As a business owner who helps other companies create business plans, personal plans, and strategic plans, it can feel like I don’t even have enough hours in the day to get everything done. Lately, in fact, I have been low on sleep, trying to cram in that one last thing before I go to bed every night. With the seasons changing, my body and emotions have been shifting, and I have been out of touch with my body telling me to practice self-care always.
Part of running a business for businesses is sharing your vulnerabilities because there will always be something that resonates with the reader. I encourage you to reach out to me and let me know what resonates with you, to see if we can take this journey toward our thriving futures together.
Everything is a learning experience, and at one point this past week, I had crammed so much in that I was overbooking, and found myself overwhelmed with the sheer amount I had to do and the little time I had to do it. Like others who take pride in how hard they work, I had considered my work haul and long hours to be a testament to my strength – but this week it got the best of me, and I knew I needed to make a change.
For this reason, I made a decision to cancel or reschedule any appointments and tasks which were over-booked, and I made a point of ending work each day at a set time and letting myself sleep early. Lately, I had forgotten a little how valuable it is to take care of yourself, and it felt so relieving and calming to have sufficient sleep again.
I chose to go through one task at a time at work, from start to finish, because so often being overwhelmed comes not from how much effort and time is required, but rather how many results we are trying to achieve at once. Learning to not demand of yourself the ability to grossly multi-task, and learning to get through one thing from start to finish before starting the next, is invaluable to a business owner.
It is crucial to always remember that we are only human, and, more importantly, that that is okay, and that it is not okay to expect our superpowers to always be on display. For me, letting people know that they are superhuman only sometimes and must accept that they will not be superhuman all the time is part of the #ShiftYourScript strategy. If working with me sounds like a fit for you, reach out today to learn more about how I can help your company prosper.
Business planning does not simply involve a layout of all the details for operating the business – as a strategic planner, I also work closely with the entrepreneurs and business owners to effectively run their companies by keeping their own personal lives and their emotions and well-being accounted for. As they say, if your room is a mess, you are a mess….and if you are a mess, then your business will be a mess, and your life will be a mess.
If what I say resonates with you, then reach out to me today, and we will get started putting your script in order, one step at a time, breaking through all the barriers holding you back from a thriving company. Planning a business takes time and diligence – and I am here to guide you every step of the way.
You are a startup looking for a VC and a VC is looking for a startup. So how do you convince a VC to take your call or meet with you? You send them a deck — make sure it is stacked in your favor.
Start by developing and refining the reasons why the VC should meet with you. Organize your presentation with most persuasive and logical order of reasons. Make sure to punctuate with visuals — simply add headlines or bold leads to your paragraph or include illustrations. And, definitely, cover the ten critical points.
THE DETAILS. Announce the name of your company, where it is located, the round, how much capital you wish to raise.
THE PLAYERS. Introduce your team. Include the expertise each person brings.
THE USP. Capture attention with your Unique Startup Proposition — what are you solving? Is this a necessity or a luxury? What is most impressive about where you are with it right now? It could be the team, the technology, the growth, etc. Get the VC excited about the possibilities.
THE POTENTIAL. Show the VC the size of the opportunity. The projected market must be large enough to provide ample return on investment. Do your homework here and make it relevant to your specific vision or solution. Complete this picture with how you stack up to beat competition. Explain how you plan to scale.
THE THING. Present your product. Whether it is a prototype or a blueprint, an app or a service, include as much detail as you have defined. Use all media that is available to portray the product with optimal clarity.
THE PLAN. Outline your go-to-market strategy. How will you approach and capture your market? What will help you build your tribe? Do you have a website?
THE WAY. Explain your business model. How will you generate and capture revenue? Online, salesforce, multi-tiered marketing? There are many options.
THE KIPs. Show the numbers. Not just a spreadsheet, include charts or graphs that quickly communicate your Key Indicators of Performance or success.
THE ASK. Yes. Ask for it. Let the VC know your needs — the money, the time, the support, the connections — and request to meet in person or via Skype to proceed with next steps.
