Sun, Mar 10, 2013
Life ain’t too bad here in the southern tip of the Silicon Valley. 72 degrees Fahrenheit/22 degrees Celsius, no cloud in the sky and I’m just back from a grueling yet glorious 20 mile training run. No time as now to work on the perfect ask. :)
You know that you always have to have an ask in your pitch, right? It might be for money, it might be for partnerships or just feedback — but never ever leave an audience without asking for something.
There’s a lot of art and a bit of science to asking. Here’s my view on the science piece: Let’s assume you pitch for money. Don’t start your pitch with your ask. By putting your ask first you a) rob yourself of the wonderful poetry of a well delivered pitch (as everyone only thinks about the dollars), b) you might loose a good chunk of your audience who might not fall into your price bracket (and believe me — more often than not they gladly invest if they just hear you out and get excited by your company) and c) you will have every investor judge every single slide against the dollar amount you put up.
With that being said — don’t just close your pitch with a “We’re raising $500k. Thank you very much.” but give me a bit more detail what you need the money for and how long it is projected to last (pro tip: Make sure you budget for enough runway — raising for too short an amount of time is a classic beginners mistake). You want to say something like: “We’re raising $500k which will go towards building out our engineering team, building our Android app and getting the first wave of marketing out which should get us to 500k users. The round is projected to last 12 months and will validate our milestones.”
Get it? It’s really not that hard — and yet tons and tons of your fellow entrepreneurs either never come to the ask or have a single number on a slide.
And now — enjoy your Sunday. Get some fresh air.