Pitching your business is an important skill for business start-up and growth. Former banker and business investor Carrie has tips for a pitch that’s perfect.
“A pitch conveys to others clearly and simply what your business will do and aims to achieve interest and engagement in your business plans. A pitch is commonly used to gain buy-in from investors, but elements of a pitch can also be used when speaking in business meetings, at events or networking to create business opportunities.
A pitch should contain a short summary or elevator pitch of the problem your business is setting out to solve. Illustrating the problem using a relatable story can be an effective way to make your point and win over interest in your plans. Whatever approach you choose to use, an elevator pitch should be clear, succinct and easy to understand. It is the anchor of your wider pitch content so be sure to test it out, gain plenty of feedback and refine until it is working well to convey your business idea.
When you are setting out your full pitch ‘deck’ – whether that is a presentation, a document, or a short talk – ensure it is jargon free and understanding is not restricted to industry experts. Share details of the market gap you are addressing and/or what is unique about your product or service proposition. Provide credible details about the size of your market opportunity and evidence of client demand. Give insight into the progress you have made with your business to date including any customer trials or the traction you have gained if your business has launched. If you are pre-trading, share details of your expertise and track record and that of your team if you are working with others.
Be open about your competitors and take time to demonstrate how you will reach your customers through your sales and marketing strategy. When projecting the level of sales your business will achieve, evidence how you will compel people to buy from you and generate revenue. Be clear on the assumptions behind your revenue projections if you are pitching to potential investors. Investors want to know how you have arrived at your projections and it is important to provide credible data to back up your assumptions.
While your pitch should evidence the size of the overall market for your product or service, starting with a minimum viable product or service will minimise costs and help leverage cashflow to invest back into building and developing the business. This approach can be advantageous for many businesses as it represents an efficient use of business capital and gives an opportunity to test and refine the business idea.
Remember that you are a key asset to your business and be yourself when pitching. At the end of the day, investors and other stakeholders will be working with you if your pitch is successful so stay authentic.”