THE CATCHPHRASE. End with a battle cry. Make it unforgettable so that whatever the decision regarding your request, your startup will be remembered.
Make sure your presentation is clear, concise, and complete with compelling information and arguments. Brand the pages in a way to give repetitive attention to your startup name, logo or other identifying feature. Prepare the narrative for your presentation, ensure that it translates with or without you. May the VC be with you.
Also published via Medium and originally created for Invest Southwest, here.
It was an honor, a privilege, and a joy to step out on stage and present “Script Your Shift” to the Pearls of Wisdom tribe. What a perfect place to cut a groove in this new chapter of my life. In case you missed it, here is the video. For a Pitch Perfect session, eMail me at Tamara@TamaraParisio.com. Let me assist you to create the script for your starring role in your success!
SCRIPT YOUR SHIFT. Write down your goals. Business Plan, Personal Manifesto, or Strategic Map, put pen to paper to improve performance. Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, did a study on goal-setting with 267 participants (it only takes 30 to be statistically significant). She found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down. A modality employed to make the process entertaining rather than daunting is to approach your plan as a script for your success. And, you are cast in the starring role as the lead character. Here are three examples of clients who stepped into the celebrity of their success.
From psychic fairs to celebrity parties and luxury events, Anita Miranda stepped up into high heels to expand in stardom as The Official Lipstick Reader.
After establishing her starring character, Sherry Anshara attracted the supporting cast, including influencer Vishen Lakiani of mindvalley.
To set the scene, Donna Sparaco shows up in full character, Daily Dose A Donna, to motivate and inspire with her proprietary program, Set Your Dial to Joy.
Most startups fail. Much like the game of baseball, failure is part of the process. How you deal with failure will determine your success.
“Learn from failures. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” — Steve Jobs
Understand what caused the failure. Identify the error and find the solution for it. Then, every mistake becomes a lesson. Study it — grow from it. Forge ahead to success.
In every startup failure, there are many details in the process. Looking at each step, every decision, and finding which play worked and which didn’t will reveal the cause of the failure. It might be one choice, or a series of choices that didn’t work together. Assess and learn from the mistake.
“There are no negatives in life, only challenges to overcome that will make you stronger.” ― Eric Bates
Take full and complete responsibility for your own actions, decisions, and intentions. Own it. Say it out loud — I was wrong. I struggled. I made a mistake. Understand your justification and the rational for decisions you made; and realize where your thinking was wrong (even though they seemed right at the time). This will give you the power to adjust. And, it will build confidence for going forward.
“The harder you fall, the stronger you rise.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo
Struggle is often perception and projection more than reality. When confronted with a hurdle, ask yourself “If I were to let this be easy, how would I approach it differently?” Get your subconscious aligned and in gear to see the solution.
“Life always gives us another change: It’s called ‘To Move On’.” ― Ana Claudia Antunes
Your brain registers every goal achieved — small goals and large ones. Every accomplishment motivates you to achieve more success. You just have to deliberately be conscious of them. To do this, keep a list of your accomplishments. At the end of the day, every day, write down achievements — large and small — and take a few minutes to savor them. Let this boost confidence and self esteem as you forge ahead. Look for the possibilities. Seize the opportunities.
“The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.” ― George Bernard Shaw
When you start to imagine pitfalls, visualize what will go right instead of what will go wrong. Don’t repeat or dwell on stories of past mistakes. Move on as fast as possible.Focus your mind on the positive, like that fresh idea, the easy commute to the office, and the latest accomplishment, rather than focusing on what bad thing could or did happen. Stay in the present moment.
“Never feel intimidated by defeat nor death, but rather intimidate life with your dreams.” ― Auliq-Ice
Push through your resistance to failure and liberate yourself from fear. Relax and remain focused on the task at hand. Trust your intuition. Rather than worry about what could go wrong, generate solutions to any imaginable problem. This will give you confidence to proceed.
