I just finished the first version of a Company Pitch presentation that I thought was going to take around two days to create, but instead it took over three weeks. It’s not that we didn’t know what TechWhirl does, no, actually we have a pretty good idea. In fact, we have a pretty good idea thanks to a (relatively) up-to-date business plan.
But, and this is a major lesson for me, having a business plan isn’t the same as having a clear understanding a go-to-market sales approach. A business plan is normally pretty dry in language. TechWhirl sees four markets … projected income @ … blah, blah, blah. By the end of the planning exercise, everyone on the team should have a good idea of what we do and don’t do. But what about the elevator pitch? What about your value proposition to customers?
To be completely honest: in the two years we’ve owned the company, we really haven’t had a full pitch (until a moment ago). I can imagine the LBS folks are right now gassing up the Blue and Red helicopters to do a quick extraction of my MBA, but as anyone who’s actually done more than a class in entrepreneurship will tell you, things start moving pretty quickly after purchase or your start. There’s no excuse, but like most things some decent reasons.
It’s taken us over two years to really turn-around TechWhirl and to fully understand where we can provide the most value to customers. Hint: it wasn’t what we thought it would be. Of course, at this point, this is still a hypothesis but it’s a damn good one. We’ll see if there’s a sustainable market for the services in about three to six months.
Now that we’re done making alterations to the strategy and we’re finished with adding stuff, it’s time to reach out to the world and tell them about what we offer so they actively not reply and burn money on dumbass useless marketing trinkets or spend a ton of money on old names that have few readers to reach people who really aren’t the real buyers. And that finally brings me to the need for a Sales Pitch Deck or Overview. I was shocked at how little thinking we’ve done on the right way to sell our products and services. We’ve written proposals, marketing copy and renewed 80% of our current partners over the last two years, but that’s not the same type of language or thinking. At least not to me it isn’t.
I recommend anyone who’s running a business to either re-read their Pitch deck or to create one. Answering the key questions of Who are you? What do you offer? Why should we buy from you? Why should we trust you? What is your price? graphically and succinctly will help your company because it’ll force you to examine value proposition and offerings in a way that is appealing to the only people who can really make your company successful: the customers.