A message from Mark
It doesn’t matter if you’re a start-up or a listed multinational, you’ll forever be asked to pitch yourself, and your business. Your pitch deck should be punchy but not light on any critical detail – I want to know certain things about your business, hitting the key points below will help me determine if you’re ready to take the next step.
A business can make a name, sure, but when you haven’t done anything, having a clever and catchy name can resonate with customers, investors and the media – helping to make the business.
Tell me who you are? The start of your pitch is when focus is greatest, even if everything else is forgotten at least I’ll remember where to look.
What is it?
Often a start-up will either not tell me enough, or tell me too much about their niche. Be clear and concise, any finer detail can be elaborated on if and where need be. Examples to illustrate and/or case studies where they exist can often better explain your business, rather than defining your activities with technical jargon.
What problem does your business solve?
What need or great desire is there for your business’s product or service, what’s the value proposition?
Who’s your target market?
Who will buy your product or service? Are they male, female, young, old, sick, healthy, from a certain geography or culture? Your business may have plans for global domination, but your product or service will resonate with a certain subset of people first – who will your first adopters be?
How will you create awareness around your product or service? Saying you don’t have the budget to do anything isn’t good enough. Tools such as social media have made it possible for even the smallest players to promote their business. Marketing leads to sales, and sales to profits – investors will look carefully at your ability to generate a return on their capital, marketing dollars well spent can help provide that return.
What is, or is the intended price of your product or service – is it affordable? Is there a sufficient or an attractive margin for your business? What are your overheads? What is the projected growth in revenues vs costs (scale) for your business?
Who does your team consist of? What are their credentials? Do you have the right skills and manpower to launch your business? Where are you deficient, and how do you plan to correct that deficiency?
Tell me what your immediate next steps are, and touch briefly on intermediate and long term goals.
Tell us what you want/need – whether it be investment, promotion or connection.
If its investment, how much do you need and have you attached a value to your business?
If its promotion, how would you suggest that works?
If its connection, who would you like to be connected with? You need to do that thinking before you engage me, as you’ll understand how we can help you better than I can.
The above isn’t strictly prescriptive – there are things that I want to know about your business, however I encourage your own expression when pitching. If you want to gain my interest I’d keep information I have asked for in mind when you do.
C’mon show me what you’ve got!