If You Want To Raise Money For A Start Up Business Youll Need To Know How To Pitch Your Business Idea So You Can Attract Investors Into Funding Your Company
All business owners need to be able to pitch, whether its to potential customers or to investors and banks to raise money for your new business start-up. Made popular by shows such as the BBCs Dragons Den, pitching might appear to require a brilliant, innovative business idea with the potential to make millions in the first year, but the reality is quite different.
Serious business investors are looking for realistic business plans and ideas when it comes to funding new businesses. If youve a great business idea, making sure youve a killer pitch to match will make it easier to raise money for your start-up. Here are our tips for pitching your business idea to investors.
Define Your Government Buyer Personas
In any area of sales, its important to get your buyer personas right and know who youre selling to, before doing anything else. This is especially true for the government, where you deal with many different buyers, all of whom affect the outcome of the sale. When selling to the government, list-building is a lot easier than in traditional salesall the information you need is available to the public. Unlike private companies, the government is transparent.SeamlessDocs started simple: They went online. They found the names, emails, and addresses they needed to start building their personas, and split them into three main categories:
- User buyer: the person whos going to actually use and implement the product, typically in the IT department.
- Economic buyer: the City Manager-type figure. This buyer controls the budget and signs off on purchase orders.
- Executive buyer: can be the same person as the economic buyer. City Manager, City Clerk, City Administrator, CIO, CTOpeople who occupy managerial roles in government. This buyer looks at strategic issues and long-term effects of a product or service.
How To Market Sell Or License Your Invention Patent Or Idea
“How do I market my product”, is one of the questions most commonly asked by inventors. Several books have been written on the subject, and we would urge every inventor to consult as many resources possible before proceeding with any business venture. As an aid to the public, we have prepared the following document entitled “Marketing Your Invention” which summarize some of the publicly available information on the topic of invention marketing.
Please Note: We are a law firm. As such we can assist our clients with the legal aspects of protecting their invention. WE DO NOT PROVIDE ANY FORM OF PRODUCT MARKETING OR PROMOTION SERVICES, AND WE DO NOT RENDER ANY ADVISE ON HOW TO MARKET OR PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCT.
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Keep Start Up Costs Low
Dont get carried away with unrealistic costs when trying to raise funds for a business idea. Wise investors are looking for a new business that has a tight rein on costs and an overall focus on cost control. Avoid awarding yourself a large salary, and keep capital expenditure to a minimum buy cheap PCs rather than the latest models with expensive features you dont really need, for example. Be sure to factor in a financial buffer in marketing and operational budgets, but otherwise keep your costs as low as possible.
Bolster Your Case With Existing Implementation Examples
Like all of us, public servants feel more confident advocating for an idea if they know another region or countryor better yet, several countrieshas implemented it successfully. Humans tend to see actions as more appropriate when we know others are doing them too.Early in your communications, point to concrete examples of where your idea has worked in real life.
If possible, find a public servant who has been involved in implementation elsewhere, and get a testimonial. You might even be able to connect them with the policymaker youre engaging withhaving another public servant support your case will rapidly increase trust.
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Alternative Ways To Sell To The Government Part : Sole Source And Piggyback
This is the first part of a series elaborating on all the ways government procurement happens outside of bids and RFPs. I want to discuss sole source and piggybacking.
Sole source is exactly what it sounds like. In the complex world of procurement, your company would be considered a sole source if a government agency were to identify you as the only supplier of a particular product or service. Why would that matter? Because, if an agency can prove that youre their only option, they and you! can skip the bid/RFP process. Theres no competition to weed through!
Now, in the real world, how many things actually come from one, sole source? Probably not many. However, when you deal with the government, there are a variety of circumstances that would, at least temporarily, consider your product a sole source.
Lets say that an agency started working with your company a while back, deployed the product, and now they need technical support or additional parts. Suddenly, youre the only vendor who can offer the support and/or parts you need. Very easily, an agency can work with you to purchase those things without going through the Bid/RFP process.
This is why I ask you to think out of the box. Could you be considered a sole source vendor more often? Does your product or service offer any unique functionality? Do you have a patent? Do you offer a service within your state that only you can provide? Think about your competition. What makes you special?
High Valued Companies Making A Loss
- Snapchat is valued at $10 billion despite making a loss, because of the monetization potential it has based on the 100 million everyday users of the app.
