Checklist For Your Startup Pitch
#1. Your product has to have rivals. No product is unique and unrivaled. Forget these words. There's always competition.
#2. If there is a need or a problem, there is already a solution and those who offer it. Your direct competitors offer the same means as you do. When the need is satisfied with different means, you face indirect competition.
#3. No competitors means no need or no problem to solve. No demand means that no one needs your product. The majority of startups die due to this obvious reason.
#4. If you have no direct competitors, it might be caused by failure of their business model. It's all right if you don't know such examples. Better think why this business model could have failed—and see how yours will stand out.
#5. Start your story with telling about your rivals—and then tell how your solution surpasses them. Be precise about that. If you don't explain why you are better than your rivals, people will not interested to hear more. They will rather think that you know nothing about demand and competition or that you don't know how to use search engines.
#6. You can be better than your competitors only in two cases: if you do something in a different way, or if you have an unfair competitive advantage. Just the fact that you do the same thing better is not an advantage. If you have no advantage, there's nothing to speak about.
#7. Where's the money? Use unit analysis. Consider average bill, acquisition cost, and single order. Do not consider orders from your friends. If you want to expand your business, you'll have to pay for it. The phrase "We haven't spent a cent on marketing" is a dead end.
If you don't know where to look for customers, and if you don't know how much each of them will cost you, most likely you'll lose money with every single order. Nobody wants to invest in that, right? Waiting for the moment "when everyone knows about us" will deplete any budget.
#8. What made you think your "killer feature" is really better for your customer? You cannot rely on third-party experience—neither on a quick poll among your friends or potential customers. Use your own research and the experience of your team to prove it. Minimum Viable Product is all about sales, not about talks.
#9. If you weren't able to create an MVP with your own efforts and available resources, your team might be inferior or lacking key competences. Moreover, if you failed to come up with your MVP, it might be even worse, because it indicates that you can simply waste unlimited amounts of money.
You should remember, people invest in your team, not the idea. If you don't have a full team, there is nothing to invest in.
#10. All else comes after you've clarified every single abovementioned point. When it's done, bring everything to the table: show your product, define your project details. Then comes the right time to present your own business goals and needs: money, experience, useful connections, whatever.
In case you have any questions, feel free to contact us – we have a vast experience of working with startups and building MVPs that grow into successful products!
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