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Pitch perfect

A quick guide on how to convince investors to put money into your business idea
By Heidi Pascual |

Every successful business begins with a good idea. But an entrepreneur with a good idea needs financial resources to make his idea become a reality. In these ever more competitive business times, the first step towards realizing a good business idea is making a good pitch to potential investors.

[related|post]Dr. Michael Edmondson, co-founder and president of the US-based biotech consultancy company, MEAPA, calls the current economic environment the “Creative Economy,” which he says is marked by “an accelerated information exchange rate involving new information mediums delivering more advertising messages about an ever growing number of products and services.”

In this new environment, investors are inundated by more and more new information every day, which makes it ever more difficult for them to decide what company to invest in. It is common for the typical investor to get thousands of proposals each year. Among these, a few hundreds would be read or looked at.  The number of proposals that would be researched and considered would then be trimmed to around 40 to 50. In the end, projects that actually get funded would only be a handful.

If money were not an object, an entrepreneur could seek the help of a business consultant to beat these odds. But if he decides to go it alone, what should he do to make that perfect pitch?

When pitching a business proposal to potential investors, entrepreneurs should be able to show that they have done their homework. Many entrepreneurs, Edmondson notes, still make the mistake of relying solely on the product description to tell their story. “Simply believing your product is the best,” he says, “is not sufficient marketing.”

 

 A second mistake, Edmondson adds, is that “entrepreneurs fail to view marketing as real work and often start the marketing process far too late in the product development lifecycle.”

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Lastly, there is often a “disconnect” across business documents created by the entrepreneur, where there should exist a consistent and compelling story.  For example, a marketing plan—which includes product positioning—should already anticipate advertising angle and placement.

Before pitching, therefore, the entrepreneur should have already formulated a marketing strategy that will help him realize the potentials of his product or service.


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