Why ‘How’ is Critical to Your Investor Pitch

An entrepreneur’s investor presentation documents and pitch will typically focus on the product or service, numbers, competition, sales strategy and team. What is often missing, however, is ‘how’ key stages and milestones will be achieved. In other words ‘how’ the entrepreneur and his team will execute.

An entrepreneur can have an exciting idea with significant revenue potential, but if they fail to reassure the investor that they have the ability to execute, they will not get funded. I spent a couple of years working alongside a very experienced Chief Operating Officer who frequently managed projects worth over $100 million. Whenever a member of the team would state what they intended to do, she would say ‘by who, by when’ and ‘how’. She even planned her vacations with a Gantt Chart.

Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists  ask the very same questions time and time again of entrepreneurs pitching them.  How will you bring on board your first strategic partner? How will you acquire customers? How will you find the CTO you urgently need?  

Reassuring an investor that you have the ability to execute can be achieved in two ways. Firstly, by proving that you have previously launched other succesful startups. A good track record counts for a lot. Secondly, by having thought through how you will execute all key stages / tasks and being able clearly explain this to investors.

It is not necessary to spell out the detail of ‘how’ in your Executive Summary or Deck. You must, however, deal with ‘how’ at a high level in your documents and be prepared to give detailed answers to the ‘how’ questions that investors will inevitably fire at you.

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About Martin Soorjoo

Martin Soorjoo is the founder of San Francisco based Pitch Clinic. Over the past 25 years he has advised, coached and worked with Senior Executives, Investment Bankers, Venture Capitalists, Angels, Startup Founders, Attorneys, Judges, Politicians and other high achievers. Martin works with his clients to increase their Performance, Productivity and Presence. He also helps them create and deliver high impact presentations, whether they are delivering an important keynote address, raising venture capital or seeking a senior position in a company or public body. A former award winning attorney, Martin is the creator of 3XP Performance Coaching and and author of 'Here's the Pitch - How to Pitch Your Business to Anyone, Get Funded and Win Clients' published by Wiley. During his career at the Bar, Martin was consistently rated by the world’s leading legal directories as a ‘leader in his field’. He is a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and expert in body language and performance psychology.