Pitching Your Idea: Why You Need to Start with a Business Plan

Pitching Your Idea: Why You Need to Start with a Business Plan

MAKO Design + Invent – February 15, 2021

The Mako product design firm in Austin loves this question:

How do I pitch my idea to investors?

Pitching is a skill every aspiring entrepreneur should have because it’s a skill you’ll use every day. For example, when you’re working with our Mako product design firm in Austin, a successful pitch means we’re spending less talking about the product idea and more time making your product idea into a dream come true.

The best place to start thinking about how to pitch your idea is with a business plan.

Think of it this way.

If you want to design a product idea, you need a blueprint for your product.

However, if you want to turn your product idea into a successful business, you need something equivalent to a blueprint for your business – the business plan.

Drafting a business plan.

Our Product Design Firm in Austin Recommends Working on the Business Plan Before the Pitch

The business plan details your business goals, strategies, measurable objectives and risks in one long-form document. In short, the business plan is the core of the business.

And trust us – you’ll need a strong core.

Our product design firm in Austin has seen enough startups with a great idea but accompanied with a barebones plan. As a result, we were able to poke holes in their ideas with ease. 

Consequently, if we’re able to do that, think about what investors and venture capitalists will do when you ask them to put thousands or even millions on the line to grow your business?

Ok, we didn’t mean to scare you.

But this is an opportunity to acknowledge that getting funding for your business is more than telling people that you have a good idea. Eventually, when you’re pitching to investors, you’ll need bulletproof research and evidence on your side to back up your assertion that your business has potential and traction.

Product design firm in Austin.

What Goes in a Solid Business Plan: A Checklist From Our Product Design Firm in Austin

Take a look at the key categories and the topics below to start building a strong business plan. Additionally, the Austin Public Library has some great resources and examples for some extra help!

Executive Summary

Firstly, this is where you’ll include a brief explanation of why and how your business will be successful. For example, you can check out our homepage to get some inspiration. Our product design firm in Austin gives a brief, easy-to-read analysis of our business.

  • The problem or pain point worth solving.
  • Your solution and competitive advantage.
  • Financial projections.
  • Management and team structure.
  • Your plans to scale and grow the business.

Target Market

It’s the section where you’ll document your target audience and current market landscape. For instance, at the Mako product design firm in Austin, we try to make it clear that we’re here to help small businesses, startups and inventors who may want the extra resources to make their dream idea into a reality.

  • Target market demographics.
  • Market segments, locations, size and trends.
  • Growth rate.
  • Profitability and cost structure.
  • Distribution channels.
  • Alternatives and competition.
  • Regulatory, technological and barriers to entry.

Opportunity

In detail, you’ll include the problem you’re solving and how your product solves that problem. Specifically, on our Services page, the product design firm in Austin goes into excellent detail about all of our product development and design solutions.

  • The problem or paint point worth solving in detail.
  • Real case studies of the problem.
  • The solution and product in detail.
  • The advantages of your solution in comparison to competitors.
  • Product lifecycle.
  • Product components, parts and suppliers.
  • Manufacturing and packaging process.
  • Distribution channels.

Execution

This is the place to document your marketing and sales strategies to show investors how and when your business becomes profitable.

  • Brand development.
  • Website, social media and related costs.
  • Distribution and sales strategies.
  • Your loyalty loop strategy to guide your customer through the decision making process.
  • The evolution of your strategies as you scale your business.

Team

Basically, this is a complete overview of your team. Want to know what kind of designers and engineers we hire? You can check out the Mako product design firm in Austin on our LinkedIn page!

  • Founders and their areas of industry or business expertise.
  • Company history.
  • Company and organizational structure.
  • Legal structure (corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship).
  • Locations and facilities, including target areas for expansion.

Financial Plan

This is an outline of your financial forecast for the next five years. In addition, make sure you’re especially detailed in your first-year projections. Including supplementary financial statements will go a long way.

  • Revenue and expenses by month.
  • Net profit or loss by year.
  • Existing and required financing.
  • Dispersion and use of funding.
  • Sources of funding.
  • Debt or equity financing.
Making revisions to the business plan.

Certainly, there’s a ton of great information here and it’s a lot to keep track of. But the breadth of requirements here should an indication that starting a business is… serious business. We’ve been around since 1999 – so we can confidently say our product design firm in Austin knows firsthand how tough it is to start a business.

Nonetheless, the best business plans are dynamic and often require many revisions. It’s how our product design firm in Austin has been able to navigate these tough times during COVID-19.

So don’t try to get it 100 percent right on the first try. In the meantime, take it slow – do your best to understand your market and your product. No business plan is perfect but put yourself in the investor’s shoes to try to poke holes in your strategies to create the best possible draft.

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