8 Best Practices for a Successful Startup Pitching in Hong Kong
The most nerve-wracking part of being an entrepreneur is pitching to investors. It is one piece that goes with it, whether you are in your first angel round or you are a seasoned pro looking for series A or venture capital. A pitching session is putting yourself and the business out there scrutinized from every angle. All this for approximately 45 minutes, during which time you might have a monetary value.
Best Practices for a Successful Startup Pitching
Trust me; these 45 minutes are all you got to make a difference between a successful startup launch and a business idea that never gets off the ground. With so much on the line, founders must get their investor pitch right. Here are 8 best practices for a startup for a successful startup pitching in Hong Kong:
1. Dominate the problem
What startups are actually pitching is a problem. Know that you need to get obsessed about it and they need to be obsessive about it. Articulate your problem very clearly so that the audience understands it. Provide as many specifics as possible and quantify the problem. Mention the number of people that are influenced by the situation. Note that the investors are always looking for validation. Make sure that data and factual verification backup all or any statements of yours. A startup should drill down and quantify the problem. All these factors add up and indicate to the investor two things; one, a vast number of people need this problem to be solved, and second, it’s relevant enough to be solved.
And most importantly, when you master something, you are more likely to know it by heart, meaning you will talk about it with confidence and passion. You will be able to answer any questions that investors might have.
2. Know who are you pitching to
It is essential to know the person you are pitching to. It is an underappreciated and underestimated topic, but it is one thing that one should not ignore. In case you only focus on your product, you probably won’t get far. Believing your product is great is one thing and being overconfident about it that anybody would invest in it is not good. Therefore, know who you’re pitching to, to be relevant to them and connect over that relevance. The best outcome is an investor who can help you create the company and realize a market opportunity.
3. Show product-market fit
This point is really about ‘Desirability’, It doesn’t matter what your product is about or what the market thinks. The more you can strengthen customer traction, the better it is for you. The number of paying or subscribed customers you have and how the number is developing over time will make you more decisive in front of the investor. Show traction in paid trials or even early customer adoption if it’s an open, free product. You can keep making presumptions based on theory or data, but investors will want to see real customer engagement at the end of the day. And crucially, showcase customer adoption today rather than in the future. You may pivot; things might change later based on what you learn, but present the facts based on where you are right now.
The team is everything. It would be best if you were obsessed with this too. Having the right team in place is crucial to the viability and sustainability of your startup. There might only be one or two co-founders during a startup’s initial stages. But despite the size, it’s essential to present the relevance of the core team to the problem you’re trying to solve. You may be professional in your field, but you still need to prove that you are well placed to proceed with your particular challenge as a team or individual. Furthermore, it would be best if you differentiated yourselves. Why are you the best people to solve that problem?
Note that investors are investing in the entire team and not just the idea or the problem your company is willing to solve. There have been several examples where the whole concept of business is excellent, but it doesn’t work out because of the team composition or the team dynamics. Therefore, the team is an important aspect and you must understand that.
Underlying everything else is passion. In case an investor is on the fence with their decision, the power of a pitch can be the tipping point towards that all-important yes. Do you remember the passion with which you regularly triggered when you were a kid? If yes, you’ll know that what is critical for startups is perseverance. You’re likely to meet a lot of naysayers. Perseverance only lasts if you have passion. The more you illustrate passion with honesty, the better chance you will have of being funded.
6. Crystal clear presentation
Your presentation speaks better than you do. If you can get someone who doesn’t appreciate your business model to grasp what you are communicating, you are prepared to give a pretty good pitch. Some of the worst pitches I have seen have been filled with acronyms, tech-speak, and jargon.
Keep your pitch short, sweet, and to the point. Practice your pitch on someone outside of your company, and ask them to repeat what they think your business model is back to you and ask you questions. It is always an eye-opening exercise to understand what people repeat back.
7. Talk about the essentials
It is reported that a large number of entrepreneurs present their pitches as if they are auctioning off their grandmother’s antiques. It must be because they think they need to address every phase of their business plan in one fell swoop, but doing so can make you seem anxious, tense, and nervous.
It is recommended that one relax and realize that less is more when giving a pitch. Make it easy and to the point. Prioritize the most meaningful things you want to undergo and stick to those pieces and take a nice big breath before you speak. It will assist you in delivering a more compelling and thoughtful pitch.
8. Address competition head-on
Competition is essential to your business as it permits you to identify your distinct and novel traits that satisfy the customers. Identifying and providing these traits will permit you to market your business more effectively and bring new clients to the business. One of the most common mistakes that clients make is saying they do not have any competition. Every business has competition, and it is important that you address and understand the contest you have rather than just ignoring it. Everyone has competition, even if it’s in direct competition. One of the best ways to demonstrate that you realize your competitive landscape and your differentiators is to present your competition in a matrix format. This is one way your investors will know that you are realistic and consider all aspects when it comes to the growth of the business.
Lastly, dress for success. Ensure that you always stand out when pitching your ideas. These things are easy to forget in these virtual times but remember to shine. With the above tips nailed down, you are already one step closer to turning your dream into a reality. And, if you are ready to start your business in Hong Kong then Startupr can help you. We offer company incorporation, business address and mail forwarding, accounting and bookkeeping services for Hong Kong businesses.