Earlier this year, James Flawith, Founder of Lil’ Worker Safety Gear, stepped into CBC’s Dragon’s Den to pitch his business in front of a national audience. It was a remarkable milestone for the Comox, B.C. native, who had slowly been building the company while working full-time as an arborist.
James and his crew of brightly clad Lil’ Workers successfully convinced Manjit Minhas, Co-Owner of Minhas Breweries, Distillery and Wineries, to invest $75,000 for 33 per cent of the company. Since then, the duo have been working closely together as they plan new product lines and plot their expansion into more stores nationwide.
The ability to skillfully pitch your business is one of the most fundamental talents required as an entrepreneur. You need to know your business inside out, informing others of the key points quickly, while also convincing them of your vision. Following his appearance on Dragon’s Den, we caught up with James Flawith to get his seven tips for successfully pitching your business.
What’s The Point?
Very quickly, you need to make people aware what real-world problem your product or service solves. Try to think of an example from day-to-day life you can relate to your audience rather than just listing features or buzz words to them.
Do Your Homework
Nobody becomes amazing at pitching overnight. You need to put some work in, study your craft. Take the time to watch other people pitch (Dragon’s Den is amazing for this), make notes on what they did right and wrong, and refer to these notes when you’re preparing your pitch.
Practice Makes Perfect
Whether you’re pitching for a small audience, or a national audience on Dragon’s Den, you need to know your pitch inside out. Practice reading out loud to yourself, then your dog, then your family, then friends, before you even consider presenting it in front of strangers.
Use the feedback you receive to revise your pitch. Don’t be stubborn and refuse to change because you think you know the product best. The people you’re practice pitching to want you to do well and usually have great feedback you won’t have considered.
Create Different Pitches
A great habit to get into is to attend events where you’re invited to pitch your business. Some of these events might involve a 30-second pitch, a minute-long pitch, or your time could be unlimited. Make sure to create a few different lengths of pitches, even if you don’t think you need them right away. Having these pitches in your arsenal covers you for every eventuality, and might even make you think about your idea in different ways.
Know Your Audience
Consider tailoring your pitch depending on the crowd you’re pitching to. Research potential investors, you may come across tips or hints guiding you on what to focus on, or stay away from. If you happen to pitch on Dragon’s Den, both Arlene Dickinson and Jim Treliving have books you can read. It will give you an insight into them and help you understand how they think.
Don’t Be Boring
Just because it’s a business pitch doesn’t mean it must be dry. Don’t be afraid to inject a little personality into your pitch. People are far more likely to remember a light hearted, entertaining pitch than one rooted in numbers and business speak.
Want to Learn More?
Find out more about crafting an amazing business pitch by attending Small Business BC’s Pitch Perfect seminar. In this seminar, you’ll practice a thirty-second pitch and leave with an improved elevator pitch and plans for a slide deck. Small Business BC’s Meetup Group gets together each month for networking and pitch opportunities. Practice what you’ve learned alongside local entrepreneurs!