So you’ve got a great idea, start dreaming about it, and finally start making it reality. You’re now self-employed, keeping your head above water and enjoying the freedom. But at some point you are going to need some serious funds, and it’s time to start knocking on the doors of angel investors and venture capitalists. When you’ve landed a meeting, the next thing you need is a killer pitch. You only have one chance of a first impression, and time is money so the meeting won’t last long.

Here are 4 tips to prepare you for your pitch:

1. Back your idea. First: Prove there is a need for your product, service or technology. Which problem will you be solving and does that problem really exist? Where did you get that information? Second: Has your product or technology been tested by independent experts? Do you have specialists in your field on your team? A niche company to endorse your invention? Hearsay will not be enough for investors to start investing their funds.

2. Show them the money! Talk them through the value your idea holds for them: How will they make money with your idea? What’s their incentive to take the risk? How big is the market you are targeting and how easy is it to scale your idea?

3. Clear business model. How have you organised your business? How do you expect to start making profit? Why is your business different from that of competitors? Who is on your team and why are you and your team members the best possible people to execute this plan?

4. Be committed. When it comes to securing funding, parttime entrepreneurs don’t exist. Don’t even try to nail down a meeting before you’re fully committed to your business. Also, more importantly: Be committed financially. If you haven’t invested a lot of your money into your business, why should they be convinced to do that? Expect them to ask how much money you’ve personally invested so far.

Whether you’re preparing to pitch for the jury of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, or trying to secure funds from private investors: Good luck!

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