Personal Development

Are You Pitch Ready

So you have your business plan completed, its now the time where you need to deliver a business pitch also known as an elevated pitch. So what does that actually entail?
A pitch is a delivery of your business plan – verbally. Think of a business pitch as the process that happens in Dragons Den. The pitcher is needing an investment by one of the dragons and therefore has to present or describe their ideas. Don’t let the idea of giving a presentation on your business model scare you.
An elevator pitch is simply a very short pitch that distils the idea into a short summary that takes only as long as a short elevator ride.  The goal of a pitch is to get the right people excited about your business. They’re the ones who can help make your business idea a reality. A solid pitch helps entrepreneurs demonstrate experience and capabilities, determine the viability of a business idea, quickly gain valuable feedback, and stand out from the crowd.
Before we get on to the essential parts of a business pitch remember the delivery of the content is just as important, so ensure that these fours pillars of the delivery is covered:
1. Clarity – Whenever your giving a presentation always keep in mind that the average attention span is 8 seconds, so keep your presentation as clear and, concise as possible.
2. Jargon Free –  so keep it simple and avoid using industry language. Unless your aware of all your investors areas of expertise, ensure that you speak their language as your focus is about being understood.
3. Passion – Have you ever heard a speech that just sounded mundane, lacklustre and damn right boring? Those types of speeches are never remembered for its content.
Having passion makes a pitch most memorable, unique and engaging.
4. Practice, Practice & Practice More! – No surprise here, you need to know your pitch in your head word for word. Practice in front of the mirror, in front of a group of people even and ensure you get some constructive feedback to help you refine and strength your delivery to perfection.
So your sitting there and wondering where do you start with this pitch? Lets start at the beginning. the following eleven steps will get you working towards a great perfect pitch:
1. Tell a Story (The hook):
Storytelling – A great way to start a pitch is to tell a real customer story that uses real names and that addresses a problem that your product or service will help to solve. A study completed by Chip Heath showed that 63% of students remembered a speech due to the story being told and only 5% remembered the statistics. Storytelling  is our oldest and unique human art form that enhances your audiences listening skills, imagination and helps to create relevance for your business model.
2. Your Solution:
Share what’s unique about your product or services and how it will solve the issues that your target audiences will have from step one. Remember the four pillars of delivery –  Keep it short, concise, and easy for the investor to explain to others. Avoid using buzz words unless your investors are very familiar with your industry.
3. Your Successes:
This stage is all about you and building some credibility. Take some time to share the relevant traction you’ve had. This is your opportunity to blow your own horn! Impress the investors with what you and your team have accomplished to date. If your business hasn’t yet launched speak about personal achievements like education, work experience, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) which supports your business idea.
4. Your Target Market:
Targeting a specific market does not mean that you are excluding people who do not fit your criteria. Rather, target marketing allows you to focus your marketing pounds and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets. The investors want to know you have customers that would purchase your products or services – supply and demand is the key.
5. Customer Acquisition:
This is usually one of the most skipped sections of business pitch and a full business plan. How will you reach your customers? Will this be solely via social media, if so which platforms? How much will it cost? Will you focus on organic reach or paid advertising? And then How will you measure success? This is where you need to clarify what success of the business looks like. Is this more about awareness generation or revenue generation? Your financials should easily allow you to calculate your customer acquisition costs.
6. Your Competition:
If you have completed your business plan you should already have a list of your competitors as its a very important part of your pitch, and many people omit this
section or don’t provide enough detail about why they’re so different from their competitors. A great way to communicate your Unique Selling Point (USP) over your
competitors’ is to show this slide in a matrix format—where you list your competitors down the left side of the page, you have your features/benefits across the top,
and place check marks in the boxes for which company offers that service. To truly sell your business USP your company should have check marks across the top for every
category, and your competitors lack in key areas to show your competitive edge.
7. Business Revenue Model:
This is the most import slide for any investor. They need to know how will you make money? This is were you must be very specific about your products and services and pricing and emphasize again how there’s an urgent demand for your product or services.
8. The Business Financial Projections:
Show what you’re projecting in revenue (per product or service) over the next three to five years. You MUST back-up your numbers by sharing your assumptions. Ensure that you give them the information they need and that your calculations are accurate as the investors will be making their own calculations to make sure that your numbers make sense. Provide them with the answers in advance to any over-projected calculations on growth of the business over the years.
9. You and your team:
Always remember people invest in people first and ideas second, so be sure to share details about your rock star team and why they are the right people to lead this company. If your a Solopreneur this is where you outline all your skill-sets gained from your work experiences. Its also important for them to know what skills you and your team have and also the skills you lack. Dont be afraid to let them know that you know what you don’t know!
10. The Business Funding Needs:
Clearly spell-out how much money you need to get the business launched and be clear about what level your starting on. Do you have any other investors, will you need to raise further capital and if so how will you go about doing so? The level of detail you need when asking for an investment in your business is: how much you need, why you need the money, what it will be used for, and the intended outcome.
11. Your Exit Strategy:
An exit strategy or exit plan is a way to transition the ownership of a company to another company (e.g. through a merger or acquisition) or to investors (e.g. through an Initial public offering). This is a major part missing from all business pitches. Even if you’re a small company, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and to actually have an idea of how you will transfer ownership of the business down the line, sell the business, or make a return on your investment.
So you have eleven key steps to cover in the space of an elevator ride. Its possible, just remember make its clear and concise, jargon free, be passionate, and practice makes perfect.
Good luck.. enjoy it and you can definitely do it!
Final thought…
 picthing (1)

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