86% Fail to Meet Promised Projections: How Start-Ups Lose Credibility and Investors

Exaggerated pitches can harm start-ups' credibility & investors' trust. Learn how to avoid this and improve your chances of success.

The Consequences of Exaggerated Pitches for Start-Ups

In the competitive world of start-ups, making a convincing case to potential investors is critical.

As a business entrepreneur, you may be tempted to inflate your estimates or make false promises in your pitch deck. Nevertheless, this strategy frequently backfires and leads to failure. Exaggerated estimates are especially problematic for startups because they can instill false confidence and establish excessive expectations.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, 65% of startups overestimate the size of their market, and 86% fail to fulfill their projected revenues. This implies that founders should approach their pitches with greater transparency and honesty. One example is the business Theranos, which was previously valued at $9 billion but eventually went bankrupt owing to false claims about its technology. For example, the company's founder, Elizabeth Holmes, claimed that revenue would exceed $100 million in 2014. Unfortunately, the company only made $100,000 in revenue.

In addition to the NBER study, Startup Genome's research also supports the idea that honesty and transparency are crucial to the success of a startup. In their report, they found that start-ups that pivot based on honest feedback are 2.5 times more likely to succeed than those that don't.

So, how can entrepreneurs strengthen their pitch while avoiding hyperbole and unrealistic projections? Here are some pointers:

  1. Do Your Research: Before generating any estimates, undertake extensive market and industry studies. To back up your statements, provide credible facts and statistics.
  2. Be Honest: Don't make unrealistic statements or overstate your expectations. Be forthright about the possible dangers and obstacles that your company faces.
  3. Provide Verifiable Data: Provide verifiable data in your pitch, such as market research, client testimonials, or case studies. This will demonstrate to investors that your company has a track record of success.
  4. Highlight Realistic Expectations: Give realistic estimates based on your study. Investors want to know that you have a thorough understanding of the market and have made fair assumptions. Startups with realistic financial estimates are more likely to raise money and prosper, according to Startup Genome research.
  5. Be Prepared to Answer Questions: Investors will undoubtedly have questions about your pitch, so be prepared to answer them honestly and thoroughly.
  6. Simplify Your Pitch: Ensure that your pitch is well-structured and simple to grasp. Avoid using jargon or technical phrases that might mislead investors.
  7. Always Be Open to Feedback and Improvement: Listen to investor feedback and be willing to improve your pitch deck based on their ideas.

By following these tips, founders can build a pitch that is both honest and compelling, while also avoiding the pitfalls of exaggeration and unrealistic projections. Therefore increasing their chances of success.

What are your thoughts on start-up pitches? Share your experience or opinion in the comments below.

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