Your business idea is like a diamond hauled from the dirt. You have to clean it off and polish it a hundred times before it glitters enough to attract the attention of others.
That is the first step to entrepreneurial communications. Being able to explain clearly and concisely your business mission and purpose is crucial in raising money and hiring the right people. To communicate your vision clearly and concisely, you have to polish your diamond.
Diamond Polishing Steps
First, define your target market. This is who will be your primary customers. If you cannot define your target customer or their needs and desires, then you don’t understand your market well enough to succeed much less get investors and employee to care.
In the beginning, focus on no more than three customers. Stretching to more than three will dilute your resources and you are more likely to fail. This also allows you to appropriately limit the scope of your products. This ensures that you meet all needs and wants and a small set of customers and avoid not meeting the needs of a large set of customers.
Next, classify your product as evolutionary, revolutionary or groundbreaking (and if you need more background on these distinctions, see the chapter on “Growth Creation and Management” in my book Tough Things First). Knowing what you bring to the table and how important it is in the scheme of things is important to communicate to other people. But be honest with yourself first. If your products provide a plus-one improvement, don’t tell people it is groundbreaking.
Next, whittle. Reduce your narrative so anyone can understand what you do and why it is important instantly. Your narrative should be short and concise. People lose interest or get confused with long complex narratives. A marketing strategist I know coaches his clients to reduce their elevator pitch to 25 words or less while being perfectly understandable.
Your business narrative must also be exciting. Even if you have a solid business idea, if it comes across as dull and uninteresting, expect investors and employee candidates to be disinterested. A good test as you polish and test your narrative is to see if they ask questions. If not, then you lost them. Also, look for smiles, nodding of heads, etc.
The last bit of advice is also a bit contrarian, but I suggest you avoid using a pitch deck unless you need a prompter or visual aids. This is very important when pitching investors as they might focus on the slide deck rather than you as a person, and you are the lifeblood of the company. If you have polished your narrative, kept it concise, and made it exciting, then your word choice has left nothing to the imagination and slides on a screen just become a distraction.
The key point though is polish. Rub, and rub, and rub your business narrative until it is blinding brilliant.