By Kempton Coady
When someone has an idea for a business, they’ll want to let people know about it. Spreading the word about the business helps entrepreneurs gather valuable feedback, get potential customers excited about a new product or service, and find investors or partners.
The key is to present the information on your business idea in a way that potential partners or funding sources can understand and relate to in terms of business measures. This pitch will provide answers to key questions about your idea’s likelihood of success.
The way the pitch is written depends on whether the company is a startup or an existing company that is expanding. There are a variety of formats that can be used.
This article looks at how you can use LivePlan to craft an ideal pitch. Visit any LivePlan landing page on InnovatorsLINK.com to access and register for LivePlan, and to get more information on the LivePlan Pitch.
The LivePlan Approach to the Pitch
The pitch will allow entrepreneurs and business owners to create a one-page infographic to visually represent your business opportunity. Once it is completed, the LivePlan Pitch can easily be shared with lenders, investors, and business partners.
LivePlan now offers three Lean Planning tools in one to help you:
- Create a one-page visual PITCH for your business.
- Write and manage your business PLAN.
- Improve your business PERFORMANCE by tracking your financials.
Introducing the LivePlan Pitch
The LivePlan Pitch is a single page highlighting the most important parts of your business plan, including:
- Short company description
- Target markets
- Market problem
- Business solution
- Competitive landscape
- Value proposition
- Top-level financials (backed by financial information and forecasts that can easily be supported by assumptions and measured)
- Key milestones
- Key team members.
The LivePlan Pitch feature is a core tenet of LivePlan’s Lean Planning™ methodology that combines elements of the Lean Startup movement and the best parts of the traditional business planning process.
Alternate Classic Ways of Looking at the Pitch
Business Opportunity Statement
Probably the most important action an entrepreneur can undertake before starting or expanding a business is to create a Business Opportunity Statement. Several examples of well-done Opportunity Statements are presented below for your information and use. Note how the statement design varies somewhat between entrepreneurs, but the design elements remain the same.
Resolves a customer pain or fills a market need
The Business Opportunity must be one that offers the customers something they need. That is, something for which they will pay money, barter, or in some way compensate the business to resolve a pain or need.
Offers a new product, service, market need or technology
The product, service or technology must be unique or in some way fill a need in the market. Most of the time a “me-too” product or service is not enough.
Builds on a unique idea or something the company already does well
In other words, what is their unique selling proposition or reason the customers will buy?
Has the potential to be profitable
Do a mini-analysis of the sales and profit potential for the new product, service, technology or unique market offering.
Fits with the entrepreneur and what they personally want to do
This is not presented to your audiences, but is something that justifies the time and funding the entrepreneur is willing to commit to their business idea. For example, are they willing to work more than 100 hours a week to achieve their objectives, invest a substantial amount of personal capital, and sacrifice time spent with family or friends?
Business Growth Opportunity can be implemented most quickly
The excitement of most business opportunities is for those that can be implemented quickly. One that is going to take years to implement is often more costly and exposed to competition.
Business Opportunity can be financially forecasted/quantified
Before even undertaking a new business, the entrepreneur should be able to intelligently estimate the market growth potential in units, sales, and profitability. In addition, they should be able to define the funds, i.e. capital or expenses required to start the business.
Another format for pitching a business is the Value Proposition:
- Identify all the benefits your product or service offers
- Describe what makes these benefits valuable and/or unique
- Identify your customer’s main problem
- Connect this value to your buyer’s problem
- Differentiate yourself as the preferred provider of this value
- Show financial and other metrics (real or estimated) sales, profit, customers (size and number), growth of customer acquisition, etc.
Get Started with LivePlan
If you’d like more help with finding the right solution for housing your startup, InnovatorsLINK offers a detailed Bootcamp course where you’ll learn the details about all your options. Register here.
Review the Executive Summaries associated with each course prior to attending the courses.
InnovatorsLINK, Inc. General Manager and Chief Financial Officer
A SENIOR LEVEL EXECUTIVE with over 30 years successful, results-oriented domestic and international experience in the MEDICAL DEVICE BUSINESS. A Business Leader who created significant increases in profits and cash flow and/or raised money to expand enterprises. A Leader, who attracts and motivates the best talent to achieve the desired results. Board member for AMEX, NASDAQ, and London Stock Exchange companies. Significant international experience in Europe, Latin America, and Japan. Experience the last seven years has included Professorships at Goldman Sachs 10KSB program and University of Connecticut Graduate School of Business. Earned BS Bates College, MBA and MPS Cornell University.
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