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Pitching Pitching Presentation Transcript

  • Life’s a Pitch Presenting your business plan
    • What are you really selling?
    • What does your ability to pitch say about other important things?
      • Communicate
      • Connect with people
      • Persuade and convince
      • Understand the audience
      • Anticipate objections
      • Handle unforeseen problems
  • The Basic Idea…
    • You are a group of people who
      • Have identified something that solves a problem for somebody willing to pay
      • Have a plan to
        • Create the company
        • Build and market the solution
        • Use an initial investment wisely
        • Protect yourselves from competitors
      • Can adapt to changing situations
      • Are smart and get things done
  • Begin with the End in Mind
    • Define your own personal objectives and those you have for your company first
    • Do we want to go public or sell the business in the next 5-7 years?
    • How “big” do we want to get?
    • Do we want a “partner”?
    • Can we separate our shareholder interests from our employee/founder interests if necessary?
  • Understand the Investor Perspective
    • Understand the reader as your customer – your product is your company
      • Readers are usually sophisticated, BS-proof skeptics
      • But they do want to believe
        • Help them believe in you!
  • Be Prepared
    • Complete, concise business plan with good executive summary
    • Be prepared to market your company to the judges
    • Be “Up” and show the “Fire in the Belly”
    • Be realistic in terms of your requirements
    • Anticipate additional information which may be required – and be ready!
    • Don’t BS judges, or yourself…
  • What Entrepreneurs Say
    • We conservatively project…
    • A 10% profit margin
    • We need only a 10% market share
    • Customers are demanding our product
    • We are the low-cost producer
    • Our plan is being shown to a select group of investors
    • We have no competition
    • Our business model is proven
  • Be Realistic
    • Have a realistic idea of:
    • Your strengths and weaknesses
    • The amount of money you will need to achieve your objectives (probably big bucks)
      • Seeking too little is worse than seeking too much!
    • The amount of time required to fill the gaps in your plan
      • Raising more money, hiring good people, landing reference customers
  • A Sample Template to Use…
    • What the audience looks for
    • Tell us a story…
      • Don’t read us the slides
  • The Opportunity
    • Crisp statement of need
      • It’s not about your company
    • Clearly defined market requirement
    • A compelling need
      • Huge benefits to the customer
        • Mission critical
        • Huge cost savings
        • Strategic imperative
  • What you Do
    • Clear and succinct
      • Not a “mission statement”
      • Punchy, memorable
    • Do you have any real products yet?
  • Market Acceptance
    • Real proof that the dogs eat the dogfood
      • Revenues
      • Anecdotes about real customers solving real problems
      • A day in the life
      • “FOR EXAMPLE”
  • Industry Forces
    • Skip the 50,000-foot view
    • Are the drivers strong, and enduring
    • Do they form clear, logical underpinnings to your business
      • How do you capitalize on the forces?
      • Is the link strong enough to get customer traction?
  • Life Before Us
    • How customers currently deal with the problem
    • Serious drawbacks to that approach
    • Hard-dollar flaws
      • No lame “easier” or “fingers and toes” flaws
  • Life After Us
    • Completely addresses the shortcomings
    • Hard, measurable impact
    • Payback, ROI to the customer
    • Real-life example of a customer achieving benefits
      • Real customers, reference points
  • Status
    • Products
      • Commercialized
      • In development (nearly done)
    • Multiple market applications
      • Platforms
    • Strong differentiation
  • Competition
    • Clear market structure and positioning versus competitors
    • Full recognition of all competitors
    • Rational argument for why you will win
    • Does your differentiation matter?
      • How will you even get noticed by customers?
      • Is your advantage sustainable?
      • Don’t kid yourself
  • Financials
    • Tell the story of how the business unfolds
      • Don’t just walk through some spreadsheet
    • Reasonable, conservative sales forecasts
      • With bottom-up rationale
      • Implications on channel development
    • How do you compare to industry norms?
      • Explanation of material differences
  • Go for the Close
    • Recap your main messages
    • Ask for what you want
      • You might get it – and more!
    • Get feedback
      • Pay attention to what questions get asked
      • Hot leads and referrals