Entrepreneurs have the unique ability to take their business idea and visualize the enormous multinational corporation it will become. They have a mental blueprint of the entire company from logistics to customer service to marketing and sales.
In fact, the future of the business is so vivid and real to the founder that they sometimes have trouble relaying that information to others. And in order to get people interested in your business, it is your duty to enthrall and enlighten them.
The following tips will help you share your company vision effectively with just about anyone:
1. Keep it ridiculously simple.
The best way to ensure you are making headway is to assume people have no idea what you are talking about. Not that they, actually, aren’t as smart as you. But when it comes to your idea, your company, your processes and your vision, no one gets it the way you do. How can they? You are a product of your life experiences, perspectives and you created the company.
Everyone else is in the dark. Don’t expect people to know what your company does, how it works, its mission, values, policies, and so on. You need to make these things unequivocally clear — the simpler the better. If you can depict your business with a quick catchphrase, do so.
For example, which of the following company descriptions piques your interest the most?
- We are the leading company integrating smartphone technology and robotics engineering; or
- We create smartphone robots.
2. Sweat the small stuff.
It can be easy to skip past the “obvious” or “unimportant” details when discussing your company vision. Naturally you want to get to the meat and potatoes of your business. But don’t be so quick to put the finer points on the back burner. The details can build your credibility in the eyes of others by reinforcing that you know the ins and outs of your company.
Talk about how you source your materials, where the idea came from, lead times, outsourcing, marketing plans, the future, etc. The more information the better for the audience, (within reason) as it shows you are being forthcoming in all aspects of your business. Potential customers, partners and investors can all rest easy knowing where you and they stand.
3. Create a linear storyline.
Rather than jumping all over the place and highlighting what you think are the most important aspects of your company, stick to a step-by-step rundown. The story of your company is like any other. There is a clear-cut sequence of events that can tell your story best.
Set the scene with where the business idea came from and why it is important. Then introduce any important characters and events that have helped to shape the company. This can include pivots, strategy, new hires, investors and epiphanies.
After the background is established discuss the intended climax of your company story and your plan to get there. If you have a multistage plan then be sure to unveil the key circumstances surrounding it.
4. Speak their language.
To make sure you truly connect with your target audience you need to cater the conversation to them. It is best to use a “what’s in it for them” mindset.
For example, customers like to know what they have to gain by using your product or service. Explicitly tell them how you envision upgrading the company website to enhance their experience. Mention new features and benefits to get their attention.
Potential partners need to know how partnering with you will help their bottom line. You can highlight other strategic partnerships you have and express how those companies have benefited from the alliance. Statistics and graphs can help get your point across in a quick and simple manner.
Consider that investors are inherently focused on the bottom line — how much revenue, how fast and for how long. Key metrics such as customer acquisition costs, customer retention and profit margin are important information for this crowd.
Although your overall message should be the same, the delivery differs according to each situation. In the end, to effectively share your company vision and get people to understand your business, it is up to you to paint the correct picture. The aforementioned tips can help you get there, successfully.
Nick Arata is a former professional baseball player turned entrepreneur. He founded BC Insta_tees, an online custom t-shirt design company that turns Instagram pictures into t-shirts. BC Insta_tees simplifies the design process with an intuitive Design Studio at www.bcinstatees.com. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @bcinsta_tees.