In 2009 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Bryan McCrea and Evan Willoughby co-founded 3twenty Solutions Inc. which designs and manufactures modular structures for the mining, oil and gas, and construction industries. 3twenty’s main products are workforce housing solutions and site offices; both of which are available for purchase or rent. When asked about ‘pitching a business’ they had the following advice:
You, the entrepreneur, are the best sales person for your organization. You may not be the one closing deals, but you are always selling your organization to people at a high level.
Know the difference between marketing, business development, and sales. Figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Seek support and hire good people to help with the gaps.
Selling your business starts with selling yourself. This applies whether your audience is customers, banks, investors, and the public. If people like you, they are more likely to like your business. You have to make them believe in you.
Keep it simple. You need a simple and effective 10-15 second summary of your business. Teach it to others in your organization – from your frontline staff, to your admin support, and even your friends and family – so when they are asked what your company is, they have the right answer.
Practice makes perfect. If you are going to pitch to investors, banks, or even the Dragons on the Dragons’ Den, be prepared and practice. Selling and pitching your business should be natural. Focus on knowing your numbers since this is where investors, banks or Dragons will try to flex their muscles. If you don’t know numbers, bring someone on your team to help. If need be, hire a contract CFO.
Be confident, passionate, and most importantly have fun. At the end of the day, if you are enjoying the pitch, having fun with it, smiling and laughing (while maintaining some respectable level of seriousness), your audience will too.
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