How to measure if your pitch works? – You get meetings with investors.
As much as I have learnt from different trainings and pitches I’ve seen, some hundred over few years now – majority of early startuppers get their pitches wrong. Simple repetitive mistakes, even though everything is out there, just google it and implement. But they don’t as founders tend to lose focus at some point. And I get it, I’ve been there myself.
Getting your pitch right means you less headache and faster growth from day one, instead of going through concrete without helmet and licking wounds till you die out. The other part – I’ve tried myself, is no good for anyone.
Obviously this service of mine is not simple, happens in no-time, nor can anyone grant getting funded in any time given. Having experienced help to save founders time, nerves and self belief is a huge win as founders can concentrate on other burning matters with full concentration.
1. Setting the goal
Deals happen when everything matches perfectly. Philosophically speaking it’s about the value proposition and everyone dies to get a good deal done. In real life, once you get that your deal is too good, you start rising the price. Yet, a lot struggle with getting the offer good enough to get attraction at first place. And the problem is – criterias don’t match. My role is to understand the value proposition and address it to the right segment. So far I’ve gone through all the details of the business and founders, lots of – why questions, sometimes not so comfortable to answer. Process-wise we together define the nature of the deal goal: what, why, to whom. Along we will define other questions to be answered.
I don’t doubt that founders spend enormous time on their wording and numbers. Yet rarely we see that after pitch presentation a startup gets funded right away. During the process I trust you as a competent, well informed source of data. We work with questions you haven’t considered to be asked. You yourself or a research partner will seek for missing data, following industry standards.
You could do it all by yourself, after some time (I don’t imagine how long it might take). In a number of cases I have found problems screaming to my face and nobody noticed, and it’s completely normal. People are too close to details, so they might lose the big picture. That’s the main reason why outsiders are hired as consultants, advisors, mentors, coaches. It needs just one why question answered and it could uplift the whole pitch quality 10-100 times.
You might ask – what the hell he means by that? I’ll try to explain. Each business has its own challenge in it, otherwise you can’t call it a business. The problem solved for clients means it’s hard for some and easier for others. That’s the challenge. How you approach it, solve it, change the context, generate an impact – it needs to be explained in simple words. No-one is willing to pay you for problems they don’t understand. Investors will not fund a business which doesn’t get the pain, the solution, the client. Sounds really common – like it’s not a problem? Yet this is the most interesting aspect of the service and reason why I decided to offer the service after-all. I’ve discovered challenges in financials, go-to-market strategies, sales approaches, marketing strategies, income streams, you name it. It was obvious to me, but not to founders. How to find reliable excuses for bad decisions in the past? What to define and open up, what to cover, leading attention to other details? How to focus on things that matter, remain ethical and not to lie to investors?
I’m extra proud of a case where we managed to turn one founder’s unethical exit strategy to a bold realistic growth strategy. And there’s been a case when I wasn’t able to help as it was a lifestyle business by nature.
4. Input vs Execution
My role is to take a lead on the project to get the pitch fixed ASAP. I will advice, guide, ask, propose, confirm, argue to uplift the quality of the pitch, which eventually leads you to a better deal.
All technical work, such as seeking for missing facts, data, graphs, pictures and implementing it to your pitch is your responsibility.