We’ll take you step-by-step through everything you need to know when starting a business in Alberta.
Pitching your business idea? Here are 5 things you should know
By ATB Financial 28 September 2018 2 min read
“So, what exactly do you do?” It’s the dreaded question that comes up at weddings, high school reunions, and other semi-forced social events, but for you, dear entrepreneur, this question should get you excited! I mean, someone’s asking you to tell them about your life’s work. But we understand that ‘should’ might be the key word for you. Maybe when you try to tell other people about your business, you just start talking too much, or your mind goes blank.
We get it. It’s one thing to have a dream and work hard, and it’s another to feel like you’re put on the spot to give a speech. But we have faith in you. We know that with a little bit of help, you can pitch your business to curious friends and interested investors like the boss you are. Here are five ways to help you get started.
Bring that passion
Setting up and running a successful company takes a ton of energy. Show whoever you’re talking to that you have it! Because your energy is contagious.
Just remember that your passion for what you’re selling can only go so far. When you’re pitching to investors, you’ll need to be just as pumped about your business plan and financial goals, which need to be based on solid research.
Polish the elevator pitch
We know that you could talk about your business for hours (that’s a good thing!), but most people will only listen for 30 seconds or less. This is when an elevator pitch is your best friend.
Only, scrap the idea of the traditional elevator pitch, also known as delivering a monologue. Think more along the lines of a conversation. Your goal is to pique your listeners’ interest so they’re curious and ask for more. Try spending less time talking about what your business is and more time sharing about what it does and how it helps people.
Describe yourself and your company
If you’re meeting with an investor, it’s time to go a layer deeper than your elevator pitch. Who are you, and what kind of skills and experience do you have that make you amazing? What does your company do and how do they do it? And what sets your company apart? Sharing your answers to these questions move potential investors past initial curiosity to “Aha, I get it!”
Show that you’re a problem solver
Meeting someone’s needs is the reason why you’re in business. What are the needs of the target market you’re serving, and how does your business meet them better than anyone else? Get specific here—share how your business improves customers’ lives and how the improvement makes them feel.
Explain your business model
When it comes to winning an investor over, nothing else will matter unless you can prove how you’re going to make money. Do your homework—explain why the business model you’ve chosen will be the most successful and how you’re going to make it work. And use real numbers. This is the only thing that will get investors beyond the “aha” moment to “Heck yes, count me in!”
This isn’t all we have for you. We’ve done our homework and pulled together a bunch of resources to help you start your business in one handy entrepreneur guide. If you’re looking for more guidance, or maybe some templates, we’ve got you covered.