Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

The 5 Minute Business Plan

04/06/2011

If you’ve ever watched an episode of Shark Tank or witnessed a desperate business owner trying to pitch his product to a potential customer you may have observed something interesting: the guy or gal on the other side of the desk often knows within the first 15 seconds how the meeting’s going to end. It’s very much like a first date: It’s either an immediate  and absolute “No” or a gradual almost seductive narrative to a possible “Yes!”

The goal then is not to totally bore your audience in the first few minutes. Now although the dating example will have to wait for another time, in entrepreneurship its a dual-play between the entrepreneur and the actual business.

So let’s get started.

There are 10 things that every potential investor, buyer or associate wants to know. Everything else is commentary.

Follow the Rule of 10 / 20/ 30

  • 10 Slides – That’s all you need to get them hooked. All the rest is follow-up.
  • 20 Minutes – Ideally, the presentation should take 5-10 minutes, followed by Q&A.
  • 30 Point Font – If it doesn’t fit on the page, it doesn’t belong in your plan.

Forget special graphics (besides for a logo on your cover page), forget special background, and for heaven’s sake – leave out anything that moves.

The 5 Minute Business Plan

  1. The Team – Who are you (tell them) and why bother with it all? (Some VCs suggest putting this at the end. I say introduce yourself).
  2. The Story – How did you get to where you are and who did you drag with you? (Concise, to the point).
  3. The Problem – What’s so wrong with the market that you’re losing sleep over it?
  4. The Magic – Why you’re better than everything and everyone else out there?
  5. The Demand – How you can prove people actually want what your offering?
  6. The Money – How can you prove that people will actually pay for what you sell?
  7. The Attraction – How do you intend to let your ideal clients know you exist?
  8. The Exit – How long you plan on staying in before you get out?
  9. The Vision – What are the long-term growth options of your company?
  10. The Call to Action – What’s your next move and what do you need to make your millions?

Focus on each of these as if you had ONE chance to present them in front of the President of the United States, the Chairman of Microsoft, and the CEO of Goldman Sachs.

And remember, while great ideas come to us in our sleep, creating world-class businesses is something of another nature – focus, creativity and  persistence.

Twitter: What It Takes To Get ReTweets

03/25/2010

A Friend Recently Asked Me

I’m wondering if busy people are really busy, how do they find time to tweet, and so then it must be they’re not soooo busy, but in that case why is it that when you RT @ them they don’t RT back? Are they busy or not? I just hate when I RT them and they don’t RT or reply back, any ideas as to how that works? Do I also have to be as important as them in order to get RT’d?

My Thoughts

Very busy people are busy with the things they do best. They choose how to be most effective and stick to those tasks. Tweeting falls in such a category, since each Tweet may go out to 1000s, or even 100,000+ followers. Conversely, when you RT or @ someone, it’s a one-person one-time response, only worth their busy time when you’re interesting enough to pass onto their followers. (Note: Many “major” Tweeters rarely even check responses).

From a marketing perspective, the proof to how interesting you are is directly proportionate to how fast you rack up new followers – and keep old ones. It’s tough grabbing attention, but at least when you do increase your followership, by say 10% in a single week, you KNOW you’re doing something right, and you should endeavor to repeat whatever you did to inspire that.

Sometimes you will experience a random spurt of followers, only to be disappointed a few days later when they all leave you. Welcome to Twitter! People WILL leave you. The objective though is to be gaining followers much faster than you lose them.

Twitter accounts that have something to the effect of 5 million followers are rarely due to the value they provide, but rather the name that the account boasts. It’s like why we buy brand names, just because, they’re brand names!

Additionally, just because people do not ReTweet you or respond to you, does not mean that they don’t appreciate your thoughts. I guess it’s social etiquette, or lack thereof. (Some people don’t respond to email either. It annoys me, but that’s life).

So what does it take to rack up a fan club?

The Objective

a) Be interesting! Everyone knows just by glancing at your Twitter page whether you’re interesting enough to follow. There are millions of people on Twitter and everyone is looking for something different. The best leading Tweeters are the ones who provide value and insights to their followers.

b) Interact with your audience. Get to know them and respond to their questions. Develop a relationship with them and provide them with additional value. Respond when YOU think THEY were interesting. Not everyone will reciprocate the favor, but many will. It’s simple etiquette: If they say something nice, say something nice back!

c) Be yourself! Although it’s important to provide value to your followers, you should never get lost trying to be like everyone else. Just tell them what you found interesting, in a most interesting way. As the saying goes: “Tweet like nobody’s following!”

Happy Tweeting!