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” — Paulo Cohelo, The Alchemist
Treat failure as a lesson. Ask yourself, “What did I learn?” rather than beating yourself up for making a mistake. Don’t bring the negative energy from yesterday into today. Today is a new day.
Positioning is a facet of the marketing strategy that aims to give your product or brand a distinct perception — relative to competing brands — in the mind of the customer. An historic campaign for Avis reflects this: “Avis Is Only №2, We Try Harder.”
In developmental stages, determine the positioning you intend for your product or brand. Research and market feedback will help you discover if it is aligned with actual consumer attitudes. If not, then marketing messages can help close the gap or change perception.
The positioning process begins with identifying a market problem or opportunity, then developing a solution — often based on market research, segmentation and supporting data. Once positioning is determined, it will help align and guide marketing efforts and business objectives. The perfume I use is the indulgent scent for pleasure seekers. Thus, the tone and manner of messages, images, events and PR are created to consistently express this in all communication.
Again, positioning is the perception of your product or brand in the mind of the customer. Perception is reality. Aim to establish the highest and best use for your brand among your audience. And, be open to emerging alternate audiences, too. Here are some examples of common positioning strategies and how they might translate in the marketplace.
DEMOGRAPHICS Place your solution among those best served by gender, age, income, area, etc. If you try to be everything to everyone, you may not appeal to anyone.
PRICE Present your solution as an affordable option with a low price point or elevate your products or services among the competition with a high price point to create a perceived value (or reflect a real value).
DISTRIBUTION The environment and locations where you sell your product communicate quality and value propositions like convenience or specialty items. Select your sales channels to align with your desired positioning.
AFFINITY Find your tribe. Those who desire to align with your proposition. Position your solution to engage group loyalty of customers with a common, personal denominator.
Positioning is how you communicate benefits of your solution to your audience. Everything from where you make your product, how you make it, where you sell it, and for how much will convey subtle queues to the market. Align positioning elements with the overt messages employed in promotions, advertising, and public relations. Ultimately, positioning is how your market sees your solution among the alternatives.
Think it up. Feel it in. Act it out. These three steps are crucial on the path of realizing your vision for your life—personally or professionally. Every entrepreneur starts with an idea. For successful dreamers, this vision drives action aligned with achieving the end result. Oftentimes the process is automatic. And, to amplify the probability of success, you can make this a mindful method.
Let’s look at each one a little more closely.
Step 1 — think about it. Be conscious of your thoughts and manage them. Intentionally think about your dream in productive ways. Create your thoughts. Then let your thoughts create your plan. Ponder openly and confidently about your vision. Consider the highest good that will come from your goal.
In your daily life, think of ways to step into what you aspire to create. Write down these ideas and the milestones on your path to realizing your vision. Make a map of the journey. Think through each facet of your adventure. Your thoughts are very powerful, because they affect how you feel.
Step 2 — feel inside it. Allow yourself to feel what it is like to experience your dream. What does it feel like to be on the path to achieving your dream? How do you feel doing the work you long to bring forth in the world? Touch the textures. Smell the aromas. Taste the flavors. Listen to the sounds. See the results. Take your thoughts and feelings very seriously.
Meditation is a great tool to assist you. Meditation is a game-changing practice. For just a few minutes each day, take the time to cultivate the feeling of what it is you desire, and experience it. Allow yourself to dwell in the feeling, the excitement, the joy of realizing your life’s vision. The feelings that come forth in meditation manifest in your life—whether only in the meditation or echoing it in your experiences when you take action.
Step 3 — act on it. Take action from a place of alignment with your vision. Many who pursue big dreams take action from a place of ego. They push with the force of “I’ve got to make this happen!” Or they fall prey to beliefs such as “I’ve gotta hustle and work hard.” Or they come from lack and think “I need to do this.” Or they shut down and play small wondering “Who am I to do this?” So they never do anything. Align with your vision and recognize limiting beliefs to thwart them along the way.