- Uber is valued at $50 billion and is making a $417 million operating loss. Despite this, investors are still willing to offer large amounts of money to fund the company because of the potential the company has in the longer term.
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Communicating Ideas To The President
You can submit ideas to the president of the United States in the following ways:
- Email: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com.
- Regular mail: Submit your ideas in a letter addressed as follows: The President of the United States, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 20500.
- White House website: Use the form available at WhiteHouse.gov to send an email of no more than 2,500 words.
- Phone: Call 202-456-1111 to leave a comment for the president. Alternatively, call 202-456-1414 to reach the White House switchboard.
- Twitter: If you don’t have a Twitter account, go to Twitter.com and sign up for one. Send your idea in a Twitter message of up to 140 characters to @whitehouse or @realDonaldRTrump or @POTUS .
- Facebook: If you don’t already have an account, go to Facebook.com and follow a few simple directions to create your free account. Log in and then go to Facebook.com/WhiteHouse. You’ll fill out a form to write to the president on a number of offered subjects.
The White House receives more than 20,000 letters a day. Obviously, the president can’t read every one. The administration of President Barack Obama used a large volunteer group to sort them into subject categories. Letters of particular interest on these subjects were sent to White House staff, who sorted them further, narrowing them to 10 letters each day, which Obama promised he’d read.
Where To Find Government Contract Opportunities
If you would like to do business with the United States Government, you must register on the System for Award Management . It is important to note that your company can find nearly all government contract opportunities at both the federal and state level of government on web-based eCommerce portals.
One of the most common questions we hear after someone has been awarded a GSA MAS contract is where do I find government contract opportunities? We provided some guidance on how to find and win government contract opportunities in this blog, but to stress the importance, here are some of the best vendor portals to find government contract opportunities:
For federal contract opportunities, you should consider using the following resources:
For state and local contract opportunities, you may want to consider targeting the following resources:
- State Procurement Portals
- County and City Procurement Portals
- State Procurement Forecasts
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Show Not Tell: Create Opportunities For People To Experience Then Experiment Then Engage
I think our colleagues in digital services have lots they can teach us on this tip. Ive heard stories about senior managers that became really invested in web redesign projects after trying to navigate a demo site first by themselves, and then by observing user testing with impacted stakeholders.
On our NESTA training, we heard from one expert practitioner about an effort to explore service design in government. The project began with 1) week-long sprint design sessions with potential partner departments on one of their sticky problems that then grew to 2) embedding designers in short trials with service teams of now partner departments that then supported 3) a broad, horizontal discussion on how design can be better incorporated into service teams government-wide.
While this tip may require a significant investment of time and effort, it can be quite impactful.
How Do You Know If Your Invention Is A Good Idea
Some solid indicators that your invention is a good idea is if it solves a problem, if theres a gap in the market for it and that its something that your target audience would be willing and able to purchase. If your idea is too expensive or too impractical for your audience, that lowers the chances of success.
For example, remember ? There was certainly a gap in the market for this and many thought that it would be a successful idea given how strongly people had embraced smartphones up to that point.
But it wasnt long before the product was dropped. Many considered it to be too expensive not to mention significant privacy-related concerns. All this makes it a good example of something that seems good at first actually not addressing the target markets needs and wants and if a major inventor like Google can have a failure like that, it shows just how important it is to keep the relevant success factors in mind.
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Sell To Foreign Governments
Each year, trillions of dollars in foreign government procurement opportunities are put out for competitive bidding. If your firm is already exporting, consider taking a closer look at your markets of interest. Procurement opportunities cover a cross-section of industries, with many related to infrastructure projects in developing countries, defense/aerospace, and oil and gas.
Is your business a smaller company? If so, you may also be interested in pursuing opportunities as suppliers to larger companies that have won or are bidding on foreign procurement projects. According to the World Bank, developing countries alone procure some $820 billion annually.
Can An Invention Make You Rich
An invention can definitely make you rich, especially if theres a significant market for it and you negotiate a deal that allows you to receive royalties on an ongoing basis. While its not necessarily common, people who have had ideas like this have made millions of dollars over time.
One great example of this is Brian Walker who, in three hours and for zero cost , invented a toy known as the Light Chaser. Its now sold by Disney and over 18 years, hes made over $10 million in royalties. Im sure youll agree that thats not bad at all.
You can see an interview with him in the video below, which I really recommend you watch as its super interesting hearing how this came about.
