Sunday, September 9, 2012

How to pitch your idea for success

I have been watching the dragons den on TV an old program from the UK actually but just arrived on our shores....Basically the dragons ( very rich business people) hear 3 minute pitches of new business ideas most of which are inventions ( no services actually)....
The prospectives make their pitch and then the dragons decide to invest and mostly take equity.
The biggest lesson in the program is how to pitch and how shockingly bad most of the pitches are.
Most of the people stutter around and are really bad at answering the questions of the dragons.
To be an entrepreneur the pitch is sometimes the most important thing you may do and doing it well requires skill and preparation. Most of all preparation. The people in the UK TV program defintely dont look prepared. I have been asked to help the Cape Talk 567 Small business awards in the art of pitching so here are the tips that I will be giving them in their preparation to win. When you pitch it is a winners take all approach. Tip 1: Preparation of the pitch. The pitch needs to be 5 minutes max.
Outline of a pitch:Start with a great story and if its funny then even betterOutline 4 main points:
  1. Who you are. Your credentials
  2. What makes your business or business concept unique and special
  3. What is your market and how you will get that market or if you are an existing business how do you keep your customers
  4. How much turnover and profit you are making or expect to make
Each point should be short and sweet and tell as many stories as possible.
Conclude with an ask for a normal pitch: what it is you need to make the business even more succesfull.Once the pitch is done the people evaluating it will ask some questions and they are usually quite standard and you can prepare for them.These are some of the prep questions:
How much or how many of the product or service will you sell and over what time period
What is your profit margin?
Why should we invest in you?
Will you spend every waking hour on this business?
What are the risks in this business and how will you deal with them?
How many customers do you have already?
How many have you sold?
Most importantly dont argue with the panel, when they are critical say, “i accept that, and will address the problem by....”
If you cant answer a question, say, “I'm not sure but I can find that out”If an investor asks you what you need, you are almost there....Give away equity.....10% of a business is better than 90% of nothing!