Tag: plan

9
Apr

10 Points You Must Cover in Your Initial VC Pitch

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.

  1. THE DETAILS. Announce the name of your company, where it is located, the round, how much capital you wish to raise.
  2. THE PLAYERS. Introduce your team. Include the expertise each person brings.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. THE WAY. Explain your business model. How will you generate and capture revenue? Online, salesforce, multi-tiered marketing? There are many options.
  8. THE KIPs. Show the numbers. Not just a spreadsheet, include charts or graphs that quickly communicate your Key Indicators of Performance or success.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

27
Apr

A Perfect Plan

A marketing plan begins with thinking. It is a process to help focus and guide efforts for optimal success with available resources—creating a strategic, integrated and consistent approach to the journey.

1) Understand your target market, competition and industry marketplace

Your Target Market. Who do you help and how do you help them? Spend time and thought crafting the perfect marketing message—that’s time well spent. At the heart of every compelling marketing message are two factors: Who do you serve? And, in what way, specifically, do you serve them better than any of their other options? Answer these two questions carefully, and the rest of your marketing message will flow so much more easily.

Take a look at all solutions your market has to turn to instead of yours. List strengths and shortcomings for each of these competitors. This will assist in answering how you serve the market better.

And, consider the marketplace. What are the trends? Outline opportunities such as new distribution venues or growing demand. And, consider the threats such as growing competition and demand dilution. Address how you will capitalize on opportunity and thwart threat.

2) Define your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)—your purpose, raison d’être

Here again we look at how you serve the market better than all other options. We boil it down to the core and then communicate it with clarity.

3) Develop your marketing messages and ensure the right people are targeted

The way you look has a lot to do with the way people look at you. What you say will make your day, and it will make someone else’s day too! More and more, advertising is becoming advertorial Content Marketing. It is about what you stand for, not what you sell. Informational needs of customers and prospects is the driver. It’s not a proposition, it’s a conversation.

4) Identify the best marketing mix—most appropriate, cost effective channels

Social media (and which venues), print, outdoor, cable television, events, and etc. are dynamic channels of communication that offer specific benefits and costs. Take a look and determine the “fat rabbits” to give you the biggest bang for your media buck.

5) Set out a month-by-month plan of action that schedules your tactical activities

Be consistent. Build your presence and amplify it. Plan around seasonal commemorations and themes, incorporating those that are appropriate. Be ready to adjust with current events and news.

Whether it’s to generate leads, find customers, drive website traffic or build your brand, let’s look at your target market, competitors and positioning then develop a strategy designed to consistently deliver the most compelling message to the right audience.

Set a plan and be ready to revise the plan as the playing field changes.