Acting in alignment with your thoughts and your feelings, engage others. Support from friends will boost your confidence beyond the limits of your logical mind. Connect with your dream personally and this equips you to notice when you are out of sync so you can quickly realign with your vision.
Take a pen and paper and jot down the three steps. Note your thoughts. Write out your feelings. And list the actions you take every day toward living that vision, personally or professionally! This is a plan for your business and a plan for your life!
The pitch is critical to every startup. It’s your story; your identity; your compelling reason for being. And you have to get it in the strike zone in order to keep your company alive and to ensure that it thrives. Pitching your startup to investors—or to potential customers—can be overwhelming.
You have to know your stuff—your budget, your offerings, your advertising, your brand story, and more. This is your lifeline to resources. And, your future rests on the success of your delivery. To assist you to perfect your pitch, here are a few tips to get your story straight.
Know your why.
Storytelling is all the rage in advertising, and now in business branding. Sharing your story in the most compelling, powerful manner builds connection and credibility among potential customers and with investors.
Once you have your why—the reason you do what you do—it is much easier to find those interested in that passion. And, it is often said that when you are focused on your why, the how shows up and the what doesn’t matter.
Have a plan—a booming business plan.
The greatest idea in the world will not have a chance in surviving execution without proper planning. A solid business plan that clearly expresses your strategy and tactics, including how capital will be used, plans to scale the business, and reasonable anticipated growth will give an investor confidence that there will be a return on their money.
A solid plan shows the investor that you are knowledgeable about your product, the competitors, the market opportunity, the industry, and the future of your business. Reinforce your business plan with the critical details. Determine your break-even point, then customize the plan to demonstrate monthly cashflow. When the business is your baby, your pitch is especially essential to build a community of credibility and support.
Sustainability is continuous viability and longevity. It is key to obtaining funding from VCs and angel investors. It is also critcal in earning respect from industry professionals and gaining credibility among potential customers. There’s a difference between a flash-in-the-pan and an idea that inspires early adoption.
Customers and investors are savvy enough to know when a product has the potential for longevity. Everyone who will invest, purchase or support your company needs to know that you will be around for the long haul and you have a plan for how to do that successfully.
Know thy audience.
Tailor your pitch to your audience, whether itâ€™s potential investors, a sea of customers, or a panel of judges. When speaking to investors, focus on the numbers, viability, and sustainability of the company. Let them know what’s in it for them—in the short term and in the long run.
If you are competing in a startup battle, presenting to a panel of judges, focus on your business as a whole. This will be the broadest pitch you give. Don’t leave out important details when you cast a wide net. If your investors are new to the industry, be sure that you speak in clear terms—don’t lose them in jargon and acronyms. Regardless of how well a panel understands your business, remember that you are in charge of the effectiveness of your pitch. No excuses.
Rehearse, a lot.
It may seem obvious, yet people often neglect proper practice. They may feel too much practice could make them seem stiff. While actually, the more you practice, the more relaxed, comfortable, knowledgeable, and “natural” you’ll be. This gives the impression of expertise. And, the better you know your stuff, the less likely you’ll be thrown off course by questions or derailed by nervousness.
The mere thought of public speaking makes many people nervous. The good news is that presentation skills can be honed, making the experience less worrisome. Practice is the secret to elevating your skills. Create and rehearse a variety of pitches so you can readily respond in different situations. From a one-minute elevator pitch to a thirty-minute talk, preparation and practice are the keys to communicating your message powerfully.
Show your stuff.
Give your audience a reason to remember you. Create a memorable phrase or give your audience hands-on time with your product (if possible) are a couple ways to be remembered. Consider what distinguishes you and what differentiates your product. Communicate that clearly and powerfully to ensure that, at the end of the pitch, your audience won’t stop thinking about your business.
Pitching your business starts with the proper wind up. It’s about the mechanics. It is like casting a fishing line with the appropriate bait into the hungry crowd and then waiting patiently for the bobber to dip with a fish on the hook.
