How to make your business stand out and attract attention amidst the madness?
In 2014 it has never been easier to raise capital given the plethora of angel networks and crowdfunding websites popping up everyday. Yet the downside to this is that it begins to attract a whole new bunch of people trying their luck or valuing their start ups at crazy valuations who are also looking for their cash. How to stand out amongst the mêlée?
We see over 100 business pitches a day here at Angels Den Towers and are therefore self-proclaimed experts on how businesses can ensure they stand out and create attention amongst competition.
Here are some of our Top Tips about how to rise to the top of the pile in your crowdfunding pitch, which can also be translated many different business-related scenarios one may find themselves facing.
Be very, VERY clear about your proposition
This is the most difficult question we ask ... ready?
"Hey good to meet you, tell me about your business?"
Around one-third of businesses fall at this hurdle and fail to be able to explain without clever jargon or confusing buzzwords WTF it is they or their products actually do. (see what I did there!?)
Be able to answer how much money you need (not want) and be able to justify your ridiculous valuation.
If you are looking at crowdfunding 600 new shareholders they will not necessarily baulk at your silly valuation (if they own 0.0015%, who cares?) but beware this is just building up a world of pain and down-rounds if you do survive that long.
If, however, you want a discrete number of serious investors on board, this is key.
Accept you do not have a God-given right to funding or any extra help
Financial investment will not just land in your lap, you need to be able to HUSTLE .... and then hustle some more!
You will need a daily plan of how your social media is going to pan out.
Mobilise not just your social media but also those of all who invest, stakeholders, friends, family and suppliers. Get them to tell their mates that they have invested.
Hold a real 'world' event
At Angels Den we hold nine pitching events every month globally, as we find that substantial 'Big Boy' investors (as opposed to "The Ten Pound Tims") want to meet with you, see how you respond in the real world, how you shake hands, if you hand out business cards, make eye contact, smell ... whatever is important to them, that you cannot tell from a video/website/LinkedIn page etc....
Nothing makes your pitch stand out more than having a good business ... the cream will always rise to the top.
Some of the biggest successes I have had the pleasure to work with have been very PR'able. One such example is the company Beer52, who made their company stand out by giving away "free beer for life" if an Angel was investing above a certain amount. Having said this, and if I am being completely truthful, you can have all the fancy giveaways and incentives you want, but it your business isn't a winner, they will become instantly forgettable and go nowhere.