In our previous post, we shared about the importance of having the right people and partnerships in place to grow your business. These couple of factors are closely intertwined and they are held together by the importance of focusing on nurturing relationships (both internally and externally).
The sequoia redwood trees located in California, are some of the biggest trees (weighing 500 tons and reaching over 350 feet in height) in the world. It is interesting to note that their roots are relatively shallow (6-12 feet into the ground) but yet, these trees rarely fall over and are even able to withstand strong winds, earthquakes, fires, storms, and prolonged flooding.
What is the secret here?
The interesting thing about the redwood tree is that their root system is intertwined with the other redwood trees, literally holding each other up. The trees grow very close together and are dependent on each other for nutrients, as well. Only redwoods have the strength and ability to support other redwoods. (reference from: JohnMaxwellteam.com)
Having established the importance of "People" and "Partnerships" in the area of business growth, we will now examine the third factor - "Pitch".
Pitching amplifies the image and identity of your business. This is not just about pitching for investment or funds (though we would be covering this part as well). Pitching is about selling your company's vision and value proposition to anyone who is interested to hear. It gives you a valuable opportunity to hear about what your potential partners and customers have to say about your product or service.
When you receive a vote of confidence from your partners, suppliers, contractors, customers and employees, it helps to reinforce your vision, brand and marketing efforts. It provides you with the confidence to spend marketing dollars to expand the reach and awareness of your brand, product and service. At the same time, feedback from the various channels and parties will also provide you with an opportunity to polish and refine your product/service offerings.
How to prepare for the pitch?
In the process of preparing for the pitch, there is a tendency for business owners to focus their attention on the figures and finances (e.g. revenue, profits, cash flow, budget, size of market, rate of returns on investment etc.). While these facts and figures are undoubtedly important to any investor, the success of your pitch also largely hinges on the following factors:
Businesses exist to solve problems and to create a better living environment for our community. Think about what is the purpose of starting and growing your business. What is the problem you are intending to solve? How would having the additional funds help to accelerate the process of solving the problem?
Passion is the element that gets you started and would determine if you would have the resolve to carry on even when things are looking rough. It will shape up to become a positive driving force that defines whether you and your management team will have the X-factor or charisma to attract and retain talent. Passion will draw like-minded individuals and organisations to collaborate with you.
Think about propulsion as the fuel that keeps your "engine" running to ignite and sustain the growth. This is the part that determines the pace and trajectory of your company's growth. Here are three key questions that would help to guide the thinking process for business owners:
a) What is the marketing strategy?
b) What is the expansion plan? Or how do you intend to grow and capture a larger market share?
c) What are the resources required?
The pointers which we have shared would be useful for any business owner who is planning to frame a pitch. For a more detailed checklist, you might like to check out this article from Bplans a free resource site owned and operated by Palo Alto Software, Inc., to help entrepreneurs start and run better businesses.
Laying a Strong Foundation
To round things up, the 3Ps ("People, Partnerships and Pitch") are key ingredients required for business growth. However, for growth to be successful and sustainable, you will need to build a deep foundation (vision and purpose) - read more about its importance in:"Why do you need to know your WHY?", create strong internal structures (operations and functions) and stay connected (partnerships and alliances).
We hope that our sharing has been useful and do keep a look out for our next article, where we would discuss about where are some potential gaps which a growing business might experience.