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Whether you are networking, meeting with investors or just having a conversation with a potential prospect, the way you pitch your business is maybe the most important asset you got. In business, first impression is everything, actually, investors often say that they make their mind about a business in the first seconds of a presentation. We will give you in this article a few advice to help you improve your pitch and avoid mistakes.
LESS IS MORE
You probably have heard this sentence more than once. The lack of synthesising is the most common mistake made by entrepreneurs. It’s understandable, they have a lot to say, they don’t want to miss anything from their complex business plan, but it’s crucial to cut everything useless. First of all, the pitch ideally shouldn’t exceed 2 minutes if you’re talking and one page if you handing a written overview. In order to go straight to the point, remove the hypotheses and replace them by facts and achievements, it will grant you far more breadth and impact, helping you reassure and convince your contact. Indeed, always keep in mind that the top priority of investors is to minimise risks, therefore facts will clearly inspire them more confidence than a too enthusiastic projection. Thus anything like track records, real world experience and what shows that the viability of the project has been tested should be prioritised when choosing the content of your pitch.
That’s not that you shouldn’t be ambitious, but you must be extremely realistic. Think step 1 before thinking step 10, this will lead people to trust you more. When meeting with business angels, a speaker who is not down to earth will definitely loose their interest, for instance by asking for millions of initial budget, projecting for even more millions in benefit in less than 3 years or by planning the launch of 10 products at the same time without even having launched one already. Therefore, focus on what matters and doable, expose achievable targets, and get rid of the rest. Regarding the financial projection, getting too excited won’t help your speech either, it should contain 3 numbers: the best case, the moderate and the worst case scenario. Speaking of potential failure, adding downside protection plan can add substance to your pitch and then again, reassure investors.
There are a few elements your pitch necessarily has too include:
- Target Market
- Financial Summary
This may seem a lot for such a short talk, but it’s actually possible to give that much information if you do it the right way. If you can articulate in two sentences a problem and a solution, you’ve nailed it. Spend as much time as it needs identifying the problem you’re solving with your business; it doesn’t have to be big or complicated it just needs to be there. Then, be concise, by ensuring that every single work you use is useful, moreover, strive to remove the fancy wording and employ a simple a classic language. Finally, be specific, by always providing proof for what you say, that is to say how and how much.0