well.
If it’s too long, be ruthless and cut it down. Get the most important points across in as few words as possible.
3. Establish your credibility straight away
Investors will want to know who you are, and more importantly, why they should listen to you.
Let them know you’re credible by offering a short anecdote about your background and credentials.
Don’t bore them with a lengthy career history, but be sure to reveal a few details and references that relate to your business and support the information you’re presenting.
4. Highlight your goal early on
You know what you want to get out of your presentation – make sure your audience does too. Outlining your ultimate goal should be one of the first things you do.
If your audience knows the goal of the presentation right from the start, they’re more likely to relate the rest of what you say to that goal.
Not only will this make your presentation more focused, it will also make it easier to get the action you want at the end.
5. Grab their attention
Investors will likely have seen hundreds of business plan presentations. Make yours stand out by employing some attention-grabbing tactics.
Illustrate your points by making startling statements, and back up your facts with surprising statistics.
Begin new ideas with thought-provoking rhetorical questions or relevant quotations, and include striking images in your accompanying slideshow.
6. Prepare for difficult questions
There will almost definitely be questions at the end of your presentation, and you need to be ready for the most difficult ones.
Your audience may try to trip you up or point out holes in your business plan, so make sure you’ve planned for this.
Again, it’s absolutely vital that you know your business plan inside out, and can back it up with facts, statistics and references.
For more tips for presenting a business plan, don’t hesitate to give us a ring.