By Hanan Awaad
A few weeks ago, I was working with one of my clients on his business plan for a new venture. A significant factor of his business relies on his personal expertise and knowledge. While discussing the market and his value proposition, we started to chat on how we will highlight or sell his expertise in the business plan.
First, I need to emphasize that all business plans should include a section to address the skills and knowledge of all the individuals involved with the business. Each and every idea has some unique aspects related to how the business partners came up with the idea and how they are willing to actualize it and grow it. Whether your idea is a new product, software, or a service, you will be selling yourself as a part of a complete package.
FOCUS ON THE BIG PICTURE
Investors usually want to know how feasible your idea is. They might have some interest in one aspect of your business more than the others, however, at the end of the day, they evaluate the whole package. Make sure that your business plan is well developed with proper market research and relevant information.
IT IS ALL ABOUT TRUST
Ideas are everywhere, and there are many ways to steal others’ ideas, this is the ugly truth of the business world. If you do not pitch yourself right as an integral part of the business, investors could simply copy your idea and entrust some other people with it.
Show them that they can trust you and your ability to make this business success. I remember in one pitch in the famous program.“Dragons Den”; Jim Treliving explained to one of the contestants that he admired his side as an inventor, but not as a business and Jim, offered to buy the idea but not the person behind the idea, why? Because once you put the most impressive product or service in the hand of an incompetent person, it will die.
FOCUS ON THE VALUE YOU ARE BRINGING TO THE TABLE
If you have a 20-year experience in some industry, but you cannot link those two decades to tangible results, then you are saying that you were a dedicated employee clocking his/her hours day in and day out. Highlight your accomplishments not only how long you have been in the field. This is so valid when you are a young entrepreneur. Link your expertise to solving a problem or making a benefit.
HAVE AN UNBIASED EYE EXAMINE YOUR PITCH
I have done it before, falling in love with what you wrote to the extent that you could not change a word to make it better. You and your close friends or partners understand your skill-set very well, but when your pitch and value proposition are written poorly and do not reflect your value to the sustainability of the business, this could diminish your aspirations. Having someone neutral and unbiased read your business plan will provide you with the sounding board you need.
MARKET BEFORE YOU SELL
Your sell is hard when you do not build the right foundation through effective marketing. Consider incorporating your business before approaching potential investors and partners; build your personal brand; show your expertise, skills, and talents on different platforms; and most importantly build a prototype or a demo of what you are trying to sell in your business plan.
My bonus tip is not to oversell or undersell yourself, just be right! Everything is verifiable these days with just a few clicks, so in your pitch focus on those verifiable facts that will support your credibility. Avoid big words and exaggerated claims like.’number one,’ or ‘we are the best.’ Let the facts and actions do the talking.
To connect with me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally posted 2017-02-21 16:30:53.