If you’re working on your pitch, who better to learn from than entrepreneurs who’ve been there, done it and won investment too?
By Rachel Olsen (Founder, Best Mom Products)
Ever wondered what it would be like to pitch your business idea or product to investors and have 8 million viewers at home watching you? Me, too! So I interviewed five mom entrepreneurs who landed deals on Shark Tank, wrote a book about it and am sharing the inside scoop with you today.
Whether you’re getting ready to pitch one investor or many – here are the top five tips from the Sharkpreneurs who went up against the fiercest investors.
1. Know Your Financials
“Know your numbers! Be confident in them and know your future direction.”
Betsy Johnson, Founder, SwimZip
Be ready to explain how you make money, who pays you, your channels of distribution, gross margins and valuation.
Provide a financial forecast over the following few years on both dollars and key metrics like number of customers and conversion rate.
Be able to explain logically how you arrived at those assumptions. Stand strong!
2. Be Authentic
“I stood in the Shark Tank with minimal sales though was able to secure a deal because I was prepared and sincere. The honesty of my pitch allowed me to lack a proven track record, as I was selling possibility and something I truly love and believe in…
When people are not being their true self, it is easy to find flaws and destroy something that is seemingly strong. Presenting your authentic self can be terrifying, as it is unavoidable that some won’t accept you (or your business) and that can be painful. However, I believe it is a far better option than the gazillion dollar guarantee.”
Megan Gage, Founder, Hot Tot
3. Get Over Your Nervousness
“I was on the first season of Shark Tank and Mark Burnett came up to me on set. I had no idea who he was and told him how nervous I was to pitch. He turned to me and gave me a dose of tough love ‘Do you know how many people would kill to have this opportunity? Go in there and do your best!’”
Tiffany Krumins, Ava the Elephant
If you’ve secured a meeting with an investor, they are already interested in your business. Yay! You’ve moved passed a huge hurdle and now it is time to prepare.
Research and talk to other founders who have pitched investors and learn about what worked and didn’t work for them.
Practice your pitch over and over again and video tape yourself to see where you seem nervous or your message is unclear. Then, practice in front of a friend. Go for it!
4. Focus on the Big Picture
“There is no magic thing that happens when you land one television appearance or one magazine article. In business, there is no such thing as a golden ticket.”
Amber Schaub, Founder, Rufflebutts
Whether you’re pitching investors or media and have high expectations of what each will result in; it may not be the ultimate win you thought it would be. When you do get initial funding, you may realize you will need more money than you thought as more opportunities come along and then you will be out raising more capital.
One major media placement is not going to change the trajectory of your business but doing these activities consistently over time will add up to brand recognition and ultimately sales. Keep moving forward!
5. Don’t Attach Yourself to an Outcome
“Just because something doesn’t look like you thought it would doesn’t mean it’s wrong. The best thing to do is to say Thank You. Every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow and nothing is ever wasted.”
Shelly Ehler, Founder, Showno Towel