So you’re a small business looking to fundraise – but how do you stand out from the crowd when you get to pitching?
Storytelling is a tried and tested technique that will take your pitch to the next level and unlock more funding for your business, here’s how 👇
Why you should fundraise for your business
We’re 99% sure if you’re reading this blog that you know why you should be fundraising for your business, but just in case fate has landed you here, here’s why you should fundraise 😊
When you’re an entrepreneur, so much of those initial few years are based on you fronting all the costs of your business. This can take a toll, not only your bank account, but the growth of your business too. If you’re ordering stock, trying to hire a team, or just generally growing your business, all of this hinges on the capital you have in your business.
It’s a tough line to walk as an entrepreneur, but luckily there are lots of investors out there who have grants and pots of money to support you on your journey!
You know you’re ready to grow your business, but how do you find investors?
There are lots of options out there, but a great place to start can be local growth hubs. These are government-run programmes that are often able to signpost you towards local grants and funds you may be eligible for.
You’ll also find national grants on the government website which can be super helpful if you want to go for bigger grants and funds.
And finally, lots of corporate companies and charities offer private grants and funds to support their company-wide initiatives. It’s worth checking out NatWest, The Prince’s Trust, the Cartier Women’s Initiative and other big corporations to see what funds or grants they may be backing 😊
What does a great fundraising pitch look like?
Okay, so you’re ready to fundraise and you’ve got your pitch interview – but how do you create a pitch that stands out?
To keep it as simple as possible, you want to create a pitch deck that clearly shows your potential investors the problem you’re tackling and the solution you’re offering.
It’s not groundbreaking, but by focusing clearly on the solution, you’re quickly showing your investors that what you’re aiming to do is focused and actionable!
But this alone won’t make you stand out from the crowd, but this is where storytelling comes in. The only thing differentiating you from your competitors is your unique journey and mission so let’s leverage that!
Keeping things simple
The first thing to remember when weaving your story into your business pitch is that it has to be as simple as possible.
The best way to do this is to imagine that everyone you’re pitching to has never heard of you or your business before, they’ve not read your brief or your proposal so this is totally new information to them.
Some people prefer to do the ‘8-year old test’ – if you were to pitch your idea to an 8-year old, would they understand what you do? If you answered yes, you’ve nailed the first part of your pitch! If you didn’t pass the test, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and simplify.
Crafting your unique story
As humans, stories help us to connect with one another. If you’re not giving your investors the full story, they’ll naturally fill in the blanks themselves which is what we want to avoid!
The more you tell your story and build that picture for your investors, the more they can connect with you and your dream, making them more likely to invest in you.
When crafting your story, ask yourself the following questions:
What unique lived experiences have influenced my business or the industry I’m working in?
What shared thoughts and feelings can I draw upon to really engage my audience?
Bringing it all together
So now you’ve got your unique story written, it’s time to bring it all together in your pitch deck. Remember the golden rule: the best salespeople are those who don’t make you feel sold to. So try to weave your story into your pitch naturally – the best way to do this is to use your story as the starting point for your pitch and then build around it.
Once you have this nailed, you just need to make sure you’re water-tight on those hard-hitting questions your investors may ask:
Why do you want funding?
What will this funding do for your business?
What’s your 5/10-year plan for the business?
And there you have it, that’s how you can stand out from the crowd through storytelling when fundraising for your business 💪
If you’d like support to perfect your pitch deck, or fancy practising your actual pitch with an expert, our fundraising mentors are on hand to help!
Connecting with our small business mentors is totally free and unlimited, so why not give it a try 👇