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How To - Pitch Your Business Idea

by Rick Baker
On May 4, 2010
A fascinating experience…
 
…watching people pitch their business ideas to people who possess money
 
For example: Dragon’s Den, Shark Tank, and other such TV shows enjoy a level of popularity. Our universities have business-pitch contents. Also, our community has its Golden Triangle Angelnet. goldentriangleangelnet.angelgroups.net  
 
And, of course, Spirited Investors receives many requests. www.spiritedinvestors.ca
 
In an effort to help people who struggle with pitching their business ideas I am working on a book, which will provide ‘How To’ advice.
 
Here is a sample –
 
How To Pitch Your Business Idea
  1. Know the way business funders think
  2. Project a pleasing presence…unleashing your personality
  3. Impress them with your natural confidence
  4. Keep it concise...in less time than provided, absolutely nail a few key points
  5. Keep it simple...do not bore them with details or annoy them with jargon
  6. Anticipate the questions...and when they are asked, answer them crisply
  7. Know the way business funders think
A couple of points:
  • Yes, I know I repeated “know the way business funders think”. I wrote that twice because I thought writing it 5 times might annoy you and subtract from the value.
  • Business Idea Pitches:  it seems to me this is an extreme territory for human communication.  Certainly, it is much more intense/extreme than everyday business communication. And, it is more intense/extreme than the average sales pitch or deal negotiation. 
For most people who take the adventure, doing a Business Idea Pitch is one of the most-challenging communications in business.

Tags:

Investor Funding | Personalities @ Work

An excerpt from a note sent to a business associate

by Rick Baker
On May 7, 2009

Spirited Investors helps businesses tackle their problems and opportunities. We do this by investing money, know-how, effort, and time. 

Spirited’s key investment focus, at this time, is smaller businesses. Smaller businesses: think in terms of private companies ranging from early-stage revenue to $10,000,000 in sales.  

Smaller-business success is influenced in a profound way by the presence or absence of good Marketing & Sales performance.

 

Unfortunately, the absence is more common than the presence Together, we can fix this.  

Marketing: Most small businesses do little marketing, aside from a very-limited set of things such as attending trade shows and having a printer do up some brochures to support sales. Websites exist but often they are neither compelling nor updated. When marketing activity does happen it is rarely measured or tested. Marketing work receives perhaps sporadic attention. There is little commitment to doing marketing. Some say it is not required. They are wrong. Many think they do it right or state ‘these things are under control’. Yet, most businesses struggle at identifying: [1] target markets, [2] value propositions, and [3] unique selling propositions. Meanwhile, the whole marketing & sales process, from strategic to tactical, must start with those 3 things.  

Sales: Often, small-business owners personally handle much of the sales activity at their company. They regularly choose to do sales work rather than delegate it. They have problems when they do try to delegate it. The recruiting of sales people is another real challenge. And, about 7 out of 10 sales people shouldn’t even be in sales jobs. The 80/20 Rule is confirmed, that is, if sales success is happening at all then ‘the few’ generate the lion’s share of the sales revenue. Within an industry, most competitors do sales work more or less the same way. Not much innovation, not much creativity. So, sales attitudes can be quite lackluster and even when sales performance is happening the work isn’t much fun.  

Most small businesses do not have a written Plan for their Marketing & Sales.  

Almost all smaller businesses need help with marketing & sales [not just sales work on its own]. Even those that are earning profit are leaving money on the table and leaving clients less than fully satisfied. They would do better if they had a Marketing & Sales Plan. Marketing & sales must start with Plan the Work [ie, Napoleon Hill – Plan the Work and Work the Plan].  

Planning offers at least 2 major benefits: (1) it forces folks to think through the issues and that ‘thinking through’ alone adds value and (2) the Plan serves as a guide and a reference…it is a map. Maps help. 

We will do the smaller businesses of our community a tremendous service if we can create together an education and training ‘tool’ for marketing & sales.

 

The marketing & sales training tool we create should have 3 overall components: [1] marketing, [2] sales management, and [3] sales.

 

The existing sales training programs can provide a good starting point for the work in the sales area. Most of the sales training I have purchased is too complicated…it needs to be simplified. We must make our marketing & sales training tool ingenious and simple - that is...we must make our marketing & sales training tool elegant. Many good books and tapes exist to help us create all 3 of the parts. These 3 parts must be integrated because sales work can only be excellent and resilient if it is meshed with the results of good sales management and marketing work. And, there will be no excellence [or peace of mind] if marketing & sales work is not handled in a Plan the Work and Work the Plan way…much strategic thought, much tactical thought, alignment, measuring and testing, training, etc. 

We can create a special ‘tool’ for Marketing & Sales education and training. 

And then, we can share it. 

Tags:

80/20 Rule | Creativity, Invention & Innovation | Entrepreneur Thinking | Investor Funding | Marketing | Sales

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