There are many benefits to creating, pitching, refining, and defending your investor pitch deck–then pitching it over and over…
Even when you don’t successfully raise funding or you aren’t trying to raise outside investment at all.
Here are 12 useful benefits for founders of the intense exercise of pitching your company to potential investors:
1) You actually have to fill in your complete, simple story of how you will satisfy your paying customers, grow revenues, and create a valuable company.
2) You learn to tell this short story in 5 or 15 or 30 minutes to savvy people so they can understand it, repeat the key points, and be inspired. This is harder than it looks.
3) Your simple, short startup story will help you recruit employees, sell customers, engage with partners and vendors, and connect with influencers.
4) You will see the difference between what investors want to invest in and what customers want to buy from you. They aren’t the same.
5) You meet a bunch of smart people who listen to your story for free, then ask you savvy questions and provide feedback. “I still don’t get it” or “No, I don’t want to invest” is useful feedback too.
6) You realize that just like your many customers, each investor is very different. Some don’t care and some really love it.
7) You can rally your leadership team, your advisors, and your employees in this intense exercise to create a common story. Aligning and inspiring your team is a big win.
8) The CEO gets really good at telling the company story. That’s one of the key jobs of the CEO as you get bigger.
9) Your business story gets shorter, stronger, and more repeatable. Even new employees, partners, and customers can tell the story powerfully now.
10) You can get rid of, stop doing, and stop talking about all the EXTRA ideas and possibilities that investors don’t want to hear about. If your business isn’t more focused as a result of this process, you did it wrong.
11) When you pitch institutional VCs, you get a team of super-smart VCs that pick apart all your data, metrics, legal docs, financials, and product strategy in due diligence. This is gold.
12) You hear lots of different opinions and get to decide for yourself what perspectives you use and don’t use.
Is it worth the effort to create the presentation, practice telling it, and get feedback even when you are bootstrapping? I really think it is.
Both CEOs and their businesses get better for doing it.
Every growing company I have been a leader in has gotten dramatically better every time we raised a new round.
There are many more benefits of pitching your company to potential investors. Even for bootstrappers.
What other benefits did I miss?