At Sockos, we love to communicate our business idea to others. Whether that’s potential networks, family and friends or even to random people while you’re waiting for the bus. It’s easy because we are passionate about letting people know how socks can change the world.
Add the stage, a slideshow and a panel of successful judges and it becomes a ‘pitch’ – one of the most daunting but essential requirements of any start-up.
Our team has recently had its first experience in pitching our business Sockos to a panel of successful, knowledgeable and slightly scary entrepreneurs. On Wednesday night at a quirky co-working space in Richmond we transformed our casual chat into a professional and influential pitch. Although nerves were high, we were excited to finally demonstrate how we believe we can change the way we walk.
Here’s a quick sum up of our pitch:
We were pretty successful (according to our definition of success anyway). We were energetic, enthusiastic and received feedback that we wanted to keep moving forward and enter the next stage of Sockos.
Here’s a bit of what we learnt:
1. There’s no one text book to follow.
Starting out you read article upon article about creating the perfect pitch. We read ‘6 steps to a perfect pitch’ and ‘9 things that take a pitch from good to great’. We had clear advice from mentors and entrepreneurs about what we should include – what sections were important and what investors wanted to know. However, after pitching we quickly realized that there is no one blanket pitch. What works for one business might not work for another. Each business is at a different stage, has different concepts and different important aspects. Your pitch therefore should reflect what you, as a unique business need to communicate to your panel of investors.
We need to communicate what is important and needed at Sockos specifically. After all a multi national tech business is very different to a start-up selling quirky, socially conscious socks!
2. The visuals are just as important as the pitch.
As soon as you sit down to write a pitch you realize that no amount of time is ever enough.
We kept hearing about all the things we left out. We couldn’t help but think ‘how on earth are we supposed to cram all this into a 5 minute pitch and ensure adequate breathing’. It becomes clear that your pitch deck (slideshow, PowerPoint etc.) is not a last minute add on to your written script. It is vital in communicating important details, visuals and statistics that don’t need to be said. It’s cramming in more information without passing out from talking too fast.
3. Practice makes perfect!
In the end, no matter how challenging a pitch is, no matter how many times you get knocked back, no matter how disheartening the feedback may feel, the only way to get better is to keep practicing. It’s like anything, you can study and study the perfect pitch but getting out and doing something is the best way to get better.
There is never going to be one perfect pitch - there will always be room for improvement – helpful things that push your business to move forward, grasp new opportunities and keep ideating. It’s a continuous cycle of pitching and learning.
At Sockos we can’t wait to learn from our mistakes, refine our pitch and pitch again soon.
It’s exciting, it’s challenging, and it will keep pushing Sockos forward so we can create even greater social change with our socks (and even better pitches).
Thoughts from Jaime.
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