For start-ups, being able to pitch investors is key to funding your company. Here’s how to kick start your business in Asia with the perfect elevator pitch.
For start-ups, pitching to investors and businesses is essential to get the necessary funding for your company to survive and grow. But if you want to start your business in Asia (especially China), it is critically important to cultivate connections, or guanxi, with investors and business partners in order to secure the long-term investment or financial support. Once developed, these connections can help you open doors and find new business opportunities to help your company grow in the long run. To raise your startup funding and kick start your business journey in Asia, you will need to perfect your elevator pitch to get investors or businesses interested in your company. Below are the tips on how you can craft the best elevator pitch to secure the funding for your business venture in Asia.
Keep It Succinct and Understandable
Molecular biologist John Medina of the University of Washington School of Medicine found that the human brain craves meaning before details.If your listener does not understand the overarching idea being presented in a pitch, chances are that they would not be able to digest whatever information you feed them. A succinct statement briefly outlining your company’s unique value proposition will help you paint the big picture for your audience.
It is important to remember that the whole purpose of the pitch is to connect with your listener and get him or her interested. Once your pitch stirs excitement, you will be a step closer in getting your startup funding, and this can be potentially leveraged to further develop a relationship in the long run. You can delve into the technical details of your product/service later on in your business proposal. For the elevator pitch, you could treat it a casual conversation instead of a formal business proposal, and make sure it is easy to understand with simple words, without jargon or tech talk such as B2B and ROI. In this way, you will avoid appearing too aggressive and your potential investors or business partners would feel more comfortable talking to you.
Support Your Pitch With Examples
While it is necessary to tone down the technical bits of a business pitch, in order to avoid appearing too business-like when approaching investors for the first time, you will also need to sound credible with examples to convince why they should be interested in your company. After all, you are seeking for long-term business relationships and your company will still need to have a strong overall business operation or major selling point, in order to succeed in any business environment. Presenting your company in a pitch with objective quantifiable data will not only capture the most attention from your listener, but it will show to your potential investors, or business partners, in the most compelling way that the reward is worth the risk. Saying “my company has brought in $200,000 revenue in the first year and 80% of the clients have been highly satisfied with our services/products, and has stayed with us for the next two years” sounds much more attractive and convincing than “my company could sustain our revenue growth as most of my clients are happy with our service/product”.
Customise Your Pitch
It is important to customise your elevator pitch to a different audience as one-size-fits-all pitches does not work: when you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one. You need to be specific and you need to minimise the chance of your offering being drowned out in a sea of pitches. In addition, to show that your company has the niche nobody else seems to have, tailoring your pitch to a different audience can create a personal touch and make your listener feel like you are sincere and authentic, which in turn helps cultivate a relationship in the long run.
End With An Invitation
Do not forget to keep your pitch open-ended for further conversations, especially when developing relationships with them is key to your long-term business success in the region. Ask them if you can reschedule a time to get to know more about them and exchange contacts. If they do not fix a time, don’t push them as this could backfire and you can always follow up with them through email. When you propose the next meet-up, you might want to do it in a more casual setting instead of an office.
Practice Your Pitch
How well you communicate to your potential investors or business partners is a precursor to how well you will be able to sell to early adopters, and how likely you are to recruit top talent. In addition, it is likely that you will have only one chance to present your pitch to that potential investor or business partner, and you can’t afford to squander the opportunity. It is thus necessary to practice your elevator pitch so that you look presentable and confident enough to convince your investors or business partners, that you have the business acumen to succeed in the long run, apart from your business idea.
At Garage Society, we regularly organize networking events for entrepreneurs, business owners, freelancers and professionals to get to know one another and build business connections. We have 4 great co-working spaces in Hong Kong, 6 in India and South East Asia with a continuous expansion plan. Please feel free to contact us here, we will be more than happy to invite you in for a site visit to find the perfect place to grow your business.
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Author: Ching Lam Ip, Programme & Marketing Lead, Garage Society
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