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Ten Pitch Mistakes All First-Time Entrepreneurs Make

10 Pitch Mistakes

  1.  Poor Positioning. (Technology looking for a problem?) You should be solving a REAL, well-defined problem. Define a clear PAIN. No customer validation? Don’t provide “So what” benefits: give the investor context to enable them to draw the right conclusion.
  2.  Lack of Tight Focus.  Define the market segment and do not go after different markets just because you can.
  3.  Not Enough Real-World Market Analysis. (Top Down versus Bottoms Up.  Top down has NO credibility! TD: External information and forecast. BU: Internal forecast and pipeline plus local knowledge or expertise).
  4.  No Business “Cockpit Gauges”. (What are the three things that drive your business? Define no more than three dashboard gauges you will measure at all times.)
  5.  Unclear Business Model. (How will you make money? “e.g. we have a simple business model. Installation fee, subscription fee, and support fees.” Talk about a single customer). No clear path to profitability. Oblivious to sell and budget cycles.  Show ASSUMPTIONS before Revenue Model.
  6.  Poor or Incomplete Competitive Analysis. (Not clearly distinguishable, or defensible, from others). Not disclosing EVERYBODY in the space. Also, not realizing the power of the status quo.
  7.  Weak Team Information. (It’s the team, stupid! VCs bet on jockeys, not horses).
  8.  Poorly Defined or Weak Go-to-Market Plan. (Unclear attack plan, no assigned responsibilities, no leverage points.) Who else has a vested interest in your success?
  9.  Goofy Fundamentals That Distract. (Not doing the basics right. No adult supervision. 
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