Startup ABC #8: Pitch
Not least because of the TV show "Die Höhle der Löwen" (the German version of "Shark Tank") the term pitch is on everyone's lips, and not just in business circles. Even as a loaner, scan quickly determine intuitively who pitches well and which pitch is rather unsuccessful. It's a bit like like on "Who wants to be a millionaire?": in front of the screen one always know the right answer and especially one knows naturally everything better. But in order not only to lament, but to get to the bottom of the matter, it is always a good idea to check the facts first.
What is a pitch?
A pitch is a short but concise presentation of a business idea or a concrete product to a potential investor, cooperation partner, business partner or customer. The goal is to convince the addressees of your idea in the shortest possible time. Especially since investors are getting more and more inquiries from founders these days, a good pitch can make all the difference.
Which elements MUST a pitch contain?
What is the specific problem you want to solve with your start-up idea/product? Also include who the target audience is, i.e. who is the customer who currently still has a problem that can of course only be solved in the best possible way by your product. To make it even more tangible, you can also make the customer's "pain" tangible via a short story.
After the problem has been clearly formulated. The next step is to present the solution to the customer's problem as clearly as possible. It is important not to get lost in too much technical detail, but to focus on the overall benefit of the product for the customer. Ask yourself how the product makes the customer's life easier.
3. Call to Action
Finally, you should think about what you want to achieve with your pitch. Depending on the pitch, your "Call to Action" may look a little different. In any case, it should be precisely formulated and adapted to your counterpart. Only then will they know what your goal or your specific request is.
What elements CAN a pitch contain?
In addition to the three essential elements mentioned above, you can share additional interesting information depending on the time frame of your pitch. What exactly these are depends on who your addressee is and what you want to achieve with your pitch. The following list shows you possible additions:
Your business model: Depending on what your product or business idea is about, it may make sense to mention the core aspects of your business model in your pitch. What aspect is essential to your business model's success, or put another way, what makes your business model magic?
Finance: Think about what could make your business interesting for your counterpart from a financial point of view. Do you need a larger investment or can you even promise a good return on investment (ROI) within a short period of time? Even if this is not the case, there are certainly good reasons for it, which will be of burning interest to the potential investor. Don't be afraid to be honest! Even good business ideas do not pay off in the first business year. Think of Elon Musk and Tesla ...
Timing: To create trust, you can also inform your counterpart about the upcoming milestones of your product. On the one hand, it's interesting to know where your business currently stands, but also what the outlook is for the next few years. Do you possibly have any follow-on products or matching services planned? Fantastic! This shows that you are also thinking about the further development of your business.
Pitching and storytelling - why you should tell a story
Besides the hard facts, a good story can round out your pitch and inspire the listener. Why this is so important? People love stories because we can learn from them, because they connect us, and last but not least, because they help us remember. It's much easier for our brains to remember facts and understand connections when they are tied into a good story. So: Make your pitch tangible!
As in every area of life, staying authentic is the name of the game when it comes to pitching.
Find your own style!
Stick to the truth.
Don't pretend and smile sometimes!
Good luck for your own pitches! :)