You have enthusiasm, passion and drive. You embrace fear and you are not afraid of failure. You are an entrepreneur with big dreams. But what else do you need to secure a deal from an investor?

Having watched A LOT of Dragons’ Den, here are what seem to be the 5 magic ingredients for creating a compelling, entrepreneurial pitch.

Step 1    Make sure that your back-story is interesting. Then, check that your vision and values match your story. Be clear on your message and make sure that your business model is sound. Ensure that your brand is consistent and instantly recognisable.

Step 2    Keep your pitch short and pithy. Don’t waffle. Don’ t talk at a million miles an hour and be prepared to listen and to answer detailed questions.

Step 3    Don’t fumble the financials and make sure that your numbers add up. You must know the details about the three basics: turnover, margins and net profit. Look particularly at profit margin. How much money you are making? How much have you got in the bank today? How much have you spent to date?

Step 4    Prove your business acumen.  Show that you understand your target market, your competitors and your USP.  Demonstrate that you have the data and research-based evidence to support your claims and that your potential is set in concrete rather than on sand. Make sure that you have registered your trademark and that you know about any related IP.

Step 5    Show how commercially savvy you are. Be prepared to listen, negotiate and compromise. Be aware of the limit of your scope. But also be prepared to show how easily you can enhance your current offering.

If you follow these steps, and can prove that your passionate delivery comes from your resolute belief in your brand, then maybe, just maybe you will secure investment…