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  • Pitching

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