Pitching your business

Pitching your business

Business executives are so busy and preoccupied with wide-ranging issues so much so that it’s often very difficult to get them to listen to you let alone get their attention.
So whenever you get an opportunity to meet them you need to get to the point of your message and get their attention and probably have a chance of getting into the details of what it is that you are selling or proposing.
To get their attention you need to distil your message into an “elevator pitch.” An elevator pitch is an overview of an idea, product, service, project, or other solution which is designed to get a conversation started. Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

An entrepreneur needs to be able to share his business idea with prospective investors or customers and be able to get their attention at the first encounter.
Investors have so many opportunities that are presented to them and to get their attention will require that you are able to present your business proposal clearly, succinctly and in a compelling way.
It is therefore critical, that as an entrepreneur, you are able to communicate effectively verbally and in written form your business idea in a form of an investor pitch. You should be able to distil your business idea, product, service, project, or the solution you are providing in such a way that your audience will be clamouring to hear more.

The purpose of the investor pitch should be to communicate what you can offer to your partners in very few words within a very short time. Your pitch should show that your idea will provide the solution to your target market.
The investor pitch is not intended to close the deal with your prospective investors but its main purpose is to interest them so that they will ask for more information or ask for a follow-up meeting.
An investor pitch should show the “pain” that will be addressed by your business idea. You need to highlight the problem you would like to solve by your product or service. Indicate how many potential customers will use the product or service. This will help indicate how big the market is.

This is what will drive the potential investors into action. Show what the product will do for your customers. You should highlight the positive responses by the customers to your product, if you had undertaken a research.
In your presentation you should show what’s unique about your product/service and how it will solve the problem you have identified. Show what makes this solution different from what the competition is offering. You need to explain your solution to the problem very convincingly, clearly and why it’s superior to existing alternatives.
In your presentation you should not use technical jargon as this will not be understood by your audience. It might end up confusing your listeners. Make sure your presentation is short, concise, and easy for the investors or your listeners to follow and be able to explain to others.

It’s important to show who your target market is and then try to break your market into different segments. This will not only impress your audience, but it will help you think more strategically about your roll-out plan.
It demonstrates your understanding of the size and composition of your target market. In your presentation provide details on how you will reach your customers and what the likely cost would be. Indicate how you will measure success.
Show how you will make money from your product/service. This is your business model. This section is very critical and will excite investors therefore be specific about your product and pricing.
It’s also advisable that you show what you’re projecting in revenue per product over the next three to five years backed-up by your assumptions.

Your pitch should provide enough detail about why you are different from your competitors.
Show your competitive advantage by highlighting areas where your competition is weak and where you are strong. Demonstrate your understanding of the competitive environment by showing that you have done a thorough analysis of your competitors.
Lastly you need to share details about your team and justify why you think they are the right people to lead your company. Explain why this is the management team to bring your product/service to market. Highlight the missing skill-sets and what you will do to attract them.

If this pitch is targeted at investors then clearly spell-out how much money you need to raise and how much has already been invested in your company, by whom, and the ownership percentages.
Assure your audience that your management team is capable of managing their investment for growth.
Remember to tailor your pitch to fit any scenario or situation depending on your audience. The length of your pitch could be 10 or 30 minutes depending on your audience and the purpose of the pitch.
Ensure that you finish your pitch strongly and that there is a clear call for the audience to take action.

  •  Stewart Jakarasi is a business and financial strategist and a lecturer in business strategy, advanced performance management and entrepreneurship.
    He is the Managing Consultant of Shekina Consulting (Pty) Ltd and provides advisory and guidance on leadership, strategy and execution, corporate governance, preparation of business plans, tender documents and on how to build and sustain high-performing organisations.
    For assistance in implementing some of the concepts discussed in these articles please contact him on the following contacts: sjakarasi@gmail.com, call on +266 58881062 or WhatsApp +266 62110062 .
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