By Nina Sharpe
Only a few short years ago, Millennials were trading Pokémon cards and worrying whether they’d ever pay off student loans or own property. Now, one of the most driven generations the world has ever seen is all grown up and ready to invest. This means you could find yourself pitching a business plan to investors younger than you – and your presentation needs to be nothing less than captivating.
The generation of digital natives made it clear from the start that they were ready and willing to take Generation X’s bucking of trends to new levels. It’s clear that, if you pitch a business plan to younger investors, the one thing you cannot do is to take a traditional approach. How to Create A Business Plan
As different as the Millennials approach may be, the potential investors among them aren’t exempt from the fact that only 100 out of 1,000 pitches receive funding, and of those 100, only ten really succeed.
There’s no room for half-measures when approaching investors younger than you. Below are ten ways that you can make a great impression on a whole different generation.
1. Practice Makes Perfect
OK, the first tip doesn’t apply to the boardroom, office, or other location of the meeting between you and the potential investors. Instead, it needs to happen long before your meeting is due to start – the “it” being practising your pitch, then practising it again.
You need to practise until you can pitch your idea efficiently, fluently, and confidently. You’ll want to avoid umms, ahhs, and the lifeless reading of your notes during your presentation.
2. Dress For Success
We could repeat the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” until pigs fly, but even the publishing industry understands the importance of eye-catching, attractive cover art. The reality is that looks do count, and if you look like you don’t care about your appearance, investors may think that you’ll put as little effort into your proposed business idea.
On the other hand, if you dress in a way that conveys an air of confidence, competence, success, and style, you’re likely to be taken more seriously. As much as older generations laughed at Gen-X, Millennials, and Gen-Z, all three have shown themselves to be fashion-forward.
3. Be Enthusiastic And Passionate
No matter how many times you’ve pitched your idea, you need to bring passion and enthusiasm to your presentation.
When you’re trying to secure funding for a business plan, there’s no room for being a dead fish or clinging to your comfort zones. There are plenty of things in life that you can fake, but enthusiasm isn’t one of them. If you’re genuinely enthusiastic about your plan, investors with a go-getter attitude will recognise that you’ve got what it takes.
4. Use Storytelling In Your Presentation
For tens of thousands of years, human beings have gathered around fires, under trees, and in places of education, and told each other stories. There’s no denying the entertainment value of storytelling, but it’s also a powerful way of conveying ideas and making an unforgettable impression on the audience.
Tell the potential investors the story behind your idea and inject as much pathos into it as possible. Use video, memes, props, and any other related content in your storytelling. Include the facts and figures in the printed materials or digital documents you provide to back up your actions.
5. Be Attentive To Time
Time is an essential element when presenting a business plan to anyone – young or old. Ensure your pitch doesn’t take longer than 10 minutes. Tell them the presentation will take 10 minutes, and then deliver it in nine.
If they tell you that they will give you 15 minutes to pitch, do it in 10. But be sure to pace yourself, so you don’t sound rushed.
6. Maintain Your Focus
To be able to present a business plan using storytelling in 10 minutes or less you need to maintain your focus. Don’t deviate from the core elements of your pitch. They are the main points on which your potential investors will base their decision.
7. Explain Your Product And Why It’s Unique
Your presentation must leave no doubt about what your product is and why it’s unique. Explain it to the investors and do so in a way that’s short and sweet. If you have a prototype or example of your product that they can look at, even better.
8. Describe Your Target Audience And How You’ll Attract Them
Give your potential investors a graphic idea of who your target customer is and do it literally with the help of a picture and appropriate data points.
Include psychographics and demographics in this part of your presentation. You should also mention any marketing ideas or techniques you intend to use to showcase your product and attract your target customers. Be sure to outline a social media strategy in your business plan template too, as this speaks to the younger generation.
9. Include The Revenue Model
If investors decide to fund a business idea, they do so because they believe it will make them money. That’s what it’s all about, so be sure to explain the revenue model as part of your pitch. Let the investors know how you plan to apply that model in your business, why you are worthwhile investing in, and what ROI is expected.
10. Mention The Social And Environmental Impacts Of Your Idea
Young generations have shown overwhelming concern and support of environmental and social justice issues. If you’re pitching to investors younger than you, you can be sure that they’ll want to know whether their investment in your idea will have a positive or negative social or environmental impact.
Bonus Tip – Anticipate Their Questions
When writing and practising your pitch, try to anticipate any questions it may inspire in your potential investors. Then re-word where necessary to include the answers to those questions. This helps ensure your presentation is informative to the point that your audience may not need to ask any questions at all.
As you can see, the keys to pitching a business plan in captivating ways are to look the part, sound the part, and to be creative, passionate, and focused.
About the Author
Nina Sharpe is a content champion for various outlets, covering various business topics from finance for startups to small business accounting tips.