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Business Planning Pitch Practice

One of the big challenges co-operatives have in their developing stages is selling the idea of their business to partners, funders, and the public. It is important to create a business plan that outlines the various components of your business’s operations, but it is critical to get people excited about your product. This may sound like an intimidating prospect, but it can be a fun way for a co-operative’s leadership to refine the concept of their business in a meaningful, engaging way.

What is a business pitch?

If you’re familiar with the television show Dragon’s Den, then you’ve seen many aspiring entrepreneurs perform business pitches to potential investors. Many business associations and entrepreneur training forums host these exercises as a fun and engaging way to talk about their businesses and build the skills and confidence to make pitches.

Many entrepreneurs will refer to this as an “elevator pitch” because you should be able to make the pitch in the time it takes to ride an elevator with a colleague. Time and precision are important factors, so here are some important things to consider when developing your business pitch:

  • Consider the customer: operating a business is all about creating a good customer experience; if you can incorporate a customer’s perspective into your pitch, people will be better able to connect.
  • Make it accessible: most people will not be familiar with the technical jargon involved with your business so it’s best to avoid complicated terms and explanations.
  • Discuss your structure: being a co-operative is an important component of your business, one that will contribute to its sustainability and experiences.
  • Make it relevant: businesses are always evolving and people will be more engaged when you talk about what’s currently happening.
  • Incorporate your business plan: draw on key items in your business plan, highlight your financial performance, talk about your competitors, and differentiate your product.

Group activity

Set up your own Dragon’s Den (or a more realistic version). Gather some of the co-operative’s leadership and assign roles for individuals to embody as you take turns providing a pitch about your business. Some roles may include a customer, a shareholder, a potential investor, or a financial institution. Give your pitch in three minutes then switch roles with someone. Record what worked and what didn’t work to build a perfect pitch for your co-operative.

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