The Big Idea
Imagine you are in a lift with an investor, and you only have the time between floors to make a compelling pitch for them to invest in your business. What would you say? What's your big idea? What's your story? What is your vision for your venture? Why will it succeed?
Looking deeper: what exactly will you sell? What is the relevant market? What problem are you solving or what gap in the market are you filling? Who are your intended customers and your identified competitors? How are you going to differentiate your business offering to attract customers: what will your business model and overall 'value proposition' be?
You need to be clear what you will be selling, and to do your homework on whether people will buy it.
Exactly what products or services do you plan to sell?
Who do you think will buy your stuff?
Are there any existing or potential competing products or services?
What is unique or distinctive about your stuff?
Are you good to go, or do you need to carry out product design or development or testing, or complete training or certification before providing certain services?
One way to test customer interest or demand is simply to get on with it: don't spend too long perfecting and just launch an early version with minimal spend, seeking feedback to take on board for future iterations of your product/service or for a complete rethink.
What's your story? If there are competing products or services on the market, why would customers buy from you? The personal angle could make all the difference.
What has brought you to this point? Why are you doing this? What were your motivations and drivers? Is your journey one that others could relate to or be drawn to as part of your offering?
Whether or not this venture is a radical departure for you from previous jobs or activities, remember that you will have previous experience and life-learnings, as well as specific training, skills or abilities that you can bring to your business and that can appeal to customers and help you succeed.
Where does your story go from here? What is your vision for your business?
What does success like for your business, in the short term and the long term?
Do you have specific goals or milestones, in terms of sales, markets, territories, and so on?
Why will your business succeed?
What are the values and ethos you want your business to embody? Do these flow naturally from your personal values or motivations?
Overall, what is your 'value proposition'?