We are trying to raise money for our world-beater new HR product. Problem is, we have to convince a bunch of very skeptical people to give us their money to help us do it. I think they should recognize our brilliance and open up their wallets. But since that isn't going to happen, we have been refining our story: Our Pitch. For those of you who are embarking on a similar path, here are 5 considerations when pitching your product (with tongue only slightly in cheek)
- Size Matters: How big is this market we call HR? You can argue that it is a $4.5 Billion industry or even a $21 Billion industry. If you are going to argue that you have a world-beater product, you better know how much of the world you are going to beat.
- The A Team: The senior management team should have some clue about what they are doing, and should have some experience doing it. That's not to say a really smart tech guy and a great product person can't figure out something worth doing, but your learning curve could be rather steep.
- Be an Aspirin in a Room Full of Headaches: You have to build something that people really want. You have to solve a problem worth solving. If you are doing one of those projects where your main product mantra is “they just don’t know they need it yet” you are going to have a very long sales cycle.
- Be Jack in The Bean Stock: You need to show that with only a little bit of water, that puppy is going to take off! (This may not be 100% true, but the people you are talking to have to be told it is).
- Know where the Exit Sign is: Strangely enough, when people give you money they really want to know when they are going to get it back. You need to be very clear about what happens in about 5 years from now. The fact that no one has ever been accurate in this prediction is not relevant; you just need to show you are going to try.
After you have these 5 ideas down, now all you need to do is say them over and over again about 40 or 50 times. If you are lucky (and yes, luck does have something to do with it) you eventually find someone who believes in you. It is a beautiful thing!
Wish us luck…we are almost there!