Why practising your pitch is important by Renée Warren
I have been to a few business plan competitions and have seen my share of good and bad pitches. What surprised me most were the entrepreneurial types that didn’t know what they are doing. Case in point, yesterday I attended a university level business plan competition were 6 companies were vying for $25,000 start-up funding. One company got to the front and started explaining where the funds would be allocated, the management structure, the cost of the product, and the 5 year goal. What was missing? What it is that they do and sell!
If you are making the attempt to get money from an investor, whether it is a friend, family member, Angel Investor or VC, structure your pitch in a strategic way so that the audience knows:
- Who you are
- What you do/sell
- Your target market
- Your business model
- Your 5 year goal
- Why you need the specified amount of money
- How you will pay it back OR
- How the investors will make money from you
Look at it from an opposite point of view. Say you had $25,000 to invest in a star-up. You will want to know how you are going to make a return on investment. Ask yourself if the management is in check with the company goals? Does the product/service solve a problem? Is there a demand? If you cannot answer any of these questions you will not want to invest your hard earned cash into the company. It will inevitably fail. Good companies evolve from solid planning and strategic goal setting.
You do not necessarily have to have a completed business plan to make a pitch, but you DO need to know those 8 details so that the investor can trust that what you are doing will make them money.
Believe me the sparkles and glitter will get the attention of investors, but the bottom line, the numerical figures, is what shows your businesses strength or vulnerability in becoming a growth company.
By a full length mirror, stand in front of it and look at yourself closely. Now smile and answer, honestly, those 8 questions. Would YOU invest in yourself?