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Put Your App Idea On The Paper
Describe what your app will be about, what features it will have, what value it will bring to the users. If you have ideas about the design, app name, marketing and monetization strategies, or anything else related to your app, write it down. It does not have to be very detailed, but it will be very useful when you start creating the business concept.
Find Potential Investors And Pitch Them
If Google or Apple hasnt contacted you yet, its a sign youll need to look for the relevant investors. Here are several guidelines to help you:
- Create a list of tech companies capable of buying app projects.
If your goal is to sell the app , you will need to look for tech companies capable of buying other projects. The simplest way is to search online for tech unicorns, research about recent acquisitions and investments. Dont limit yourself to your country or region only. Your buyers can live anywhere.
- Pick the companies that are relevant to your business.
Analyze the profile of the company, read about its latest acquisitions, and try to understand if your app fits their business model and development roadmap. Limit your initial list of investors to the companies that are relevant to your app
- Find relevant contacts.
Check the website of the company to see if they have contacts of people responsible for business development or investments. You can also check out LinkedIn and find company representatives who have accounts there. Ideally, you would need to connect and contact a person responsible for business acquisitions. You can also use LinkedIn to find a necessary person through the other contacts that are available.
- Contact and Pitch the Potential Investor
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How To Sell To The Government
As the acquisition arm of the federal government, GSA plays a vital role in connecting the private sector with federal agencies fulfilling their business needs. GSA offers professional services, equipment, supplies, telecommunications, and information technology from commercial businesses to government organizations and the military through acquisition solutions from its Federal Acquisition Service .
GSA also provides workplaces to the government by constructing, managing, and preserving federal buildings, and by leasing and managing commercial real estate through its Public Buildings Service .
Consider Both Public And Private Corporations
While you need to be picky about the sector you pitch your ideas to, you can be less stringent on whether the corporation is public or private.
These types of companies have their own advantages and disadvantages.
For example, public corporations are often big companies that sell a lot of shares, while private corporations dont have to follow certain government regulations until they reach a certain size limit.
Which type of corporation you consider will depend on your wants and needs in the world of selling business ideas, especially since different types of corporations will offer you different compensations for the same idea.
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S To Getting Your Product Manufactured And Distributed
1. Setting up a Corporate Presence – Manufacturing and distributing a new product involves several financial and legal risks. Space has to be rented, suppliers have to be retained, employees have to be paid, loans have to be taken out. To minimize this risk, nearly every manufacturing or distribution business is carried out as an incorporated business. The business carries on thorough the incorporated company. The company signs the leases, hires the employees, hires the manufacturers and distributes the product. In this way the company assumes the legal liabilities of the venture and the rights of the inventor and investors are protected.
The company will also have to have a suitable place of business, which could mean anything from a small unit in an industrial mall to a large manufacturing facility. In any he facility should provide for storing inventory, packaging, meeting buyers/suppliers, making calls and faxes and conducting office work.
2. Finding a Manufacturer – Manufacturers can be found by consulting business directories. These directories list local, national and international manufacturers by their name, geographic location, and by the products they manufacture. Information about the manufacturers such as their address, fax number, the names of their executives, the number of their employees and there estimated annual sales, can also be found from these directories. See the above discussion on finding Prospects for a list of suitable business directories.
How To Win A Government Contract
Want a slice of a $235 billion market? Give yourself your best shot at a government contract with these 10 tips.
Q: I’ve heard a lot about procurement, but I don’t know how to go about getting a government contract. What’s your advice?
A: The best way for a small business to grow is to have the federal government as a customer. The U.S. government is the largest buyer of goods and services in the world, with total procurement dollars reaching approximately $235 billion in 2002 alone.
But many small businesses find it difficult to get a foot in the door. Many government agency buying practices–including contract bundling and the failure to go to outside established vendor networks–make it difficult for small businesses to bid on and win federal contracts. Here are 10 tips on how to get a piece of the billion-dollar federal procurement pie:
1. Decide what to sell. The first thing you must do is figure out what products or services you will sell to which federal agency. Identifying a product or service that a federal agency needs is key. You can consult with an SBA Procurement Center Representative for help, either by calling your local SBA office or by visiting www.sba.gov/GC/pcr.html.
2. Contact the small-business specialist. Each federal agency has one. Identify that person and set up a meeting.
8. Get certified. If you are a woman- or minority-owned business, it is always smart to get certified by a state or national entity .
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