After completing this chapter, you will be able to
- Deliver an effective business plan pitch
Writing a good business plan will only get an entrepreneur so far. To achieve their goals, they must be prepared to pitch their plan effectively to targeted investors and other potential stakeholders. These are sometimes called elevator pitches because an entrepreneur should be prepared to effectively deliver one in the length of time it takes to ride up a few floors in an elevator with a potential investor. The goal of a pitch is not to fully describe a business idea, but to be able to convince a potential investor in five minutes or less that they should meet with the entrepreneur further to learn more about the idea because they might want to invest in it.
Your business plan pitch must be focused on what your targeted audience and business plan readers need to know. Usually your pitch will be designed to capture a potential investor’s interest so that they will want to talk to you about investing in your venture. In that case, your pitch should follow a process similar to the one described next.
Avoid the trap of telling the potential investors too much about how your business works. Instead, spend your time telling them what they need to know to become interested enough to possibly invest in your venture. That means allocating your time almost equally on each of the following elements of your pitch script.
- Describe the market problem that your venture solves
- The problem you solve should be for an identifiable group of people or organizations who recognize that they have a problem and are willing to spend their money for a solution to the problem.
- Describe how your venture solves the problem
- Your solution should be better than the alternative solutions offered by your competitors or by those who suffer from the problem. It should also be a solution that cannot or will not be readily copied by existing or new competitors.
- Explain how and why you and your venture are capable of solving the problem while also generating a profit
- Your chances of being considered capable of delivering what you promise are enhanced if you have a strong team, relevant experience, or access to scarce or unique resources or networks.
- Explain why you need the financing and anything else you want from the potential investors, like their expertise or access to their networks
- Your opportunities to get the financing you need improve when you can show that the money will increase your capacity to achieve what you promise.
- Describe why the investors should invest in your venture
- Potential investors want to know how and when they will get their investment back and how much of a return they will earn on their money. You should be able provide them with an estimate of how much your venture is worth and will be worth in the future while telling them what that means for them.
|Solving a market problem is a winning formula, so demonstrate how the business solves a problem and makes money makes for a strong pitch. |
Providing context for individual investors and stakeholders is critical for their buy-in.
A simple five step business plan pitch format has five steps. When entrepreneurs have a chance to engage with targeted investors, they usually have a limited amount of time to convince those investors to consider their investment opportunity. The purpose of the business plan pitch is to capture the attention and interest of targeted investors within a very short time. A successful pitch should result in an invitation by the investor for the entrepreneur to provide more information about the business because they might want to invest in it.