Take all of the advice you have studied, ask for feedback, perfect your pitch, practice, and learn from every experience to improve with each and every presentation. Hone it and own it. And know that when you simply deliver your well crafted, well rehearsed elevator pitch, you have got the room interested in what you have to say.
Live on purpose. Select your scenes! Don’t leave your life to chance. You don’t have to be caught up in trauma and drama. And you don’t have to allow your self to be pulled along by every character that pops on to the scene of your life! Write your story—your Life Script!
Realize that you are the Star of your life story. You are the Producer. You are the Director. You are the Screenwriter. Write the script (thoughts, beliefs, actions) in a way that serves your stardom (or get assistance to do just that!).
Give your word and live your word (the Life Script). Write your way in and out of the experiences you desire, require, and deserve to enjoy—professionally, personally, and potentially! Be the Star Performer of your world, the center of your universe, and play your part for an award-winning experience!
4 Steps You Can Take To Star In Your Own Life Story
Listen. Tune in to your inner voice, notice what you are saying to your self. Consider what your thoughts say about what you believe. How do your thoughts affect your actions? Awareness is a key step in change. Become and observer of your self. Then, continue doing what serves you and adjust otherwise.
Align. Get in accord with your self. Pay attention to your thoughts, words, and deeds. Do they support and nurture how you desire to live your life? If not, change your internal message. Again, continue doing what serves you and adjust otherwise.
Prepare. Make a plan, a guide, and let it be the script to your live. By considering potentialities and the outcomes desired, you set up your self to act in accord with your desires. You will be in a position to recognize and act on opportunities that serve you.
Act. Live intentionally, on purpose by creating habits that align with your desires. If your goal is to be fit, make it a habit to exercise daily. Create a habit of eating to fuel your health. Be the Star Performer in the experiences you create for you. To build your business, hone your message and consistently uphold it.
Starring in your story takes focus and intention. It starts with writing down your goals. Most people don’t bother to write down their goals. They wind up drifting aimlessly through life. Is this you? Are you wondering why your life lacks purpose and significance? Are you willing to give your self an aim? Committing your goals to writing is the beginning of creating the life of your dreams. The key to accomplishing what matters to you is committing your desires in writing. This is important for at least four reasons.
It forces you to clarify your desires and set your destination. Writing down your goals and milestones compels you to select something, to get specific… to choose the outcome you desire for your life.
It motivates you to take aligned action. Write down your goals, articulate your intention, and execute in alignment with them. Writing down goals and reviewing them regularly keeps you mindful of the destination and prompts you to take action. It provides a filter for opportunities that could otherwise become distractions. The more successful you become, the more you will be presented with opportunities. Maintain a list of written goals by which to evaluate opportunity, take appropriate action, and stay on course with your goals.
It fortifies you to face challenges and overcome resistance. Every meaningful goal encounters resistance. When you focus on the resistance, it will only get stronger. Overcome it is with focus on the goal. Write it down and review it often.
It enables you to recognize and celebrate progress. Life is particularly difficult when you don’t see progress. You feel like you are going nowhere. Your written goals act as mile-markers. Review them to see how far you have come. Outline steps for where you require to go. And take the opportunity to celebrate when you attain a milestone.
If you are overwhelmed … or if you are focusing on your star performance and desire for assistance with the other stuff, get in touch with me to script your shift so you can shine! And if you are looking for a place to start, consider these tips.
Focus on your desired result in each area of your life (fitness, health, career, finances, intellect, relationships, and spiritual).
Write your story in the present tense—as if you are living it now.
Engage all of your senses and make it active—walk through your home and surroundings, note the things do, what you see, sounds you hear, scents, what you touch, and how you feel.
Be the main character in the visualization—dream big and make it as realistic as possible to convince your self and to believe it is a potentiality for you.
The process of writing your Life Script brings opportunities to you just by changing your focus to what you desire. This benefit from shifting your focus from what isn’t working to your dream experience takes place during the creation of your Life Script.
