Finance 12 September 2017

Six steps for putting together a successful funding pitch

Top view, businessman with spyglass on Stacks of gold coins. vector illustration, EPS 10.
Even if the concept of your business is not very unique, there are ways you can distinguish yourself from the competition
Writing for Business Advice, Piers Chead, the founder and CEO of incorporation agency The Formationscompany, gives readers six crucial lessons for delivering a successful funding pitch.

A lot of entrepreneurs have great ideas that they want to start rolling, but often they feel that financial restrictions are what prevents this from happening. This has prompted many entrepreneurs in recent times to enter competitions and apply for grants in order to obtain the funding they require to make their ideas a reality. Here is some advice on constructing a successful funding pitch that will stand out among competition and grab the attention of investors.

  1. Advocate and protect your idea

Funding is limited in these schemes and competition is fierce, so it is imperative that you have passion for your idea, and it is what gets you up in the morning if you don’t, judges will pick up on it, and overlook you.

You cannot expect strangers to back you if you’re unwilling to back yourself. If you’re truly passionate about it, then you will want to protect it too, and there is nothing worse than finding that a competitor has coincidentally had the same idea as you.

The Formations Company can help you to secure your company name; even if you arent ready to establish the organisation, you can reserve a name with a dormant company until you are in a position to get the ball rolling.

  1. Be unique

The concept of your business may not be wildly inventive, but every standout company needs a USP, and there are ways that you can distinguish yourself from the competition. A recent winner of our award, Terence Chung, turns waste produce into cosmetics and toiletries. His idea stood out to the judges for his innovation and environmental consciousness, and they were impressed by his forethought in terms of both business and green credentials.

Consider the ways in which you can present your business idea and make it bold enough to be remembered afterwards.

  1. don’t be generic

Once you have settled on how to make your business plan stand out from the competition, you have to make sure that your application to the competition or fund doesnt ruin your potential by coming off as generic.

As you would with a strong job application, it is important to work through it carefully and tailor it to the singular situation. don’t fall into the trap of reusing old application material either if it was unsuccessful before, it is not likely to get a warmer response this time around.

  1. Know your business, market and audience

Doing the research is an absolute must if you want to even be considered for a business grant. Having an in-depth understanding of who your customers are, what they require of you in business, the competition you face in your industry and what sets you apart from it, is all very basic information that no business plan should be without. Investors will not even waste their time reading an application that doesnt provide these basic details, so do your homework and do it properly.

  1. Know your numbers

Although reality TV is somewhat sensationalised, the fates of prospective businesspeople looking for investment without knowing their numbers have been seen many times on shows like The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den.