In today’s agile world, ideas/solutions that respond to the rapid changes are needed. With traditional business sectors shrinking and new ones springing up, ideas rule and they are welcome. Now that you have a solution, what is the next step? Pitch your idea.
You may want to pitch your idea to validate it or seek various levels of support including partnerships and investments. To pitch an idea is to inform someone/ people/ company with information or invention with the power to do more with it. You can pitch to either a customer – this compels them to buy more; or to an investor – put money in your business.
How do you go from idea to pitch?
A lot of people have brilliant new ideas/solutions to everyday problems. The problem lies in pitching/selling the idea. This causes them to be afraid of the unknown, and their fear boils down to:
- not having the right platform or
- the expertise
Both of these problems are easy to address. And with the right amount of background work, we hope this article can aid you.
Getting the right platform
This is probably the most difficult of the two. Most people do not know the right platforms, and others are just more concerned that their ideas will be stolen.
- Protect your idea:
- Document your ideas by email at the very least
- Investigate/Research the company or individual you are pitching to
- If your idea is new, patent it
- Make sure you use contracts
- Find the right platform:
- Target business communities where your idea is most needed
- Investor groups and communities are a good place to search. There are numerous investor platforms/communities in Nigeria, some include:
- Ventures Platform
- SPARK Capital
- Tony Elumelu Foundation
- Growth Capital Fund
- LeadPath Nigeria
- Businesses looking for partnership/skill that your business can offer
You will need to do carry out due diligence before settling on a potential partnership.
Pitching your idea/Selling your pitch
Your pitch should contain your idea. It should explain the vision and what your value proposition is. The pitch should solve a problem, identify a specific target market, and opportunity. It should create a lasting solution, and show how the idea can be monetized. It should contain proof that confirms that the idea works. The marketing and sales plan would need to be properly outlined, not forgetting to highlight key team members. It should contain the appropriate data on customers, expenses and profit. It should address key competitors. End the pitch by making the request for the funds you need to execute. Remember to include the breakdown for the expected funds.
To make the pitch, you need to prepare:
- Practice your elevator pitch to a ‘’Tee’’: Think of how short an elevator ride is, that is the length of time available to make the pitch interesting to potential audience. Getting your elevator pitch right takes time, practice, practice, and more practice.
- Prepare to be an engaging storyteller: People like stories. Humans thrive on stories; stories tell the past, stories are sources of learning, stories captivate our imagination. Craft a compelling story about your product or service.
- Prepare for your audience: Think about who you will be speaking to and prepare for the needs of that audience
- Use Visuals: Data, figures and charts are quick decision-making tools. They give insight, and properly structured data will set you apart
- Prepare to answer questions
- Be confident; if you have come this far, your idea is worth something
So, what are you waiting for, start now and PITCH THAT IDEA!