Many are challenged with describing what it is we desire to create. We have an easier time describing what we do not want, which isn’t a bad place to start; but don’t leave your focus there. Instead of wishing to be less fat, focus on how good it will be to feel more fit.
Social media doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, it can be your best sales associate and your favorite marketing tactic. The key is to focus so you don’t get overwhelmed. It all begins with your message. Here are five steps to go from strategy to scheduled for social media success.
#1 Create Your Social Media Strategy.
For your Brand, you have a strategy. Now, align that with Social Media. Determine your niche—your target audience. Consider pain points and interests; and your solution for them. People seek solutions and benefits!
Brand strategy is a long-term plan for development to achieve specific goals. It is your playbook. Goals, strategies and tactics are outlined to give you a game plan.
Your brand is not your product, your logo, your website, or your name. It is much more than that. It is tangible and intagible, purpose driven, mission focused attributes that are your reason for being. It’s a feeling that separates powerful versus mediocre brands.
Your brand strategy considers:
1. Your industry & design trends
2. Your ideal client’s desires
3. Your brand personality
Distinguish your brand — how do you differentiate yourself and speak to your audience in a way that attracts them? There are many ways to give your brand a personality. From your logo and colors to tone of voice, messaging must align with your audience while remaining consistent in delivery style. Imagine your brand talking with one customer. And then, replicate that conversation consistently in the marketplace. This is where the social media strategy comes in.
Now, create a plan for social media that addresses your target audience where they are. Design a communication and messaging strategy to deliver information that is helpful to them and of interest. Relate to other topics that they are engaging with across platforms.
Know what makes you different from your competition.
Define your target audience and the solution you provide.
Translate this to your Social Media strategy.
#2 Choose Your Social Media Platform(s).
You aren’t required to be on every Social Media platform to be successful. Pick one, possibly two to start. Avoid overwhelm!
In the beginning, fewer and BETTER is the focus. Facebook is the logical first choice for most brands. Twitter, LinkedIn, and/or YouTube are strong second choices, depending on your niche.
With Facebook, create your personal Profile then set up your Business Page. From quotes to images to video, you can dominate presence in your niche. Facebook Live amplifies the possibilites. You can benefit from low cost, highly targeted Facebook Ads to generate leads and build your list.
Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest along with LinkedIn and YouTube are great online real estate for your message. Your strategy will assit you in selecting the one or two places to start so that you speak to your tribe and align with your message.
Develop an Editorial Plan to guide your content with purpose. And then you can repurpose the information across your social media channels. This reinforces your presence.
Create a calendar — three, six, nine, or 12 months out. For each month, brainstorm themes and then topics within that theme that would be of interest to your audience. Look at information that will establish you as the “Go To” person in your arena.
Choose themes and topics so you can weave information from one post to another. Look at the map of content so you know what you are sharing each and every day. Content can easily be “re-purposed” and used in a variety of ways, and across multiple platforms.
Now comes all the write stuff. Tailor the words to fit the channel. A blog post can be pulled apart for fodder you can upload to Twitter or Facebook. Specific messages can be developed for each channel and your audience there. If you desire assistance with this, let me know.
There are a number of ways to deliver information—your brand strategy will assist you in selecting the style(s) best suited to your message.
Photos; Infographics; Videos (Live and Native); Blog Posts and Original Articles by you; White Papers; Blogs and Useful Articles by other thought leaders in your niche who do not compete. Make Video a priority as it gets the MOST engagement!
Once you determine the style of information delivery, create your content. Outline it. Find photos and images to add impact. Consider using Piktochart or Canva to create images and infographs. Look at Notegraphy for creating impact with your words. And, find free photos and images at Pixabay.
Check in every day for 30 minutes to boost activity and interact with your tribe.
Share posts from others who attract your niche.
Define your brand strategy and your message. Choose which delivery method will be best for your message. Make a list of themes and topics of interest. Create your content. And schedule it.
Congratulations! You now have the steps required to command Social Media and dominate your niche for business awareness, lead generation, client contact, and nutured relationships that lead to SALES! For assistance in creating your content, get in touch with me.
