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15 Free Tools to Help Prepare Your Startup Investment Pitch

May 16, 2016

[su_note note_color="#f9fbfe" text_color="#2531b3" radius="15"]Editor’s Note: This is a FS Network generated article. FS Network is our window to interact and give access to industry experts, entrepreneurs, writers, and thought leaders. Join FS Network and share your ideas with the world. | Luka Petkovic is a Digital Marketing Analyst at Inc.[/su_note]

So, you’ve got a product that is picking up and the number of happy customers is growing steadily. You would like to go a step further, since you have a couple of great ideas you think will convert your business into an even bigger hit. However, these ideas are going to cost a lot of money and you are thinking about introducing investors into the mix.

If this sounds familiar then you must know the struggles of creating a winning product pitch and the general amount of salesmanship involved in the process. But even if you have a background in sales, presenting products to big players can be nerve wrecking. Generally speaking, a well prepared pitch consists of 4 major research areas: customers, market, finances and visuals. With that in mind, we compiled a list of 15 tools that can help you boost preparation for each of these.

1) Know Your Customers

Simply put, investors want to learn as much about your customers as possible. By using tools like MakeMyPersona and Personapp you can easily create profiles that describe target customers. Both apps are similar and pretty straightforward. Biggest difference between the two is that MakeMyPersona does not require you to register and Personapp does. The latter is a bit more detailed but both will definitely be a great addition to your usual tool set.

Another thing that can help your argument are surveys. If you already have a target market, why not try to conduct a survey using one of the many popular free questionnaire tools, like SurveyMonkey or Typeform. SurveyMonkey lets you create in depth questionnaires, while Typeform outperforms with its visual interface. Both of these solutions have responsive design, so you do not have to worry whether your poll taker is on a desktop or mobile.

2) Know Your Market

Another thing investors are interested in are market trends that go in favor of your product. More precisely, in what direction is the industry going and what is the competitive landscape like. Ubersuggest, Moz Keyword Explorer and Google Trends can help you monitor the popularity of your key terms in online searches.

Also, to get better insights from your competitors’ customers, use Quora or SEMrush. While Quora lets you see what other customers like or dislike about your competitors, SEMrush helps you see which words your competition is trying to rank for and you can use this information to find a gap for differentiating your product.

As you make progress with your research, you will find that an old-school market research can lead you to a bunch of PDF reports. Since transferring that data to Excel format can be time consuming, you should use a free PDF to Excel tool, to help you save time and compile data faster.

3) Use Good Visuals

Investors do think in numbers, but a good visual presentation can be that final touch to convince them you have a serious business proposal. While PowerPoint is the industry standard, you can try some other tools to help you make your presentation more appealing. Some popular alternatives are Prezi and Google Drive Presentation.

Prezi is famous for having a non linear, dynamic approach, while Google Drive Presentations are a simplified PowerPoint tool. If you want to step it up a notch, then PowToon is the ultimate tool for you, as it helps you create animated visuals.

4) Know Your Numbers

Lastly, to make a serious impression, you should know exactly how much money you’ll need to boost your venture. At this stage, it is important that you differentiate between the two types of investors you might encounter: Angel Investors and Venture Capital Funds. Angel investors don't invest more than $1million and might be convinced with a product idea only. VCs don't look for opportunities below a six figure number and usually like seeing some serious numbers and prototypes.

To add credibility to your proposal, finalize your pitch with an accurate ROI plan, so your investors can get a better insight into how their investment will pay off. You can use calculators from Bplans and ROI Calculator to show everyone you mean business.

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Luka Petkovic is a Digital Marketing Analyst at Investintech

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