There are so many business plan templates to prompt the presentation of your map to success. Some are tailored to one industry or another. Others are boiler-plate MBA outlines. Still, at the center of every business plan are three key points — your purpose, your plan, and your progress indicators.
Your first challenge is to define your startup’s purpose for being. The raison d’etre for your burgeoning business. What pain point do you serve and in what way? What is the intention or objective of your company? Defining the purpose of your business reveals what needs to be done to move it forward. Clarifying can include a simple description of your products or services, or it can elaborate on detailed offerings, as well as a precise description of who you will serve — your ideal customer. Outlining your purpose will define what the business is — where you are starting — and what it intends to be — your future vision.
Once your purpose is revealed, you need a plan to reach your vision. Define your goals and the steps needed to reach them. A map of goals will help you and your team know when to act, and when to wait. Factor for future growth in the business plan to prepare for changes in the market, evolving trends, innovations to pursue, or opportunities to take as your company grows. A a comprehensive business plan includes statistics, facts, and details that show whether or not your startup has the potential to be profitable. This is a critical factor when soliciting investors to provide capital required for getting started. Your plan outlines the organizational structure of your business, including positions and individual duties. This is a game-plan for your entire team, keeping everyone working together with an eye on the prize, from partners to suppliers, leaders, and employees of your venture.
Know your metrics. Measure your results. Note how you have progressed. Without progress that confirms you are on target, it can be difficult to know whether you are still on the right path. Validate your intent and results, daily. Be sure you and your team are prepared to make operational decisions in line with the overall business strategy. Your plan shows the way and includes alternate actions the company will follow if projections are overly optimistic. Referring to your plan helps maintain a big-picture view as you make day-to-day decisions.
Your business plan is a living guide for your vision. It is a reference and a management tool to ensure efforts are aligned to meet goals, targets, and milestones.
Get ready to present to investors. For this opportunity, the elevator pitch is a key to introducing your company and grabbing attention at the start.
Dave Bittner, CEO at Beanstalk CFO Group, suggests two sentences to your elevator pitch. Investors need to know how to compare you to other startups they work with and other companies in the marketplace. Your elevator pitch places you in their mind. This is the set up and it is an opportunity to position your startup for play.
With these two sentences, you provide investors with the critical outline of your business.
Sentence 1: We sell _____ (product or service deliverable) to _____ (target market) who want _____ (benefit).
Sentence 2: Unlike _____ (competitor), we _____ (differentiation) .
So let’s look at the five things presented here.
Product/Service — This is simply your offer—the thing you are selling. What is the thing that appears on the invoice? What is the nut that you deliver?
Target Market — Remember, your target market is not everybody. Everybody doesn’t want what you are offering, you don’t have resources to attract everybody, and investors will lose interest if you are not focused. What is your headpin?
In Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore, he refers to marketing like bowling. Hit the Headpin. When you are bowling, you don’t lob the ball into the pins, you roll it into the headpin — the beachhead segment of the market. You hit it based on your ability to hit it, and it’s proximity to other pins. Let it knock down the other pins that knock down other. A domino effect.
Benefit — You may have hundreds of benefits. Pick one, the primary benefit. Feature that. Only that. Clearly.
Competition or Comparison Others — Do not say you have no competition. How attractive can this market be if no one is doing something in it? do the research and stretch to cite competition or substitute for your offer). Unlike the way it has been done before, we do something interesting. Unlike it has never been done before?
Differentiation — What do you do better? Highlight that key facet that distinguishes your company among others who address the problem you solve. This is that one unique selling proposition that sets you apart. A personalized message for every customer. A quirk. An extra step in the process. Or timeliness that sets you one step ahead of the other options. Make sure it is clear—and compelling.
Show your elevator pitch, and include your mission, tagline,brand promise or slogan as a signature to your presentation slides. You don’t speak everything you have on your slide. Supplement information so it works together — spoken presentation and written form. Catch the entire video of presentation tips to put your best startup facets forward.